23 June 2020
Regional development seen as priority of SDG efforts in Belarus
MINSK, 23 June (BelTA) - Regional development should be a priority in the work to achieve the SDGs in Belarus. Its main drivers will be specialization, integrated approach, enterprise and cooperation, Vice Speaker of the Council of the Republic, national coordinator for the Sustainable Development Goals Anatoly Isachenko said at a videoconference meeting of the Council for Sustainable Development, BelTA has learned.
Members of the Council for Sustainable Development, representatives of the parliamentary and partner groups, international partners discussed the work carried out in Belarus to achieve the SDGs, outlined an action plan for 2020-2021. Anatoly Isachenko noted that the key attention is on the draft of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Belarus for the period up to 2035. “It will be a framework document for preparing strategies, programs and plans for the development of industries and regions. It is the work on regional development that should become a priority, and its main drivers will be specialization, integrated approach, enterprise and cooperation. Regional groups need to step up their activities, including the work on regional development plans and strategies. They should be aimed at creating equal opportunities for people, regardless of the region of the country and places of residence,” said the vice speaker. Anatoly Isachenko asked representatives of all regions to make proposals to the plan of work of the Council for Sustainable Development for 2021.
The national coordinator called for increased efforts to raise awareness of the public about the SDGs. He said that a new video to promote the SDGs is being made and will be launched on TV channels soon. A series of thematic billboards is currently in development.
Anatoly Isachenko noted that the epidemiological situation has made adjustments to the work to achieve the SDGs. Under the current circumstances, attention has been focused on the work with international partners to attract additional support to fight COVID-19. Part of the international technical assistance project funds has been used to buy medical products. He thanked the partners for signing a new project to support the SDG architecture. This will allow intensifying the work in the second half of the year, without losing the momentum.
The vice speaker recalled that the country has created an effective mechanism to achieve the SDGs - the national architecture of governance. It includes the parliamentary and partner groups to implement an integrated approach, to engage all interested parties. The parliamentary group consists of members of the Council of the Republic, and members of the House of Representatives. The council is a platform for exchanging views and discussing the results. It encompasses four main areas: economic, social, environmental, and monitoring and evaluation of activities to achieve the SDGs.
The result of this joint work is that Belarus is now among the leaders in terms of national efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda. In 2019, the country ranked 23rd out of 162 countries on the Sustainable Development Index.