The Sustainable Development Goals in Kazakhstan
The UN system in Kazakhstan stands firmly in support of the country’s aspiration to join the ranks of the 30 most developed countries of the world by achieving the OECD standards. We remain convinced that the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs are an excellent instrument that can help Kazakhstan to effectively achieve its development aspirations as articulated in Strategy 2050 and the subsequent reform agenda.
28 September 2023
Six Transitions: Investment Pathways to Deliver the SDGs
Bold, sweeping and ambitious, the17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all world leaders as essential facets of the sustainable future we want; of a world transformed for the benefit of all humanity. These goals are deeply intertwined – any action taken to achieve one can advance some others. This means an integrated policy approach is needed to achieve the SDGs – one that navigates the synergies and trade-offs in taking a certain line of action. Too much is at stake and transformation is a matter of utmost urgency. Rooted in the 17 Goals, there are transformative entry points or - key transitions that can have catalytic and multiplier effects across the SDGs. This includes (1) food systems; (2) energy access and affordability; (3) digital connectivity; (4) education; (5) jobs and social protection; and (6) climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. This brief from the UN Development Coordination Office outlines this integrated approach and the investment pathways to fulfill the 2030 Agenda.
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06 September 2023
UN calls to turbocharge action at landmark 2023 SDG Summit
In the run-up to the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit scheduled during the United Nations General Assembly high-level week on 18-19 September 2023 in New York, the United Nations Office in Kazakhstan hosted the media briefing, bringing together leading media representatives and influencers in Kazakhstan to discuss the imperative issues surrounding sustainable development. At the mid-way point to 2030, the SDGs are in deep trouble. Only 15% of the targets are on track and some 37% have either seen no movement or regressed below the 2015 baseline. The number of people living in extreme poverty is higher than it was four years ago, and hunger is now back at 2005 levels. It will take 286 years to close gender gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws. For example, in Kazakhstan 10% of the population owns 66% of national wealth, 21.3% of the land is degraded and life expectancy gap between men and women is 8 years. At the same time Kazakhstan is the most urbanised country in Central Asia with almost 62% of the population living in urban areas, has 73% decrease in maternal mortality rate since 1993 and 100% access to electricity. The SDG Summit will unite Heads of State and Government at the United Nations Headquarters to assess the progress made in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs. The world leaders are expected to make bold global commitments as well as national commitments to SDG transformation. The outcome of the Summit will be a negotiated political declaration. Addressing the audience, UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey noted: "Halfway towards the 2030 deadline, the promise of the SDGs is in danger. In Kazakhstan, as in many parts of the world, we stand at a critical juncture. As we gather for the 2023 SDG Summit, we acknowledge the unique challenges we face. We are tasked with not only reigniting our momentum but also forging a resilient path forward. Together, we can turn adversity into opportunity, and through concerted efforts, we can build a future that leaves no one behind”. 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. Background information 2023 SDG Summit The 2023 SDG Summit will be convened on 18-19 September 2023, during the United Nations General Assembly high-level week. Heads of State and Government will gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to follow-up and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG Summit will be chaired by the President of the General Assembly. The outcome of the Summit will be a negotiated political declaration. This will be the second SDG Summit since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015. It will build on other major events in 2023, including international conferences on the least developed countries, water, disaster risk reduction and food systems. It will also be a step towards the Summit of the Future to be convened at the United Nations in 2024. SDG Summit: https://www.un.org/en/conferences/SDGSummit2023 UNGA High-level week: https://www.un.org/en/high-level-week-2023
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15 June 2023
UN at the Astana International Forum: Amplifying Global Dialogue and Cooperation
Last week, the vibrant city of Astana in Kazakhstan hosted the highly anticipated two-day Astana International Forum. This highly anticipated Forum has brought together over 1000 participants from 70 countries: global leaders, policymakers, and influential individuals from diverse disciplines. The United Nations was the strategic partner of the Forum and supported the event by providing high-level speakers and coordinating the participation of several UN agencies. The participants included notable figures, such as Ms Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General; Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary; Mr Miroslav Jenča, UN Assistant Secretary-General; Ms Ivana Živković, UN Assistant Secretary-General UNDP Assistant Administrator; Mr David Chikvaidze, Chef de Cabinet, UN Office in Geneva and Mr Dmitry Mariyasin, UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary. The primary objective of the event was to facilitate an inspiring and thought-provoking dialogue, fostering collaboration and shaping the trajectory of humanity's future. Under the overarching theme of "Tackling Challenges Through Dialogue: Towards Cooperation, Development and Progress", the Forum served as a dynamic platform for exchanging insights, exploring cutting-edge technologies, and deliberating on effective strategies to address urgent global concerns. During the two-day event, the Forum participants discussed the UN’s role in ensuring peace and security, advancing women’s leadership, financing the green transition, and issues regarding the 2030 Agenda. