Your Excellency, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Mr. Zavkizoda Zavki Amin,
Excellencies Ministers and Ambassadors and representatives of national and international organizations
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to begin by congratulating the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and all the government entities for completing the new MTDP for 2021-2025 and thank the Minister of MeDT for organizing this high-level multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder meeting to review national priorities identified to guide country’s development pathway in the next 5 years and accelerate achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and other global commitments of Tajikistan.
Thank you, Excellency, for highlighting the contribution of UNDP assistance. Our main objective was to enable MEDT to promote whole of government and whole of society approach to planning process by creating an integration and coordination platform with pool of experts under the MEDT authority and help leverage technical assistance from other UN Agencies and partners for consultative SDG centric programming using evidence, including COVID impact.
I would like to thank MEDT for the opportunity to all development partners to comment on the earlier draft and would like to commend the efforts made to integrate complex issues and ambitious agendas in one unified development roadmap. More particularly for mainstreaming SDGs, emphasizing prevention and mitigation of domestic and external vulnerabilities and risks such as COVID19 and climate change, transition to green and digital economy and seize opportunities of the 4th industrial revolution, promoting regional cooperation and, for the first time, including rule of law as a priority in the MTDP. There is always room for improvement and today’s discussion is another opportunity for us to share our views.
I would like to conclude with few thoughts specially in the context of COVID pandemic. The on-going crises with interlinked health, social, economic, environmental and political dimensions is testing every country’s capacity to respond and there are several lessons relevant for advancing sustainable development. Globally, and in Tajikistan COVID has disproportionately impacted lives and livelihoods of women, youth, migrants and disable population; value chains, jobs and income are destroyed; poor have become poorer; thousands of micro, small and medium businesses have collapsed and Health systems, including water and sanitation, are under severe pressure. Recent Human Development Report issued by UNDP indicates that in just one year, human development has reversed by 20 years and there is a risk that SDGs may not be achieved. At this juncture some tough choices for value-based development and new approaches can go a long way in advancing sustainable, inclusive and equitable development.
For example, making conscious choice to target socio - economic development efforts towards vulnerable population to reduce gender, income and all forms of inequalities and to leave no one behind; introducing robust social protection, new skills development; incentives for quick recovery of MSMEs and private sector; job led growth; quality public service delivery especially in rural areas; etc.
Secondly, strengthening means of implementing the MTDP such as partnership, technology, data and development financing. As such ODA will no longer be a viable option to finance ambitious development goals. MTDP can benefit from financing strategy to effectively unlock sources of finance such as from investible resources available globally, increasing financing from domestic public and private sector and optimizing spending. COVID lessons can help us reset our development choices to build a better future for all.
MTDP is the most important programme for the government to navigate sustainable development pathway and for the international development partners it is the most important basis for aligning their support to help achieve national priorities and SDGs.
We look forward to our continuing collaboration to make Tajikistan prosperous, healthy and sustainable nation.