16 July 2019, New York – Kazakhstan presented its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The presentation of the VNR offered an opportunity to demonstrate the country's progress in implementing the SDGs, highlight main challenges and learn from the experience of other countries.
The preparation of the VNR for the first time has enabled Kazakhstan to identify the primary areas where continued work on SDGs is required. UNDP Rapid Integrated Assessment showed that the SDG targets are integrated by 80% into government programs and strategies such as Strategy Kazakhstan-2050 and 2025 Strategic Plan. The Government's main focus in the SDGs localization process now is creating conditions for the further mainstreaming of SDG objectives and indicators into the national planning framework and on ensuring their effective implementation and monitoring.
Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, Kazakhstan has made visible progress in education, entrepreneurship development, access to financial services and funds, poverty reduction and modernization of the judicial system. Over the years of independence, Kazakhstan's GDP per capita has grown over 27 thousand US dollars in PPP terms. Poverty level declined from 34.6% in 1996 to 4.7% in 2018. Kazakhstan ranks 58th among 189 countries in the Human Development Index. 99.8% of Kazakhstan's citizens aged 15 and over belong to the population with a high level of education.
At the same time, there is still a gap in poverty rates in urban and rural areas. There are challenges such as increased greenhouse gas emissions, desertification, and erosion of agricultural lands. The transition to diversiﬁed economic growth, environmental protection and disaster risk reduction remain pertinent issues.
Kazakhstan will continue to work on addressing these challenges as well as creating an inclusive society and infrastructure, addressing systemic issues of inequality, improving measures to protect human and children´s rights, and strengthening relevant institutional structures.
"An important condition for the success of the SDGs is a high degree of integration of the views of all stakeholders in emerging policies and decisions", - emphasized the head of the delegation Vice-Minister of National Economy Mr. Zhaslan Madiyev. "In this regard, the Coordination Council on Sustainable Development Goals was established under the Government of Kazakhstan. Five working groups have been established for the five key SDGs as open platforms for discussion of issues involving all interested parties: NGOs, businesses and international SDG partners. With the support of UNDP, UN Agencies, ADB and others we build an SDG Platform to ensure that no one is left behind".
The delegation of Kazakhstan included representatives of the ministries of National Economy, Foreign Affairs, Labor and Social Protection of Population, Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, as well as JSC Economic Research Institute and Civil Society Development Association (ARGO).
The full review is accessible in English and Russian
You can watch the full video of the VNR presentation here (starts at 1:59:03)
Videoclip is accessible here