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the Forum participants via video message: “Global leaders must act now to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals, reform an unfair financial architecture and address common threats at a series of important summits starting with the SDG Summit in September. Building on these, the Summit of the Future next year will consider how to take forward many of the proposals of our Common Agenda, and the Astana International Forum provides a new opportunity to discuss these issues and try to collaborative, sustainable and innovative solutions for all”. President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, opening the Forum, proposed to the global community to hold a Regional Climate Summit in Kazakhstan in 2026 under the UN auspices and other international organizations to facilitate dialogue and find adequate solutions to climate change. He also emphasized the UN’s exceptional role in strengthening peace and ensuring security. The President stressed the need to carry out a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, noting the importance of its expansion. Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General continued to focus on climate issues, stressing the importance of safeguarding water resources and glaciers in Central Asia. In this region, glaciers have shrunk by 30% over the past 50 years, due to climate disruption. Azoulay called for greater scientific cooperation, risk assessment and early warning systems enhancement. Shaping a Better World: the UN's Role Amidst Global Challenges Specific panel sessions of the Forum focused on the UN’s Role in ensuring peace and security, as well as whether the Organization needs to be reformed. “The UN was created after the Second World War. The situation at that time was completely different. But the structures today are the same. So, definitely, reform is not only needed, it’s long overdue”, said ASG Miroslav Jenča. The participants proposed that greater interaction between the UN Secretariat and member states is crucial. All the experts agreed that global challenges require global solutions. Another dimension of discussions highlighted women empowerment issues. Michaela Friberg-Storey, UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan, supported the idea that women should be more active in and around peace negotiations and the security field, as they can bring a tangible impact on peacekeeping environments, helping to protect women’s rights and support the role of women in building peace. Speakers highlighted the importance of joint initiatives to combat sexual and gender-based violence, which is the key to unlocking many other issues related to women’s and girls’ empowerment. In this regard, activities of the EU-UN joint Spotlight Initiative Regional Program for Central Asia and Afghanistan were highlighted, which is spearheading efforts to combat gender-based violence. SDG Media Zone - Where Communication Meets Sustainable Development Moreover, the UN organized The SDG Media Zone on the sidelines of the event, designed to share information and knowledge on sustainable development, global and local activities of the UN entities and priorities of the UN Country Team’s work in Kazakhstan. Over 40 Forum participants have joined the conversation in the SDG Media Zone on the transformation and solutions needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda and hear how the global community are accelerating progress towards this goal. UN high-level officials visited the SDG Media Zone and shared their views on accelerating the 2030 Agenda: H.E. Armida Alisjahbana, USG and ESCAP Executive Secretary, David Chikvaidze, Chef de Cabinet UNOG, Dmitry Mariyasin, UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary. H.E. Armida Alisjahbana noted that Kazakhstan should prioritize SDGs with multiplier effects in its implementation: “I would say that the SDG goal of quality education will have the greatest impact, with a multiplier effect on other SDGs such as health, gender, and hunger. SDGs should involve everyone, not just the government. Media is vital in promoting SDG ideas because they allow direct engagement with the audience”. Among the honorary guests were also President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Margareta Cederfelt, prominent journalists Richard Quest (CNN), Ali Aslan (ex-CNN), Ambassador Barlybay Sadykov, etc. “SDGs represent the way forward, acting as a window to the future. It is crucial for all of us to strive towards implementing them in our daily lives, making conscious choices regarding the transport we use, the food we consume, and various other aspects”, concluded Margareta Cederfelt. There has also been a significant response from stakeholders, including international organizations, business, civil society, academia, youth and others, who, through a wide range of actions and initiatives, have identified entry points to advance SDGs implementation. The United Nations system has also been undergoing the deepest reform in decades to better respond to the paradigm shift at the heart of the 2030 Agenda. Beyond the stage, the Astana International Forum unfolded as a captivating marketplace of ideas. The Forum served as a significant platform for global leaders, policymakers, and experts to come together and engage in constructive dialogue on the eve of the SDG Summit, which will take place on 18-19 September at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Through robust discussions, the Forum aimed to foster international cooperation, development, and progress in tackling the pressing challenges facing our world.
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