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The 2030 Agenda furnishes us with a powerful common vision for a just and sustainable world. It is guiding our efforts, so that we can turn many of the complex global challenges confronting us into opportunities.
Some improvements are visible already, but progress always tends to leave a lot of unfinished business. It is clear: We are not on track! We need to accelerate our efforts and increase our ambition so that we can unlock the positive impacts that come with transforming our societies and economies towards sustainable development and towards meeting the 2030 targets.
Against this backdrop, we look forward to the HLPF under the auspices of the General Assembly in September 2019 – the "SDG Summit" – which will play a key role in keeping the political momentum and providing high-level political guidance for further implementing the SDGs.
Multilateralism is an important means to do so and the 2030 Agenda – together with the Paris Agreement and other international agreements – provides a vehicle for cooperation and joint action, through which we can ensure human well-being for all within the planetary boundaries.
It makes plain economic sense to modernise our economies and therefore to advance the global structural change towards sustainable, inclusive and climate-friendly economies. The transition to sustainable development models has the potential to function as a comprehensive modernisation programme for our economies – with positive impacts for competitiveness, job market, social inclusion, participation and political stability. Green technology, for example, is becoming a real catalyst for job creation.
Of course, the transition to more sustainable economic models confronts many economic sectors with the prospect of major changes, in both industrialised and developing countries. We must ensure the success of structural transformation without causing harsh structural breaks. Already in her speech at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015, the German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel committed Germany to an ambitious implementation of the 2030 Agenda. And this is as valid as ever.
The main framework in which we are pursuing the implementation of the SDGs is the "German Sustainable Development Strategy". We are regularly updating our strategy and continue to conduct consultations with stakeholders. We will also draw on the findings of this year’s independent peer review of our national strategy. We have aligned our strategy with the 2030 Agenda and are increasingly taking global impacts of our domestic actions into account, for example in the area of sustainable production and consumption.
Germany is committed to leaving no one behind and to this end we are closely cooperating at home and abroad with science, civil society and the private sector, also through our development cooperation. The value of working together with all relevant stakeholders cannot be overstated and the inclusive and participatory nature of the 2030 Agenda should underpin all these endeavours. This is also in line with the human rights-based approach we pursue to address the diverse discriminations confronting vulnerable groups and marginalized people. A fair and just society requires empowering all people so that they can thrive on the basis of equal rights and opportunities.
We need to double our efforts to shape globalization in a much more sustainable manner: a globalization that respects the environment that focuses on human well-being and invests in the future. The SDGs have proven to unite stakeholders around clear objectives and so we should see them for what they are: not just simple goals that focus on topics that are important to all people, but a vision and catalyst that can help build bridges rather than walls.
Certainly, the SDG Summit next year will be a good moment to reinforce the level of ambition required for a successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We are very much looking forward to contributions from all stakeholders represented here to the preparatory process of this important event. For the Summit to be successful and its outcomes to be valuable and meaningful, these preparations have to start now.