Over 200 partners of the United Nations Organization from all the regions of the republic gathered for the national consultations on the priorities of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for Belarus for 2021-2025, which is being held in Minsk on 23-24 October 2019.
The national consultations on the priorities of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for Belarus for 2021-2025 are for the first time organized in the country with broad participation of the UN partners such as representatives of the Government and the Parliament, civil society and business organizations. The consultations are the extension of the UN organizations’ activities in Belarus aimed at providing assistance in implementation of sustainable development goals in the Republic of Belarus.
UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki marked the important role of the National Coordinator on Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other public bodies, civil society organizations, business partners, and youth in the sphere of SDG promotion at the national level and development of the new Cooperation Framework.
The new program will replace the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the Republic of Belarus for 2016-2020. The national consultations will help to define the priority areas of UN and Belarus cooperation involving public bodies, civil society and business organizations, and the UN agencies.
“We do not start this program from scratch. We build a new program basing on success and lessons learned of the current program. In course of working consultations implementation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework will be evaluated,” said UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus.
During the first part of the national consultations, the participants will learn about the priorities of the National Sustainable Development Strategy until 2035, the results of regional consultations, and SDG accelerators.
Speaking at the opening session of the national consultations National Coordinator on SDG Implementation Marianna Shchetkina said how important it was for the experts working on the new program to be interested in the results of the work and the idea of sustainable development goals, because behind SDG achievement there is a hard daily work.
“The single most important goal is the goal dedicated to partnership. In addition to the reliable motivated partners of Belarus we find new friends. On the grounds of joint work on SDG implementation the positions of different states become closer, thus contributing to trust between them, which is a key to improvement of both political and economic relations,” said Marianna Shchetkina.
In his address to the participants Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Dapkiunas stressed that Belarus and the United Nations Organisation share long-established constructive relations and have implemented many technical assistance projects together so far.
“Currently we are at a new stage. The Agenda for Sustainable Development, the reform of the UN development system initiated by the UN Secretary-General provide an opportunity to take a new perspective on the programmatic work of Belarus and UN, which will result in a new and more effective level of cooperation,” said Deputy Minister.
In course of the consultations UN agencies and national experts discuss the priorities of sustainable development goals in four areas:
- green transition towards inclusive and sustainable growth,
- future generation orientation,
- digital transformation and social innovations,
- and gender equitable society.
According to sustainable development index, Belarus ranks 23rd for two years in succession in the international rankings (out of 156 countries in 2018 and among 162 countries in 2019) and in general is rated above average in Eastern Europe and Central Asia region as far as implementation of sustainable development goals is concerned.