Peer Review of Germany’s Sustainable Development Strategy Results in 11 Recommendations
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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An International Peer Review Group headed by Helen Clark has delivered its review of the German Sustainable Development Strategy to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Group recommended 11 areas for Germany to take action, beginning with the suggestion that Germany should "Keep what works, elevate what is good, and change what has failed to deliver".

4 June 2018: Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and former Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), has presented the outcome from an International Peer Review Group’s review of the German Sustainable Development Strategy to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Following the mandate from the German Federal Government for the Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) to facilitate the third international Peer Review on the German Sustainable Development Strategy, the International Peer Review Group held its first meeting in September 2017. A survey of stakeholders was conducted in December 2017, and members of the International Peer Review Group met with approximately 100 stakeholders from politics, administration, NGOs, business and academia in Berlin, Germany, in February 2018. The Group’s final report was released at the RNE Annual Conference on 4 June 2018.

“It is a bold move” to open up a core Government strategy to independent international review, said Clark.

In her statement at the RNE Annual Conference, Clark noted that, “It is a bold move to open up a core Government strategy to independent international review as Germany has now done on three occasions.” The Group recommended that all countries should undertake a peer review, “as a way of helping to strengthen implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, and national sustainability strategies.”

The Group recommended 11 areas for Germany to take action, beginning with the suggestion that Germany should “Keep what works, elevate what is good, and change what has failed to deliver.” The other recommendations included calls to: address the institutional architecture for the German Sustainable Development Strategy; raise the level of of ambition; foster an enabling environment for “leaving no one behind”; strengthen the executive’s central coordination capacities; ensure more powerful parliamentary scrutiny; strengthen the independent role of the Council for Sustainable Development; revise communications; enhance capacity for systems thinking and education for sustainability; expand budgets for and activity on indicator tracking; and address emerging issues and apply the principles of the Strategy to to Germany’s global interactions.

In addition to Clark, the members of the International Peer Review Group 2018 were: Adolfo Ayuso-Audry, Director General in the Office of the Mexican Presidency; Karl Falkenberg, EU Commission official until June 2017; Virginie Helias, Vice President Global Sustainability at Procter & Gamble; Lailai Li, China Country Director, WRI China; Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso, Director and executive head of African Monitor; Joost Oorthuizen, Executive Director of the Sustainable Trade Initiative; Teresa Ribera, Director of the Institute for sustainable development and international relations (IDDRI); Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, independent exper; and Farooq Ullah, Co-Chair of the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development. Julie Gelfand, Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, also participated in the review process. [Peer Review documents][International Peer Review Group]

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