Statement by Dr. Pratibha Mehta UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Tajikistan during the Voluntary National Review meeting held in Ministry of economic Development and trade of RT, April 25, 2017

Apr 25, 2017


Dear Mr. Davlatzod, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you all on behalf of the United Nations at this event to discuss implementation of Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development Goals in Tajikistan.  As you know, UN Member States including Tajikistan adopted the Agenda 2030 with 17 SDGs in September 2015 in New York and committed to focus on People, Peace, Prosperity for all and preservation of our Planet earth.   

This year, Tajikistan, along with 44 other countries, has voluntarily committed to conducting a National Review of SDG implementation and present it in UN’s High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development which will take place in July in New York under the auspices of UN’s Economic and Social Council. HLPF is a UN mechanism to track and review progress on SDGs and share knowledge, experiences and new and emerging issues. The theme of 2017 HLPF is “Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World” and will focus on in-depth review of SDG 1, 2,,3, 5,  9,14 and SDG 17 aiming to strengthening means of implementation, monitoring and partnerships. This is a fantastic opportunity for Tajikistan to share its experiences and learn from other  countries.

The SDGs are informed by the aspiration of people around the world and unanimously adopted by the UN Member States with a recognition that the State alone will not be able to meet this ambitious agenda and, that, they would need to work in partnership with CSOs and private sector. Therefore, it is very appropriate that the voluntary national review of SDGs progress is also informed by multi-stakeholders. I would like to congratulate the Government of Republic of Tajikistan, in particular the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, for organizing today’s national consultation in a series of similar consultations that are planned at the sub-national level. UNDP is pleased to extend modest financial support and together with all UN Agencies in Tajikistan stand ready to provide technical support for participatory, inclusive and transparent review and to  develop road map for further nationalization  and implementation. 

Since the adoption of SDGs, Tajikistan has taken significant step to start nationalization of SDGs by integrating them in the National Development Strategy, it can now go a step further to also mainstream them in sectoral strategies. Many democratic countries are also nationalizing their global commitment by adopting the SDGs through national legislative process to ensure government accountability  to their parliaments.

Tajikistan’s experience and lessons of MDG implementation is very relevant in scoping SDG implementation process. Despite a devastating civil war which ended just before the adoption of the MDGs, it is highly commendable that Tajikistan has largely achieved MDG goals related to poverty, education, and global partnership and made good progress on some environmental sustainability targets, better access to drinking water and sanitation and reducing infant and child mortality as well as maternal mortality. However, MDGs remains an unfinished agenda, with infant and child under 5 mortality still among the highest in the region, mixed progress on gender equality goal and youth employment target. However, when progress is further dis-agreegated at the sub-national level, almost all MDGs remain unachieved. It is important to highlight that the 17 SDGs’ also include the MDGs, but with a much higher ambition and an indivisible commitment to sustainability, equality and equity to “leave no one behind”. Therefore, completing the unfinished MDG agenda should be a top priority, in addition to addressing all forms of economic, social and environmental vulnerabilities in the country that can become bottleneck in achieving sustainability and equity. This would require all efforts to strengthen governance at all levels to remove institutional bottlenecks through cross-sectoral policy reforms, backed by capacity, budget allocation, intersectoral coordination and monitoring system to ensure that services and other benefits reach people who are most vulnerable and excluded.   

It is also important to highlight that the global financing trends indicate that in the coming years, ODA will inevitably decline, while public expectations will continue to grow. This is one of the reasons for UN Member States to commit in Addis Abba in July 2016 to work on innovative ways to mobilize domestic and alternative global development finance through public and private channels and develop strong partnerships with CSOs, private sector and cross boarder cooperation.

Today’s consultation is an opportunity to hear views of various partners on the progress made so far and what actions are needed to further nationalize the SDGs to translate  global commitment made in the UN in local accountability to meet aspirations of Tajik citizens; what actions are needed to meet the ambition of sustainability and equity and to leave no one behind; what are the key institutional and implementation bottlenecks that must be removed and how;  what role CSOs and private sector can play in meeting the SDGs;   I hope that the collective wisdom in the room today will help share the Voluntary national review and inform the future road map.

The countdown to achieving the 17 SDGs began on the day UN Member States signed off on the Agenda in September 2015. Time is of essence. Speed of action at national level will determine if the world leaders will keep their promise to eradicate all forms of poverty, ensure prosperity for all, sustained peace and preservation of this planet.  

In conclusion, on behalf of the UN system in Tajikistan, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all our government and development partners for their collaboration and we look forward to working with all.

I wish you all very fruitful dialogue and discussions.

Thank you!

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