Globally, Denmark ranks high in fulfilment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and promotion of the 2030 Agenda. The importance of the goals cannot be overstated. They are the touchstone of the world’s collective fight for a more just and sustainable future.
As a nation, Denmark can be proud of its results. We can be proud of our welfare state, strong institutions, and unique partnerships. Combined, they enable us to chart a wide variety of paths in sustainable development that can inspire other countries. Nevertheless, our position as frontrunner does not permit us to grow stagnant. We have yet to fulfil all of the goals, and we need to ensure that we do.
With this second Voluntary National Review, Denmark reports on progress since presenting its first review in 2017 at the High-Level Political Forum in New York. The report takes a few new approaches to documenting Denmark’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. It includes assessments of Denmark’s position by both the Danish government and civil society, as well as insights into how various actors of Danish society have worked to support the Sustainable Development Goals.
Efforts to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals are backed by the Danish Parliament, the private sector, organisations, academic institutions, municipalities and regions, and civil society actors. They are all critical to the process. The anchoring of the goals is clear in Denmark’s second Voluntary National Review, where actors spanning Danish society have provided input about on-the-ground efforts and recommendations. Their contributions have been welcome additions to the creation of this review.
I am proud of how Danish society is collectively taking action towards realising the Sustainable Development Goals. Together, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda represents our commitment to keep up our efforts. Above all, the generational contract – that we must pass on a better world than the one we received – must be honoured.
It is important that we take a critical look at our progress, and that we highlight the areas where continued hard work is required to reach our goals. We must address a variety of imbalances and inequalities in our society and ensure that we leave no one behind in the process. The government has presented a national action plan for follow-up on the Sustainable Development Goals that includes new policy initiatives. An example is the policy of screening all new bills for their impact relating to the goals.
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this report. The process has been instructive, and I hope that Denmark’s second Voluntary National Review can inspire others to take further action. We have worked to create an inclusive and transparent report that is attentive to the challenges we face, particularly those relating to climate efforts and responsible consumption and production. This approach reflects Denmark’s commitment to upholding its global responsibility for a better future.
Familiar challenges lie ahead, and new ones will emerge. But we are well equipped to address and overcome these challenges together.