Preparatory Conference for the High-Level Forum on Sustainable Development 2019

19th June 2019 | High-Level Forum on Sustainable Development 2019 | Berlin, Germany

The BMU and BMZ hosted the first German HLPF conference in Berlin that consolidated the conversation around sustainability at a global and national level.

On 19 June 2019, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) hosted the first national preparatory conference for the United Nations High-Level Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at the BMZ headquarters in Berlin. Participants discussed the key messages to be presented at the HLPF scheduled for July. The Development Policy Forum was instrumental in planning and realizing the event.

The German government stressed the need to devote more attention to sustainable development in Germany. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze gave the opening address in which she called on all stakeholders to take concerted action towards realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: "At the Sustainability Summit in New York, we have to come together and agree on action programmes for those SDGs that are most at risk. This will allow us to fully tackle and ambitiously pursue the goals.” Development Minister Dr Gerd Müller followed with a plea for more commitment to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): "Climate change does not stop at national borders. We have no problem recognizing the problems at hand, but we have to live up to our global responsibility better. We owe it to ourselves, to our children, and to our children's children".

In a subsequent plenary session, high-ranking representatives from the German government, the Bundestag, civil society, the private sector and academia discussed the German delegation’s expectations of the HLPF. Former Irish Ambassador David Donoghue, who acted as a mediator in the UN negotiations leading to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, moderated the afternoon talks. In a round table discussion, participants agreed that the Sustainability Goals had received too little attention in Germany and that greater efforts were needed to raise public awareness and understanding of the SDGs.

In two subsequent, parallel discussion rounds, participants exchanged views on progress towards achieving sustainable development and the SDGs. The first panel, "Fast and fair Transition: the need for an inclusive and sustainable economy", took an in-depth look at SDGs 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and 13 (Climate Action). Participants called on the German government to pass stricter guidelines and undertake more thorough checks of corporate due diligence. The second panel, "Education, democratic institutions and multilateral cooperation: cornerstones for fulfilling the 2030 Agenda", explored progress on SDGs 4 (Quality Education), 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

The event was held at the behest of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and served as a forum for exchange among governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the run-up to Germany's contribution to the High-Level Political Forum 2019. Signed in 2015, the 2030 Agenda outlines Sustainability Goals that reflect United Nations member states’ commitment to working together towards a world in which everyone’s actions are ecologically sound, socially just and economically efficient. The HLPF Panel is the central platform for annual global review and follow-up on the Agenda. The Panel will meet this year in New York from 9 to 18 July where the theme is "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality". A three-day ministerial meeting will be held under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) working session. Additionally, for the first time in four years, heads of states and governments will gather at the opening of the General Assembly ("SDG Summit") in September to review the progress made on SDG implementation.

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