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19 Jul 2017

Belarus presents Voluntary National Review at High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

MINSK, 19 July (BelTA) - Marianna Shchetkina, National Coordinator for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Deputy Chair of the Council of Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, presented the National Review on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the UN Headquarters in New York on 18 July, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Marianna Shchetkina briefed the participants of the forum on the steps taken by Belarus to implement the new development agenda. In particular, she mentioned the establishment of the post of National Coordinator for SDGs by the Belarus President and a national council for sustainable development at the level of the heads of government agencies concerned and the regions of the country.

Belarus’ representative stressed the country’s intention to engage in the implementation of the sustainable agenda the mechanism of parliamentary hearings and national consultations involving a wide range of partners, including civil society. “Belarus presented its approaches to the achievement of the SDGs in its national review during this forum and is interested in adopting the best practices of other countries and regions as part of the 2030 Agenda. International assistance is important for achieving the SDGs, too. The UN should serve as the center for coordination of such assistance for the countries concerned. Achievement of ambitious goals is only possible provided there is integration and smart coordination of efforts,” she said.

The head of the Belarusian delegation drew the attention of the participants to the problems of middle-income countries, without which it is impossible to achieve the sustainable development goals. “Being a middle-income country, Belarus advocates a more coordinated support to the development efforts by those countries," said Marianna Shchetkina. “We propose to adopt a separate UN action plan for middle-income countries, following the example of similar plans for other categories of developing states and to draw up the criteria, in addition to the income per capita indicator.”

Belarus’ representative drew the attention to the importance of regional organization as a bridge in the activities at the global and national levels, and suggested using the platform of the UN Economic Commission for Europe to discuss ways of interaction between integration associations in the region. “We need to avoid unnecessary and dangerous confrontation between the integration models, to ensure their compatibility and complementarity. Mutually beneficial cooperation between the integration associations in Eurasia is essential for global political stability and prosperity,” Marianna Shchetkina said.

In an interview to the UN Radio, Marianna Shchetkina noted that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is a global task that can be fulfilled only if there is good constructive cooperation, integration and collaboration of all states.

“Political will is important for achieving these goals. The fact that this process is under control of the president, guarantees that there will be movement in certain direction, towards the sustainable development goals. “After certain groundwork, certain progress towards the sustainable development goals we will arrange the parliamentary hearings this year and analyze the situation and the way we move forward,” Marianna Shchetkina said.

Being the head of the Belarusian Union of Women, Marianna Shchetkina also spoke about this area because it too is part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. “In Belarus, much attention is paid to women's employment and women's entrepreneurship. This is the goal of the government, mine and the Belarusian Union of Women. We are set to promote the development of women's entrepreneurship and engage women's associations of other states in this effort,” the head of the Belarusian delegation said.

On the sidelines of the UN forum Marianna Shchetkina met with the head of the Azerbaijan delegation, Deputy Prime Minister of that country Ali Ahmadov. The parties discussed the bilateral cooperation, including in the context of achieving the sustainable development goals, and reached an agreement on close collaboration at the level of national councils for the SDGs.

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