Second Regional High-Level Summit


Almaty welcomes second regional high-level summit on Sustainable Development Goals with Central Asian countries to discuss progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.


Today, June 16, the second regional Summit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Central Asia "Beyond COVID - Towards a Just Recovery in Central Asia" began its work in Almaty. 


The summit i.organized by the Government of Kazakhstan in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kazakhstan, with financial support from the European Union and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).


The second regional summit will bring together political leaders of Central Asian governments, international experts, representatives of internationa.organizations, private sector and civil society from Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries.

Alikhan Smailov, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Usha Rao-Monari, UN Deputy Secretary General and UNDP Assistant Administrator, addressed the summit with welcoming remarks.


The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Alikhan Smailov, noted that regional cooperation has always been one of the country's main priorities.


The Republic of Kazakhstan reaffirms its commitment to achieving the 2030 Agenda, as evidenced by the inclusion of SDG indicators in national development strategies and programs. The Coordinating Council on SDGs functions in Kazakhstan for effective implementation of the adopted commitments. For the purpose of institutional strengthening, the Council's chairmanship has been raised to the level of Prime Minister since this year. Kazakhstan has started development of the New Economic Policy with active participation of business community and experts of international financia.organizations. 

At the end of his speech, Alikhan Smailov emphasized that further expansion of comprehensive cooperation and operational communications between countries and sectors, with active interaction with UN agencies, will contribute to building a prosperous, strong and united Central Asia.

Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnership, also welcomed the summit participants by video message.


EU Commissioner Urpilainen stressed the EU's commitment to helping Central Asia achieve the SDGs:


«We support Central Asia in building a more sustainable and inclusive future and advancing regional dialogue. Our new Global Gateway strategy will help connect Europe and its partners through investments in sustainable, high-quality infrastructure, inclusive youth development, and more sustainable healthcare systems in the region».

The Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Head of the Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic Akylbek Japarov, Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kohir Rasulzoda, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov and Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Muhammetguly Muhammedov also addressed the Summit participants with welcoming remarks.


The geopolitical situation in the world and the global challenges posed by the pandemic will require, more than ever, a constructive dialogue and consolidated efforts by countries in the region to achieve sustainable development in all spheres of life for citizens, especially the most vulnerable populations.


All stakeholders - government, business, civil society, academia, and internationa.organizations - have a role to play in ensuring that the necessary steps are taken to achieve sustainable development.


Vice-Minister of National Economy of Kazakhstan Abzal Abdikarimov, speaking at the Samiit session, said:


«Today, we are facing various regional challenges that can bring us closer to achieving the SDGs by 2030. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires the active participation not only of the government, but also of all stakeholders willing to contribute to their realization».


A number of world-class experts will also speak at the Summit, including renowned economist and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University (USA) Jeffrey Sachs; Johannes F. Lynn, Senior Fellow of the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution (USA); Shiv Somshwar, Professor at Columbia University (USA) and Sciences Po University (France); Hanan Ahli, Director of the UAE Federal Center for Competitiveness and Statistics; Hanan Ahli, Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Academy of Sciences (Estonia); and others.


Achieving the SDGs requires a holistic approach. Presentations by speakers will reveal key trends and ways to improve them in financing the SDGs, partnerships for sustainable development, digitalization of public services as a gas pedal for achieving the SDGs, and so on.


This day's thematic presentations began with a discussion of how Central Asian countries can come together to build synergies for sustainable development.


Jeffrey Sachs noted that in the context of global challenges, all Central Asian countries must cooperate in their efforts to achieve sustainable development. Professor Sachs mentioned the reduction of carbon neutrality, transition to 5G and other challenges. Also, in the context of global challenges, the Central Asian countries should carry out six transformations: transform education, improve health care, enhance culture, develop agriculture and digitalization, continue to work on establishing and strengthening cooperation.


The sessions on the second day of the Summit will address the most important areas in achieving the SDGs. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequality and threatened recent gains in closing the gap. The focus will be on the role of women and youth in adopting new technologies and taking bold, effective steps to benefit from a new, greener economy.


Climate change is one of humanity's key issues today. The session will focus on the mobilization of public and private funds for an equitable green recovery and how to overcome financial constraints by applying effective tools, such as the Integrated National Financing Mechanism.


Financing the SDGs requires the mobilization of different financial flows. The session will present the progress made by Central Asian countries in establishing the NFMs. Countries will share their experiences in implementing the structural elements of the CNFM and lessons learned


The first regional SDG Summit was held in November 2019 in Almaty and focused on financing the global development agenda.





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