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Joint press release issued by:
Logo: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

UN Sustainability Forum: jointly focusing on climate change and inequalities

2030 Agenda: Ministerial conference in New York reviews progress made on implementing the UN sustainability goals


Village in the Somali region of Ethiopia where nomads have settled due to the continuing drought.

Press release of 16.07.2019 |

NEW YORK – In today's ministerial segment of the UN Sustainability Forum in New York, Germany called for a stronger focus on social inequalities and climate change. Dr Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Development Ministry, and Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Environment Ministry, are together representing the German government at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which convenes each year to review progress made on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 global sustainability goals. The Forum is taking place in New York from 9 to 18 July.

Dr Maria Flachsbarth: "Because of our global social and environmental footprint, we in Germany share some of the responsibility for growing inequalities in developing and emerging countries. By means of instruments such as climate risk insurance schemes or social protection systems, the German government is able to strengthen the resilience and active economic participation of people living in our partner countries, including poor and vulnerable people."

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter: "Fighting climate change and reducing poverty are closely linked with one another. The only way to deal with both these challenges is by taking a joint approach. The long overdue shift to greenhouse gas neutrality and more sustainable ways of life overall will be much easier to achieve if the benefits for people are greater – especially the benefits for people whose economic situation is already very strained. We will use the UN Climate Action Summit in New York this September to garner broad support for these objectives."

Climate change and increasing social inequalities are worrying global trends. The first quadrennial Global Sustainable Development Report, extracts of which were presented in advance at the Forum, emphasises that these trends may massively jeopardise progress on sustainable development.

The theme of the UN Sustainability Forum, which is bringing together high-level government and civil society representatives from the UN member states, is "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality". The Forum is particularly dedicated to the topics of education, decent work and sustainable economic growth, inequalities, climate protection, and peace, justice and strong institutions.

This focus reveals the urgent need for ambitious and accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Despite a multitude of efforts and progress, the latest forecasts show that only a few of the·​SDGs will be achieved by 2030. Particularly worrisome are the trends evident in the areas of climate change, biodiversity and inequality. That is why the German government is advocating the creation of international programmes of action for the SDGs that are lagging furthest behind, wherever there are as yet no existing international processes to support these SDGs.

As was also the case last year, the German delegation to the HLPF is made up of government officials, nine members of the German Parliament (from all the different parties) and non-governmental representatives (civil society, private sector, trade unions, youth delegates, federal states and municipalities).

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