Implementing the 2030 Agenda: The Quality of International Development Cooperation

Speech by Thomas Silberhorn, Member of the German Parliament and Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development at the 5th Biennial High-level Meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum, New York, 21 July 2016

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​Mr. President,
Mr. Eliasson,
Mr. Assistant Minister

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Whether or not we can live in a peaceful world depends on how the people in the different countries across the world are able to develop. And it depends on how well we, in the industrialised countries, are able to make our own development model a sustainable one.

If we want to address these challenges, then we must shoulder our responsibilities. By that I mean not just our responsibilities at home, but also our global responsibilities.

In deciding on the 2030 Agenda, 193 countries have now reached agreement for the first time ever on shared goals for sustainable development. The Agenda defines a new culture of shared responsibility and partnership.

It is not just what we want to achieve that is important. It is also a question of how we can achieve it. In order for us to be able to implement the 2030 Agenda, further improvements in the quality of development cooperation will be needed.

For example, we need more goal orientation, more knowledge management, more and other funding, more ownership, more evidence-based action and, finally, even more cooperation!

The High-Level Political Forum has shown how willing the international community is to follow this path together.

Germany is ready and willing to be a major contributor here. There are three different ways that we are contributing:

  1. We are starting at home in Germany. We are doing that, for example, through our national sustainable development strategy, which is currently being revised to bring it in line with the 2030 Agenda.
  2. We are supporting our development cooperation partners as they seek to implement the Agenda in their own countries.
  3. We are also working to bring about sustainable development at the international level. One way we are doing this is through our policy for climate protection; another way is by pushing for development-friendly global rules – for areas such as trade or the financial markets.

And we are also advocating for a strong verification and monitoring mechanism for the 2030 Agenda. In fall 2016, we will launch our inititive "Partners for Review”.

How is the implementation of the Agenda for Sustainable Development going to be financed?

The annual funding requirements for the implementation of the Agenda will be more than one trillion US dollars. The total amount of international ODA is only 137 billion US dollars.

Germany stands by the goal of allocating 0.7 per cent of gross national income for financing "traditional” forms of ODA. The German Chancellor made that quite clear here in New York.

Nevertheless, official spending on development can never be more than one contribution among many. ODA alone will never be enough in order to achieve the level of transformation that we have set as our goal and to ensure that these changes are sustainable.

  • This means that we must encourage private finance in sustainable development. The volume of investment in developing countries will need to be stepped up quite considerably. And additionally, we need new financial investments for challenging gprivate finance to be invested for global public goods. And our partner countries need more revenues from taxes. After all, sustainable development financing means generating your own funding. Germany is supporting the efforts of its partners in this regard, for example, through the Addis Tax Initiative.
  • Developing countries lose more than 1 trillion US dollars a year because of money laundering and tax avoidance. There is enough money – and we have to take it – for schools, for hospitals, for infrastructure and tax inspectors. International cooperation on taxation needs to be expanded and an effort must be made to curb illegal financial flows.

At the end of the day, everyone must play their part. In Germany, for example, we must make our patterns of consumption and our way of life more sustainable.

Consumption and production must become fair. Policymakers have to establish the necessary framework. This is something that we are doing, for example, with a Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. Together with businesses and trade unions and in cooperation with our partner countries, we want to get to a point where environmental, labour and social standards are implemented along the entire length of global supply chains.

The agenda 2030 is a chance for the UN development system and the UN as a whole. Sustainable development should become the positive narrative for the daily work of the UN and their member countries. Development depends on peace and security, which is the prior responsibility of the security council. And security requires development in order to keep peace, which is our task in the UN development system. Therefore, I want to encourage theUND and all the member states, to keep the political momentum of the Agenda 2030 and adjust the UN structures. Let us make sustainable development the vision and mission of the UN development system.

Thank you.

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