The First Regional Summit on Financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is taking place in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The main agenda is mobilizing finance for SDGs with a particular emphasis on SDG 6 - ensuring the availability and rational use of water resources and sanitation for all, SDG 7 - access to affordable and reliable energy sources, as well as SDG 13 - taking measures to combat climate change and its consequences.

"In 2015 Kazakhstan along with other UN member countries committed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The assessment of Kazakhstan's strategic documents revealed that 80% of SDGs were already reflected in the country's state planning system. In 2018 Kazakhstan, working closely with UN agencies, introduced an institutional architecture to help achieve the SDGs," - said the First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov in his welcoming remarks.

Representatives of Central Asian governments, as well as leading international and regional experts in ecology, finance, tourism and development took part in the Summit.

“As UNDP we tend to look at financing SDGs not only as mobilizing finances, but as a matter of transformational change to align public and private resources to national development objective. We also look how to unlock private capital and leverage international resources to finance “green” agenda”, - said Gerd Trogemann, UNDP Regional Hub Manager in Istanbul.

Specific SDG implementation projects under the auspices of Asian Development Bank (ADB) were presented by Mr. Werner Liepach, ADB Director General for Central and West Asia: "ADB supports the creation of a water hub in Kazakhstan. This is a project implemented jointly with the Government of Kazakhstan. We plan that this project will become a center for the introduction of new technologies. With the help of satellite communications technology and drones, we will develop the digitization of pastures and fields to understand water availability and improve irrigation, increase agricultural productivity. Another example is ADB's commitment to the implementation of SDG 5 on gender equality. Today we are signing an agreement on the provision of a loan of 100 million USD to Housing Construction Savings Bank for the provision of mortgage loans to women."

Roza Otunbaeva, Former President of Kyrgyz Republic, highlighted the importance of creating a Central Asian hub for the implementation of the SDGs: "The current deficit of funds for the implementation of SDGs around the world is 400 billion US dollars annually. In this regard, a cooperation of all countries in the search for optimal ways of financing the SDGs is necessary".

Introducing the experience of Azerbaijan, Minister of Energy Parviz Shakhbazov said: "Azerbaijan takes into account SDGs in its domestic policy. Our country has undertaken a new economic reform that helped us to create more than 2M jobs from 2003 to 2019, while the poverty level decreased from 50% to 5%."

"Funds & efforts from the government alone are not enough to finance and achieve SDGs. We need to mobilize the private sector not only at local and regional levels, but also internationally. When these mechanisms will start working together, we will reach Agenda 2030,” – emphasized Mr. Yakup Beris, UNDP Permanent Representative in Kazakhstan.

Tomorrow, November 16, Summit participants will discuss issues of financing the conservation of water resources, the transition to energy efficiency and green technologies, as well as issues of gender equality and mobilization of local communities.

The first regional Summit was organized by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

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