Side event on SDGs
On July 15, a Side event was held at the High-Level Political Forum in New York, USA.
The Side event is a parallel presentations of the Voluntary National Review, an event where all stakeholders and participants are given the opportunity to engage in informal, in-depth discussions to receive recommendations on issues addressed during the General Debate and the High Level Panel Meetings.
Human-centered development of Kazakhstani society implies improvement of the quality of life of people and future generations where cooperation of all stakeholders is of great importance.
The moderator of the event, Lawyer for Human Rights, Dr. Khalida Azhigulova, welcoming the participants, noted the high degree of commitment of Kazakhstan to the implementation of the Agenda 2030.
According to Alibek Kuantyrov, Minister of National Economy in Kazakhstan, the well-being of children must be taken into account when implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
In his welcoming speech, he noted that in recent years, localization of the SDGs as a tool for implementing the Sustainable Development Agenda has received increasing attention from major global and regional organizations working in the field of sustainable development.
"Kazakhstan already has a basis for the implementation of the SDGs at the regional level. Thus, there is an institutional framework for the implementation of the SDGs, which plays an important role in the effective implementation of global commitments," Kuantyrov said.
A Coordinating Council on SDGs was established in Kazakhstan, national indicators were approved, a comprehensive national mechanism for financing of SDGs is being developed, and many other activities are being implemented.
The principles of sustainability and inclusiveness form the basis of the National Development Plan of the Republic of Kazakhstan by 2025. Localization of strategic goals will be carried out through national projects, taking into account economic, social and environmental aspects.
Kuantyrov expressed confidence that the event is an important platform for the exchange of experiences between participants and countries to promote localization of the SDGs with a special focus on the well-being of children.
"The emphasis on the well-being of children is not accidental. One in three citizens of our country is a child. We can firmly assert that children are the direct and indirect beneficiaries of all state support measures. Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared 2022 the "Year of Children. In his address, the President noted that care for children should be at the center of state policy. After all, the well-being of today's children is a reliable guarantee of the country's successful future," concluded the head of the Ministry of Economy.
UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey noted the following in her speech:
She also assured that the UN and all of its 27 organizations are ready to support Kazakhstan in achieving its national targets and the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Kazakhstan Yakup Beris in his speech emphasized that the Second Voluntary National Review, presented by Kazakhstan on July 15, is an indicator of the country's many achievements in a variety of areas.
"The country's success at the national level has made it possible to move to the regional scale of work on the implementation of the SDGs. For example, the Regional Platform on SDGs for Central Asian countries was recently created," said Mr. Beris.
According to the head of the Foundation for Sustainable Rural Development, Ksenia Verba, there is an outflow of population in the villages, and this trend is increasing every day.
The speaker told about the projects realized by the Foundation. One of them is an educational project "Capacity building of rural schools in Kazakhstan. In five rural schools the newest techniques from schools of large cities are used. By the end of the year, 22 schools will participate in the project.
In addition to the development of rural schools, the Fund for Sustainable Rural Development opens up access to quality medical laboratory services for the rural population. Under the project Medical Laboratory Opening Program, the Foundation provides grants to local residents to open rural laboratories. 12 laboratories have been opened in Kazakhstan today. By the end of the year it is planned to open 30 more labs.
The Fund for Sustainable Rural Development has not left aside the issue of ecological tourism, which is based on the principles of sustainable use of natural resources (Leave No Trace), where grants are also given to guest houses, training programs are conducted and the basic tourist routes are equipped - the Katon-Karagai Tourism Development Program.
UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan Artur van Diesen noted in his speech that the Government of Kazakhstan has achieved good results in educational reforms, but with new challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, new challenges have been identified.
"The government of Kazakhstan quickly oriented itself during the quarantine period, when it was necessary to switch from full-time education to distance learning. And here new difficulties related to the access of children from the category of socially vulnerable, children from rural areas to computer equipment and high-speed Internet were revealed. It is important for Kazakhstan to develop inclusive education, communication technologies for all groups of children and protect children from dangerous content on the Internet," the speaker emphasized.
As we know, in Kazakhstan 9 ministries and departments are involved in ensuring the rights of children, at the local level - 1000 organizations of education, health, and social protection. The Committee for the Protection of Children's Rights of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan is defined as a coordinating and specialized agency taking comprehensive measures to protect children's rights and their well-being.
From the speech of Dulat Jekebaev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Committee for the Protection of Children's Rights of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
"One of the indicators of a country's well-being is the well-being of children. Kazakhstan is working hard in this direction.
The speaker talked about the work on the index of child well-being in Kazakhstan, which was launched in 2021 by experts of the Economic Research Institute under the leadership of the Ministry of Education and with the support of UNICEF.
"When testing the draft methodology of the Index, we also tried to take into account the opinions of young beneficiaries and their parents, residents of all regions of the country," added Dulat Zhekebayev.
One of the well-known cases of localization of SDGs in Kazakhstan is the "Mother's House" project. The project is unique in the region, where its main goal is the eradication of social orphanhood. PF "ANA YYI" implements a significant country program aimed at improving child well-being. Its director Anar Rakhimbayeva, telling about the activity of the fund, noted that the main purpose of "the House of mothers" - the eradication of social orphanhood in Kazakhstan.
According to her, it all started with the question: "What should be done to prevent children from going to orphanages?
Today there are 21 "Mother's Houses" in 18 regions of the country. For 9 years, 5,592 women have received timely targeted assistance, including housing, food, medical care, everything they need to live in conditions as close to home as possible for up to 6 months. "Mama's House prevents 69% of abandonment of children under the age of 1.5 and makes a significant contribution to the reduction of child abandonment.
In addition to the Mama's Home project, there is an Adoption Agency, which provides professional training, support for foster families and a culture of adoption in Kazakhstani society. Such agencies are present in all regions of the country. Thanks to this work 1640 children found families, 3708 parents-candidates were trained and 14389 families were counseled.
In Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan plays a major role in protecting the rights of children abroad.
We know that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan pays special attention to the protection of the rights of children who are outside the jurisdiction of Kazakhstan.
Magzhan Ilyasov, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN, emphasized that investing in children is a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Side event was organized by the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Committee for the Protection of Children's Rights of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the United Nations Development Programme, the Economic Research Institute (ERI), the Sustainable Rural Development Fund and other partners.
The event was attended by representatives of international organizations and development institutions, the expert community, representatives of government agencies of foreign countries, non-governmental organizations, the business community and other stakeholders.