Ensuring that no one is left behind

Speech by Thomas Silberhorn, Member of the German Parliament and Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, at the ECOSOC General Debate, New York, 20 July 2016

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Chairman, distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

​Thank you very much for the comprehensive and inspiring input. I would like to add some aspects and emphasize others from Germany's perspective.

"Leave no one behind" is a measure of the success of the 2030 Agenda

Its implementation will only be successful if we fulfill our pledge to leave no one behind.

The world has made unprecedented progress on reducing poverty. But many countries are still struggling to meet their people's basic needs for food, shelter and security. In particular, countries in or emerging from conflict are at risk.

Besides, inequalities within countries are growing. This is a matter of great concern because inequality makes it harder to reduce poverty and may lead to social unrest.

Global responsibility to leave no one behind

Leaving no one behind is our global responsibility. Germany takes this responsibility seriously, both in its international cooperation and in its domestic policies.

Germany is the incoming Co-Chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation. We will work to bring forward the development effectiveness agenda in the light of the 2030 Agenda, with a special focus on the goal of leaving no one behind. And the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) is an important catalyst for reaching this objective.

I am glad to announce Germany's membership in the "Leave no one behind” coalition led by the Netherlands.

Let me give you some concrete examples of what we are doing.

  • Our work in fragile states accounts for about one quarter of our total aid budget.
  • We are increasing our portfolio for supporting refugees. Among other things, this includes employment campaigns for displaced people in the Middle East ("Cash for work”).
  • It will be essential to identify those at risk of being left behind and ensure that our support is effective. In order to be able to do this, dis-aggregated data are indispensable.
  • We will further promote gender equality, for example by supporting women’s access to technical and vocational education in the agricultural sector or through cooperation with civil society organizations.
  • The poorest are the first who have to face the harsh reality of planetary boundaries: they suffer most under climate change, health risks from pollution and declining natural resources. Thus, protecting the climate and the natural environment means protecting the poor. Germany there¬fore plans to double its international climate financing by 2020 (over 2014 levels).
  • Germany was a co-founder of the G7 initiative "InsuResilience”. This initiative is aimed at covering more people with direct or indirect insurance against the negative impacts of climate change. By 2020, we want to cover up to 400 million people in the most vulnerable developing countries.
  • And, finally, we are also considering the global and planetary impact of our domestic actions, of our economies and our lifestyles. Our revised National Sustainable Development Strategy will guide us in addressing transformative challenges – at all levels.


Leaving no one behind is a prerequisite for the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our development cooperation will play an important part in achieving this.

With our meeting today, we are focusing our efforts and preparing for the High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Develop¬ment Co-operation in Nairobi in December this year.

There are countless levers to tackle poverty, inequality and exclusion. Let us take on the challenge. Let us leave no one behind!

Thank you very much.

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