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Opinions & Interviews

26 Oct 2018

Belarus urges to support initiative on UN database of SDG coordinators

Belarus urges to support initiative on UN database of SDG coordinators
Photo courtesy of the Council of the Republic

MINSK, 26 October (BelTA) - Belarus hopes the initiative to set up a global UN database of national SDG coordinators will be supported, the press service of the Council of Republic told BelTA commenting the participation of Marianna Shchetkina, Vice Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, National SDG Coordinator, in the interactive discussion of the Baku Forum on Sustainable Sevelopment.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the overarching challenges on a global scale. Strengthening interstate partnership is the strategic factor that will helps us meet these goals successfully, Marianna Shchetkina said. Therefore, Belarus initiated Regional SDG Coordination Leaders Forum in Minsk in February 2018. Its participants endorsed Belarus’ initiative to set up a partnership network of national SDG coordinators. It will provide an opportunity to share best practices, to find optimal solutions to emerging issues, promote regional cooperation and accelerate global progress towards the SDGs.

“The next stage of our work will be to set up of the UN database on national SDG coordinators and to launch it during the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in New York in September 2019,” Marianna Shchetkina said. According to her, Belarus hopes this initiative will be supported by the countries participating in today's discussion and the United Nations.

Participants discussed the role of youth, women, parliament, and civil society in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Mariana Shchetkina informed about the results of the work carried out by Belarus to achieve the SDGs, the SDG national architecture, interaction between the government, business and social organizations. Particular attention was paid to the role of the parliamentary group, which deals with the regulatory impact assessment of bills on sustainable development and provides parliamentary oversight in this area.

An important achievement of the group was the recent amendments to the law on normative legal acts which formalized the requirement to assess the new bills for the conformity with the sustainable development goals.

Marianna Shchetkina added that Belarus is busy updating the National Sustainable Development Strategy, a long-term program document. The focus is not only on specific tasks in economy and environment, investment and innovation for sustainable development but also on improving the health of the nation, ensuring high-quality living standards. This is possible to achieve through the development of each person’s potential, creation of productive jobs that provide stable employment and high incomes based on economic digitalization, encouragement of lifelong education, universal introduction of green technologies, while preserving natural capital and an environmentally friendly living environment for current and future generations. “We are also working on the implementation of Leaving No One Behind principle through the development of public-private partnership and encouragement of business to implement socially-oriented projects,” the national SDG coordinator said.

Keeping in mind the main principle of the 2030 Agenda, which is Leaving No One Behind, and also Goal 17 (partnership for sustainable development), a partner group has been established at the Sustainable Development Council to include representatives of public associations, business, international organizations, scientists, youth, women's associations, and others.

Being the head of the Belarusian Women’s Union, Marianna Shchetkina emphasized the importance of gender equality issues. The discussions at the Minsk forum held in February 2018, numerous national events on the matter and also the assessment of the Mainstreaming, Acceleration, Policy Support (MAPS) mission that visited Belarus in late 2017 showed that gender equality is a real accelerator for the achievement of SDGs. Investment in education, professional development, and health of women has a multiplier effect.

The 6th International Humanitarian Forum kicked off in Baku on 25 October. The event dedicated to the topic Shaping a New World and a New Humanity: Creativity and Human Development is attended by more than 580 representatives from 86 countries and 24 international organizations. The Baku Forum on Sustainable Development is held as part of the International Humanitarian Forum.

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