Sustainable development

In 2015 the "Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development" was adopted by the 193 member states of the United Nations (UN), including Germany. With the help of the Agenda, the international community aims to tackle global challenges such as poverty, hunger and climate change. Together with several partner organizations, we will be drawing attention to Agenda 2030 in the coming years.

Agenda 2030 is universally valid, i.e. all countries of the world must implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and their 169 subgoals by 2030, including Germany and the other industrialized nations. In order to implement the SDG, policy within Germany must be aligned with the goals, German policy beyond national borders must not contradict the SDG and other countries must be supported in their national implementation. To implement the SDG in and through Germany, the Federal Government has chosen the German Sustainability Strategy as the political framework and structured it along the SDG in the new edition of 2017. Selected indicators are to be used to promote sustainable policy and to measure its implementation.

Furthermore, there are existing political institutions, such as the Parliamentary Advisory Council and the State Secretary Committee for Sustainable Development, which accompany the implementation of the SDG. The implementation is managed by the Chancellery. Although the implementation of the SDG is thus structurally well positioned in Germany, civil society organisations fear that the SDG will only be implemented in a few areas. This is because the sustainability strategy has selected only a few of the SDG sub-goals and thus by no means reflects the scope of Agenda 2030.

Network conference "Sustainability goals in non-statutory welfare work"

What role can non-statutory welfare services play in the implementation of the global goals for sustainable development, the "Sustainable Development Goals" (SDGs)? How does what we do for people here locally relate to global challenges? How can the goals support us in our work - and what new challenges do they present? On the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations' Agenda 2030, the AWO Bundesverband, AWO International and Diakonie Deutschland have invited to a joint network meeting. To the report (in German)

The next network conference "SDGs in Freie Wohlfahrtspflege" will take place on 24 and 25 September 2020 in Berlin.

Network conference 2018 To the report (in German)

Implementation in and by Germany - What must happen?

Furthermore, the targets and the sustainability institutions are considered to be very weak policy instruments that have little influence on important political decisions. For this reason, many civil society organisations call for a comprehensive and binding national implementation plan to be drawn up. All legislative projects and policy strategies must in future be checked for compatibility with Agenda 2030 and corrected. This requires implementation-strong structures, such as an "SDG-TÜV" in the legislative process.

In addition, sufficient human and financial resources must be made available at all levels (federal, state and local governments, civil society, specialist authorities such as statistical offices, etc.). Agenda 2030 provides an important reference framework for critically monitoring sustainable development toward a socially and ecologically compatible society in and through Germany. Civil society organisations do not wait until the necessary reforms have been initiated at the political level. Numerous associations are already using Agenda 2030 to formulate and implement their demands for sustainable development and socio-ecological transformation from the municipal to the global level.

Further demands made by civil society, including the AWO, on the German government can be found in the annual shadow reports on the status of sustainability policy and the implementation of sustainability goals:

Report 2017 - Großbaustelle Nachhaltigkeit (in German)

Report 2018 - So geht Nachhaltigkeit! (in German)

Report 2019 - Vier Jahre Agenda 2030: Die Politik ist am Zug (in German)

Implementation at all levels - The importance for us

The global sustainability agenda is of central importance not only for states, science, business and civil society, but also for each and every one of us. Especially in the global North, our consumer behaviour is at the centre of attention of all social forces. We must not and should not underestimate our personal sphere of influence. We have to critically question our resource-intensive lifestyles, examine them for sustainability, develop a global sense of solidarity and acknowledge the planetary limits. The change begins with us and continues in our direct personal environment, in our social commitment and in our choices.

Together with 28 European organisations, the Project „Make Europe Sustainable for All!“ regionally, nationally and Europe-wide to the goals for sustainable development of the UN and advocates concrete steps for the implementation of Agenda 2030. One important goal is to create partnership-based cooperation between civil society organizations in Europe and to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations to critically monitor the implementation of Agenda 2030.

Vision 2030

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have shown that success in human development is possible if there is the political will to shape and change. The final report on the implementation of the goals states that global poverty has fallen significantly over the last two decades. Nevertheless, Richard Dictus, representative for the UN Development Programme in Germany, admits that there are still many outstanding problems. For example, fewer people are now living in poverty. At the same time, however, inequality has increased - on the one hand between countries and on the other within countries.

