Statement by Mr. Norimasa Shimomura, UN Resident Coordinator at the Roundtable on ‘SDGs in Kazakhstan: a conceptual framework’

Dec 18, 2015

Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ashikbayev,

Distinguished representatives of state entities,

UN colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

I am pleased to welcome you to the roundtable devoted to Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.  I am particularly grateful for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for hosting this event. Today my UN colleagues will provide you with an overview of SDGs, their relevance to Kazakhstan, and we will also have the opportunity to discuss what approach Kazakhstan could take in promoting and pursuing the SDGs. 

In 2015, we are marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. While values and principles of the UN charter remain valid and even more relevant than they were 70 years ago, it is certain that the world today is quite different and much more complex with new and immense challenges for sustainable development. Climate change, financial and humanitarian crises and food, water and energy insecurity as well as natural disasters threaten human well-being and civilization in many parts of the world. Billions of people continue to live in poverty. Gender inequality and unemployment, especially among youth, continue to deprive the societies from realizing their full potential. There are issues with new global health threats.  Violent extremism, terrorism and crises threaten to reverse much of the hard-won development gains from the past decades. The need to come up with new solutions to address these global challenges has become obvious.

It is in this context that in September this year the world leaders from 193 nations gathered at the UN Headquarters in New York to adopt the new United Nations post-2015 global development agenda. It introduced the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2016-2030 that aim to end extreme poverty, promote equity and opportunity for all, and protect the planet, in close partnership among the nations.

The SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Although progress on the MDGs has been uneven within and across countries, there has been significant progress on poverty reduction, achieving universal primary education, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health.  SDGs go way beyond MDGs and aim to complete what MDGs could not fully achieve.

First, SDGs are much more collaborative. The MDGs were largely determined by developed countries as agenda for developing countries. SDGs are the result of over two years of intensive public consultation and engagement with civil society and other stakeholders around the world, which paid particular attention to the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable. You may recall that Kazakhstan also participated in national consultations on Post-2015 Agenda in 2014 with more than 2,000 participants from various groups of the society.

Second, this is an Agenda of unprecedented scope and significance. They are universal goals accepted by all countries and applicable to all – both rich and poor, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, environmental and social.

Thirdly, the agenda clearly defines the accountability of Member States. The Governments have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Goals and targets over the coming 15 years. This implies the need for monitoring and reporting capacities as well as ability to collectively finance actions necessary to achieve these Goals.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Seventy years ago, world leaders came together to create the United Nations. The UN’s resolution on 25 September 2015 to adopt the SDGs was yet another historic milestone. As we start with the implementation from 1 January 2016, the time will tell that this will be a charter for the people and planet in the twenty-first century.

Kazakhstan presents a unique case of development in Eastern Europe and the CIS region. It is an example of a forward-looking state, as the depth of its quest for development can be seen from its national strategies and sectoral programmes. The country can be proud of its achievements and the roles it has played in the global arena. Good progresses have been made in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the country well positioned to champion in achieving the SDGs.

Today, I hope we will take the moment to understand better the SDGs and familiarize ourselves with the various options the country could adopt in deciding its approach to implementing and contributing towards the realization of the SDGs.

Thank you. 

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