National Voluntary Review to the HLPF: Denmark

Monday, July 3, 2017
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
United Nation Theme: 
Goverment Statements



Denmark shares the vision of our world and planet in 2030 as expressed by the 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Danish gov-ernment is committed to an ambitious follow-up in the national as well as interna-tional setting. It acknowledges the interdependent and holistic nature of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The government also emphasizes the need for all actors across society to contribute to achieving the SDGs. Denmark is a frontrunner in sustainable development with a universal health care and educational system, gender equality, a generous social safety net, cooperation among social partners, responsible business, clean and efficient energy produc-tion, personal freedom and more. It reflects a long standing Danish tradition of pursuing solutions that are sustainable in the long run.

National Action Plan for the SDGs

The Danish government has, in accordance with the 2030 Agenda, formulated the Action Plan in light of the need to adapt targets to national circumstances. The Action Plan is centered on the 5 P’s of prosperity, people, planet, peace and part-nerships. For each of these – except partnerships which are cross cutting – the government has formulated a number of targets (37 in total). They reflect the government’s wish to prioritize building on existing positions of strength as well as on areas where improvement is needed. Each target has one or two national indicators, which are in large part measurable and quantifiable, as shown in table 1. Table 1 Examples of national targets and indicators P Targets National indicator(s) Prosperity Strengthen research and ensuring solutions are marketable. Public funding for research at 1 percent of GDP. People Strengthen gender equality between boys and girls in education by reduced gender differences in well being and grades. a. Boys’ and girls’ grade point average in public school. b. Results of the National Survey on Well Being. Planet Sustainable food. a. Household food waste. b. Ressource productivity in the food sector. Peace Maintain Denmark’s position among least corrupt countries in the world. Transparency International ranking.

The government already assesses the economic, environmental and gender conse-quences of new legislation. As part of the Action Plan the government will hence-forth also assess the consequences of new legislation and major initiatives for the SDGs, when considered relevant in a Danish context and where the impact is significant.

The government will present an annual progress report on the Action Plan to Parliament as well as a quadrennial status report on the Action Plan to be dis-cussed in Parliament. The Danish statistical bureau will produce a yearly statistical report to be sent to the UN as an input to the global progress report.


The Danish government is committed to developing and strengthening partner-ships as an essential part of the achievement of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The government acknowledges and welcomes the effort of other actors in society in contributing to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The government and its re-spective ministers are continually looking to engage with other actors. The gov-ernment is reflecting on possible modalities for a partnership platform in Den-mark.

Division of responsibilities

The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the coordination of the national im-plementation of the SDGs. The policy expertise, however, are placed in the line ministries who are responsible for designing policies with attention to the SDGs, when relevant. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the EU follow-up in order to maintain a holistic approach and create linkages to the national follow-up. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the SDGs in the context of the United Nations and other international fora. The Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintain a close coordination of efforts.

Next Steps

The Danish government will focus on the implementation and follow up of the 37 targets set forth in the Action Plan. The government will continue work on assessing new legislation on the SDGs and reflect further on a partnership plat-form. The government will also launch reflection work on the progress report on the Action Plan to be presented in 2018 for the first time.

Global Engagement

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs shape Denmark’s global engagement, and Denmark’s foreign, trade and security policy contribute directly and indirectly to achieving the SDGs. The SDGs constitute the platform for Danish development cooperation and humanitarian action as reflected in the new strategy, “The World 2030”. Different SDGs are prioritised in different country contexts. At the same time Denmark acknowledges that the SDGs are interdependent.

Denmark has since 1978 provided more than 0,7 percent of GNI in development assistance and hence lived up to the United Nations target, which continues to be a priority for the Danish government. Page 3 of 4


Civil society

Members of the civil society platforms the Danish 92 Group and Global Focus;

  • Have been following the development of the SDGs closely for several years and are highly engaged and committed to the implementation of the goals in Denmark and globally. The SDGs are integrated in strategies and work plans of Danish CSOs and in their activities nationally and globally, including national awareness raising and work with different stakeholders.
  • Have dedicated themselves – and will contribute further – to the SDG mobilization among stakeholders in relation to policy coordination, policy recommendations and multi-stakeholder dialogue. Danish CSOs were the main driver behind the first multi-stakeholder meeting in Denmark.
  • Will continue to follow the Danish government’s delivery on its commitments towards the SDGs in Denmark closely and in Denmark’s foreign diplomatic, policy and financial engagements, including ongoing advocacy for increased ambitions in the Danish Action Plan.


The Danish business community welcomes and supports the SDGs. We will;

  • Contribute by playing our part in achieving the goals.
  • Seek opportunities for business growth both nationally and internationally.
  • Include the goals in business priorities and business development.
  • Communicate our progress and share learnings when feasible.
  • Collaborate in partnerships with stakeholders to achieve sustainable solutions.
  • Recommend the Danish Government to support responsible business and awareness about SDG’s.


Regions and municipalities are responsible for delivering the vast majority of all public services in Denmark. Spending around 70 pct. of Denmark’s public budget, regions and municipalities are essential partners to achieve the UN Sustainable Devel-opment Goals for 2030. Danish municipalities and regions hold key roles, as;

  • Public authorities in the fields of social services, education, health, environment and technology.
  • Administrators of essential physical infrastructure and utilities as well as climate measures (CO2-reduction and adapta-tion).
  • Central facilitators of partnerships and of development and growth – both in civil society and in businesses.
  • Developers and administrators of much of the data that can be used as indicators for achieving the SDGs.
  • A link between the local and the global – from citizen involvement to international development collaborations


  • State of youth in civil society: Danish youth organisations and CSOs working with youth enjoy an enabling space and good structural conditions, as well as a long tradition of civil involvement. This results in a wide range of activities for youth and a relatively high degree of involvement, political participation, and influence. However, there are still pro-spects in securing the full inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth.
  • SDG-awareness and implementation: There is relatively high awareness among Danish youth on the SDG-agenda and youth CSOs are increasingly promoting and working with the agenda. The strategic framework can be strengthened by additions to school curricula, and there remains untapped potential within the youth sector for implementing and incor-porating the agenda into their organisational activities.
  • Monitoring and coordination: A comprehensive mechanism has yet to be developed for monitoring youth progress on the SDG agenda nationally and for coordinating efforts between youth actors within the framework of Agenda 2030.

Academic institutions

  • Pursue research and capacity development going beyond 'silo' thinking and focus on the links and synergies between the SDG goals and targets.
  • Study the trend towards rising inequality and the extent to which current policies exacerbate it.
  • Analyze how the SDG targets, deadlines, and a gap analysis could better inform Danish SDG implementation.
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National Voluntary Review to the HLPF: Denmark