UN Mobilizes Diplomatic Corps Ahead of the SDG Summit
12 September 2023
Pre-SDG Summit briefing held in Astana
In anticipation of the landmark 2023 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit, scheduled to take place on 18-19 September 2023 during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United Nations Office in Kazakhstan convened a high-profile briefing attended by over 50 representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Kazakhstan. This event conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of National Economy of Kazakhstan and the Economic Research Institute, gathered participants to delve into critical issues pertaining to sustainable development. The event stressed the critical need for bold and transformative action at the local level.
As we reach the halfway point towards the 2030 deadline, the SDGs find themselves at a crossroads. Recent assessments indicate that a mere 15% of the targets are on track, while approximately 37% have either made no progress or have regressed below the 2015 baseline. Under current trends, 575 million people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030, closing gender gaps is projected to take almost 300 years. For instance, in Kazakhstan, wealth distribution remains skewed, with 10% of the population holding 66% of the national wealth. Furthermore, 21.3% of the land is suffering from degradation, and a considerable 8-year life expectancy gap persists between men and women. However, it is worth noting that Kazakhstan boasts a 73% decrease in maternal mortality rate since 1993 and is the most urbanized country in Central Asia with 62% urban population.
The upcoming SDG Summit is poised to unite Heads of State and Government to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the progress made in realizing the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs. The world leaders are expected to unveil ambitious global commitments alongside national pledges towards SDG transformation. The culmination of the Summit will be a negotiated political declaration.
In her address to the distinguished audience, UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey, emphasized: "Progress toward the SDGs is slow everywhere, but it's obvious that the world's most vulnerable are suffering the most because we haven't succeeded together. But despite setbacks, change remains possible. At the Summit, in addition to the political declaration, we'll also encourage countries to make voluntary commitments for actions that will speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Kazakhstan, like many other places, is at a crucial point. We need countries to more actively engage the SDGs in their plans, policies, and strategies for development. This is how we'll create a unified and effective approach to sustainable development”.
Government, media, civil society, the private sector, youth and other stakeholders, all have a key role in the implementation of the SDGs. Their participation will be essential to the success of the SDG Summit and its follow-up. The event participants highlighted the global impact of the SDGs and how achieving these goals can lead to a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous world for all.