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Statement delivered by Under Secretary for Global Cooperation and Development at the 2016 High Level Political Forum General Debate.

19.07.2016  16:31

© Photo: Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN in New York

(Check against delivery)

Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen

I am encouraged to see that the universality and interdependence of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are taken seriously. It is promising to sense and hear that all of us are aware that we must make an ambitious contribution to meet the goals both at home and internationally. The SDGs must be at the center stage of our action, not only during the HLPF but throughout the year. They carry an incomparable promise of a better future as an ambitious and highly useful framework for our joint efforts and action until 2030.

Denmark will continue to be at the forefront of the global efforts to reach the SDGs. Let me highlight the main steps in our national follow-up.

We are currently developing a single, strategic action plan for our follow-up at national and international level.

1) The action plan is being developed in cooperation between all ministries and with input from civil society, the private sector, and academia, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinating the process. The coordination of the implementation of the action plan will be anchored in the Ministry of Finance to underline the universality of the agenda. 

2) We strive for a broad adoption of the action plan in the Danish parliament in late 2016.

3) The action plan will identify a limited number of national and international key priorities while respecting the universality and interdependence of the goals. The priorities will build upon the core strengths of our society - sustainable growth, a strong welfare system, and solid development cooperation. We will also identify areas, where we need to go an extra mile.

4) The action plan will establish the framework for multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships in both the national and the international dimension of our follow-up. A national dialogue forum for growth and corporate responsibility has been established in order to secure ownership and engagement by the private sector, civil society, academia and others, that will play a key role in driving implementation both domestically and abroad.

Denmark, together with the EU and its Member States, is working for an ambitious internal and external follow-up in the EU. 

Denmark is committed to support developing countries in the implementation of the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs constitute the central platform for Denmark’s development policy. The Danish Government has just launched a draft for a new strategy, which is in a public hearing at this very moment. We will focus on a selected number of SDGs based on our competencies, opportunities for partnerships and possibility for creating results.

Official Development Assistance continues to be very important for driving sustainable development, especially as it increasingly plays a catalytic role in generating diversified investments for sustainable development. We can once again confirm our strong commitment to the 0.7 % ODA-target. I strongly urge many more countries to meet this goal as well as the goal of providing 0.2 % of GNI specifically to the least developed countries. We firmly believe it is in our national interest – as it should be in every country’s national interest – hereby to contribute to a world, which is free, safe, prosperous and just for all. 
As the topic for this HLPF so timely states, the underlying principle in our endeavours has to be that No One is Left Behind. We are convinced that respect for human rights and gender equality and the empowerment of women are fundamental to achieve this. Human rights and sustainable development go hand in hand. By guaranteeing people fundamental human rights, we empower them to create the life they want for themselves and their family and to be part of the world we want.