"Global responsibility starts here at home"

Federal President Gauck and Federal Minister Müller on sustainability in Germany

Federal President Joachim Gauck and Federal Minister Gerd Müller

15.09.2014 |

Berlin – The event "Nach­haltige Ent­wick­lung weltweit – was kann Deutsch­land beitragen?" ("Sustainable De­vel­op­ment Worldwide – What Can Germany Do?") was opened today in Berlin's Spree­speicher by Federal President Joachim Gauck and Federal Minister Gerd Müller. During the ceremony, Gauck and Müller appealed to Germany's citizens to live more sustainably in their everyday lives, stating that economic de­vel­op­ment, protection of the en­vi­ron­ment and social justice had to go hand in hand worldwide so that future generations would still be able to live on this planet.

In his opening address, Federal President Gauck underlined that sustainability was increasingly becoming a cross-cutting issue, saying: "To achieve sustainability, we need to transcend traditional de­vel­op­ment policy. The boundaries between donor and recipient coun­tries are becoming increasingly blurred. Each and every coun­try needs to play its part in keeping our planet liveable for future generations."

Federal Minister Müller, in his address, said: "Never before in the history of our planet has the fate of all humankind been so inextricably linked with the actions of all of us. The fact that we all share a common fate on this ever more densely populated planet means that we need to find new ways of working together globally – be it with regard to climate action or world food security, or to a more equitable distribution of income. If everyone living on Earth today were to consume as much as we do already, we would need three planets to sustain us."

In the panel debate that followed, discussion centred round what responsibilities consumers and businesses have – for example, in the textiles industry.

This discussion coincides with wider efforts to draft a new global agenda of goals for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, which the in­ter­national com­mu­ni­ty is due to agree next year, for that is when the current Millennium De­vel­op­ment Goals laid down by the United Nations will expire. Germany is taking part in this in­ter­national debate on the new agenda, where it is making its views strongly heard. The issue of sustainability will also be at the very top of the agenda during Germany's G7 presidency.

A few months ago, Federal Minister Müller already launched a broad-based public dialogue on a Charter for the Future called "ONE WORLD – Our Responsibility". The dialogue is all about how the people of Germany want to live in the future. The Charter for the Future will be presented to Federal Chancellor Merkel in an official ceremony in Berlin on 24 November. It is to be a visible sign that Germany means to support the United Nations' new set of goals.

For more information about the Charter for the Future, go to:
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