United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Agenda
Goals and Targets session - 23-27 March 2015, New York
German Statement on
“Technical Proofing of the SDGs ”
Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Deputy Director General post 2015,
Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development
Mr. Co-Chair,
Honourable delegates,
Germany aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union. In our
national capacity we would like to highlight some points in the light of yesterday’s
 Let me stress our clear message: the SDG proposal shall be the main basis
for integrating SDGs into the post‐2015‐agenda. We agree with G77 that we
achieved a sensitive political balance in the OWG which we do not want to
endanger and any technical proofing must not touch any substantial content
of the SDG proposal.
 We thank the Co-Facilitators for their effort to further strengthen our work. The
proposal brought forward by them is a valuable contribution to improve the
credibility of the agenda.
 We are convinced that some more work has to be done on the targets before
their final adoption in September:
Firstly, we acknowledge that the SDG proposal includes some targets where
political decisions will have to be taken. We would like to constructively work on
this. We can hardly imagine to “sell” the SDGs as innovative and ambitious with
still “x” and “y” in it – not having a vision and common understanding of what we
globally want to achieve through the different contributions of us all. Para 18 of
the OWG chapeau call on all of us to carefully consider the global level of ambition
when we define our national targets. A global quantified target shall give us the
needed guidance for this.
Secondly, we should assure that targets are consistent with, and not fall below
UN standards and agreements or contradict international legal frameworks. We
should address cases where proposed language does not meet this. There should
not be any backsliding in the level of ambition which has guided the international
community in other fora by our agenda. This is why we see indispensable to bring
SDG targets in line with existing international commitments.
 Therefore we support the offer of the Co-Facilitators that the UN system comes
back on this with the support of scientific expertise and provides proposals for
possible appropriate settings to fill the “x” and to overcome the described
inconsistencies as soon as possible, which we should discuss constructively.
 Work on this should be guided by our common understanding that it is important to
preserve the political balance and breadth of the OWG's SDG proposal,
including preserving the inter-linkages across the three dimensions. We therefore
prefer the term “technical proofing” instead of “re‐view”.
 Members States shall then agree or disagree on the proposed modifications.
 I would like to add some words on the communication aspect: the SDG proposal
is complex as the world is complex: it has to be like this. The proposal reflects the
complexity and the variety of the contemporary challenges of sustainable
development. It provides guidance for transformational solution paths embodying
four major innovations of the post‐2015 vision for sustainable development: its
universality; the full and balanced integration of the three dimensions of
sustainable development without omitting governance and peaceful societies
within its goals and targets.
 But this complexity is difficult to communicate.
 Therefore I would like to reiterate that we should continue our exchange on how
to better make the world understand what the agenda for sustainable
development is about - to be easily understood and to spur action worldwide.
 Let me remember you that part of the success of the MDGs was their
communicability and that they were easily understood in all parts of the world and
society. Following this success model the new agenda needs an effective
communication tool.
 This communication tool does not intend to diminish the SDGs in their substance;
it should not reduce them or simplify them. But it should speak to those who are
not so deeply involved in the process to understand the new spirit of the agenda
to spur support and action worldwide.
 Therefore we welcome the idea of the UN-SG to reflect the new, holistic and
transformative spirit of the agenda in overarching key messages.
 In our view these messages should be improved to be inspiring, easily
understandable and spur action worldwide. These messages should use
innovative and appealing language to engage everybody to take action and to
reflect spirit and content of the agenda. As they should also reflect the richness of
the agenda, in our view six messages will be needed, as proposed in the synthesis