Opening remark by Mr. Norimasa Shimomura UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan at the Dialogue between Deputy Prime Minister and UN Country Team on UN’s Contributions towards Kazakhstan’s work on the SDGs
Speech regarding UN’s Contributions towards Kazakhstan’s work on the SDGs
First Deputy Prime Minister Smailov,
Thank you for taking the time to organize today’s dialogue meeting with the UN country team members in Kazakhstan. The idea of this meeting initially came up when I proposed to Mr. Kusherbayev that we organize a meeting of the UN country team with the President. Today’s meeting will be an excellent precursor for such a meeting in the future.
We are particularly grateful that this meeting is convened by Your Excellency the First Deputy Prime Minister as you have actively chaired the SDGs Coordination Council, which led to Kazakhstan’s successful presentation of its first Voluntary National Review of SDGs at the UN back in July. I’m grateful to both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Economy for continuing to play essential roles throughout this process. Kazakhstan’s commitment to achieving the SDGs continue to be very visible, as President Tokayev participated at the SDGs Summit in New York in September. I encourage all our national partners to even more actively engage, first of all by completing the important task of nationalizing all relevant SDG Targets – Without nationalizing the SDG targets and aligning the State Budget and other resources towards supporting them, it will become very difficult for the country to receive proper recognition it deserves even though much progresses will be achieved in reality.
Now - with the ongoing global reform of the UN’s development system, the UN Secretary-General and Member States have required all UN agencies and entities to work much more closely, coherently, efficiently and effectively under the strengthened leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, who now reports directly to the UN Secretary-General, and provides impartial support to all UN entities working on the ground. More importantly, virtually everything that all UN entities work on in the country must focus on the SDGs and respond to the priorities of the country, and that all those initiatives must be captured and delivered through the new 5-year programme framework of the UN. This new programme framework is called the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework - We have started to formulate it in close partnership with the Government, Civil Society, and other partners, with particular emphasis on leaving no one behind, promoting gender equality and human-rights based approach to development.
As you already know, UN works closely with you, and various State and non-State institutions and partners to help Kazakhstan’s effort to achieve the SDGs. We believe that SDGs can only serve as excellent instrument for Kazakhstan to achieve various OECD standards, and to walk the path towards the top 30 most developed countries. Through the SDG Support Platform project entrusted to UNDP to manage, the UN continues to support the work of the SDGs Coordination Council and its inter-ministerial Working Groups – which I feel can be re-energized to maintain the momentum. SDG target nationalization, SDG localization to the oblast level; consolidation of SDG monitoring framework, and the analysis of SDG financing are some of the important support the UN provides in this context.
But this is far from everything we do in Kazakhstan. We have a wonderful team of 19 UN agencies and other non-resident UN agencies providing technical assistance in the areas of their expertise all contributing to the SDGs. And I was so happy to hear President Tokayev’s remark at the UN General Assembly last month, as most of our agencies’ work are very much in sync with the priorities outlined by the President. Today, I am glad that my colleagues will have the opportunity to showcase - although only in very small fraction - of many important work we do in Kazakhstan, and to seek your feedback on them.
So now, I’d like to pass the floor over to my colleagues. Each presenter will not be speaking only for his or her agency, but will be presenting the salient results, challenges and opportunities of our entire work, clustered around the main pillars of the SDGs.