Therefore, a central demand of Agenda 2030 is to reduce inequality within and between countries by the year 2030. Laws and international treaties must be stringently designed by politicians so that success in one area is not relativized by failure in other areas. The biggest task for all of us is to implement our own Agenda 2030 at local level, both professionally and privately. To do this, we must critically examine our consumption of resources, identify scope for action and create a vision of how we and our descendants want to live from 2030 onwards. Then we have to implement our vision step by step.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have shown that success in human development is possible if there is the political will to shape and change. The final report on the implementation of the goals states that global poverty has fallen significantly over the last two decades. Nevertheless, Richard Dictus, representative for the UN Development Programme in Germany, admits that there are still many outstanding problems.

Together against inequality - in Germany and worldwide

Reducing inequality within and between countries is the key challenge for sustainable development up to 2030.

SDGs are the world's contingency plan for poverty eradication and planet protection, and the fight against inequality is one of the 17 goals that all EU countries want to achieve in the coming years. Inequalities also affect many of the other SDGs. The EU and its Member States fail to address serious inequalities and abandon millions of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in Europe. The report "Wir fallen durch das Raster: Ungleichheiten in Europa und darüber hinaus aufdecken" (in German), published on 18th June 2019, warns that significant socio-economic and environmental inequalities in Europe persist or even worsen. The report was produced by the Make Europe Sustainable for All project network, with the participation of workers' welfare, in collaboration with SDG Watch Europe, a cross-sectoral civil society alliance of over 100 organisations, which is also committed to the implementation of SDGs. The new report highlights the reality of various forms of inequality, both at national and European level. It will contain 15 national reports and 11 thematic reports that examine the main dimensions of inequality, including gender, age, disability, ethnicity and homelessness.

Support together with us superheroes in agriculture

For a rural-ecological agriculture and species-appropriate animal husbandry, for climate justice and good food! In 2019 and 2020, the German government will play a decisive role in the EU agricultural reform (CAP), deciding which agriculture the EU will support with 60 billion euros each year. The transformation to a more rural and ecological agriculture cannot wait any longer. In the negotiations in Brussels, the Federal Government must stand shoulder to shoulder with farmers who keep animals in a manner appropriate to their species, create insect-friendly landscapes and produce good food. That is why we - as part of a colourful, diverse and vocal movement - sounded the alarm for the agricultural turnaround with our pots in Berlin in January!

Together for the #Textilwende

More clothing is being produced, consumed and thrown away than ever before, putting immense pressure on our planet and the 60 million workers in the industry worldwide. That is why a new campaign launched today by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and 24 civil society organisations from the European Union calls on EU leaders to take urgent action to curb the sector. We are also involved! AWO International is committed to a sustainable restructuring of the global economy within the framework of the campaigns #textilwende and the civil society initiative for a supply chain law.

Questions? Please contact us
Roman Fleißner
E-Mail: roman.fleissner[at]
Tel. 049 (0)30 / 25292-364

These are the 17 objectives for sustainable development

Goal 1: End poverty in all forms and everywhere, guarantee access to land and poverty-reducing services.

Goal 2: Ending hunger, achieving food security and better nutrition, promoting sustainable agriculture.

Goal 3: Ensure a healthy life for all people of all ages, reduce maternal and child mortality and combat serious diseases.

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education, promote lifelong learning, provide access to education for sustainable development.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and self-determination for all women and girls, End discrimination and violence against women.

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, protect water-connected ecosystems.

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Increase the share of renewable energies.

Goal 8: Promote sustained, broad-based and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Goal 9: Promoting a sustainable infrastructure and industrialisation while conserving resources.

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and between countries. Regulate and monitor global financial markets. Managing migration in a safe and responsible manner.

Goal 11: Making cities and settlements inclusive, safe and sustainable. Ensuring affordable housing and sustainable transport systems. Reduce environmental pollution.

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns and efficient use of resources. Reduce food waste. Making public procurement sustainable.

Goal 13: Take immediate action to combat climate change and its effects and integrate it into national policies and strategies.

Goal 14: Preserve and use oceans, seas and marine resources in a sustainable way in the sense of sustainable development. End overfishing, protect coasts.

Goal 15: Protecting and restoring terrestrial ecosystems. Manage forests sustainably, combat desertification, halt soil loss and biodiversity loss.

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies, ensure access to justice for all, build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.

Goal 17: Build global partnerships, spend 0.7% of GDP on international cooperation, implement debt relief, fair trade systems and policy coherence.

What might also interest you