More than 400 representatives of the Government of Belarus, international organizations and the diplomatic corps will gather here to explore ways to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a country that has seen rapid progress over the last few years.
The first National Forum on Sustainable Development will focus on the critical role played by local authorities in achieving the SDGs, looking at how to make leaving no one behind a reality; examining the topics of health care, education and equal opportunities for men and women, and exploring new methods and data for monitoring and reporting on the goals.
“The SDGs require growing inclusive economies with the new, green and sustainable development paradigm that addresses inequalities and reaching those who are lagging behind”, said Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations in her video address, adding that the United Nations would support the country’s national development strategy running up to 2035.
“Belarus presents a tremendous opportunity for investors and businesses to support the new national development agenda by investing capital in ‘double bottom-line’ projects that demonstrate both social impact and profit,” said Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Chair of the Regional UN Sustainable Development Group and Assistant Administrator of UNDP and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS.
From 2000 to 2016, the share of Belarus’s population living below the national poverty line fell from 41.9% to 5.7%. The country now ranks 26th on a list of close to 200 countries around the world on gender equality indicators, while formal unemployment figures are very low by all international standards.
“In the process of preparation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy 2035, Belarus can use the “accelerators” approach, focusing on the green transition for inclusive and sustainable growth; planning for future generations; digital transformation and social innovation; and gender equality”, said Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki, UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus, in her address to the Forum.
During the forum, participants from local oblasts will have an opportunity to report on major challenges and opportunities as they see them on the ground. The Forum will help to connect local development strategies with global development agenda as local authorities play important role in localization of SDGs.
Belarus has been very active in promoting Sustainable Development Goals on the global, regional and national level, thanks to the appointment by the President of a National SDG Coordinator. To ensure participation of the general public to advance on the SDGs, a group has been created, which included representatives of business, public associations and academia.
More information: how is Belarus organizing itself to achieve the SDGs?
The Parliamentary Group on the SDGs was formed in the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, which included deputies of the House of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic.
In 2017 open parliamentary hearings “Partnership of branches of government as a necessary condition for the successful achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals” were held followed by an extended meeting of the parliamentary group on SDGs in 2018, which reviewed the implementation of the recommendations based on the results of the 2017 parliamentary hearings.
In 2018, work on achieving the SDGs in Belarus was considered at a meeting of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus and reported to the President of the Republic of Belarus.