IV Mogilev Regional Forum on Sustainable Development

Welcoming address by Armen Martirosyan, UNDP's Resident Representative a.i. in Belarus to the participants of the IV Mogilev Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.

February 16, 2024


Dear colleagues, 

On behalf of the United Nations Development Program in the Republic of Belarus, I welcome the participants of the Fourth Mogilev Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.

Climate and economic crises, rising cost of living require decisive, coordinated and global solutions from the international community.

According to the UN Global Sustainable Development Report for 2023, none of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be fully achieved by 2030 with the SDGs achievement progress thus far being only 12%.

Against the backdrop of complex crises and challenges, it is clear that the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved by individual stakeholders.

Today, achieving the global goals at the regional level is more important than ever. Out of 169 targets of the 17 SDGs, 110 require local solutions.

Belarus ranks 34th among 163 countries of the world in the Sustainable Development Goals ranking and maintains positive dynamics in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

I would like to thank the leadership of the Mogilev region for systematic work on development and implementation of integrated solutions to achieve the SDGs at the regional level. UNDP supports the efforts of the region in developing local entrepreneurship, introducing energy efficient technologies, and promoting environmental education.

Local initiative, experience and partnerships help Mogilev region to maintain a leading position in the development of the regional architecture for achieving the SDGs.

UNDP welcomes the Mogilev region’s efforts to implement the regional Sustainable Development Strategy for the period until 2035. It is important that in the second phase of the Strategy implementation special attention is paid to digitalization and innovation in urban development.  

According to the UN, more than half of the world's population (55%) live in cities. By 2050, this figure may reach 70%. Therefore, the creation of comfortable and quality urban environment is one of the main aspects of sustainable development.

Successful implementation of digital solutions requires knowledge, skills, funding and partnerships.

Together with national and local authorities, we help implement innovative and digital solutions in urban infrastructure, waste management, and energy efficiency.

These solutions consider local needs and priorities; they utilize both local expertise and international experience in sustainable urban development.

We have invited Calum Handforth, an international expert on digitalization from the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development, based in Singapore, to participate in the Forum.  

Globally, the Center facilitates the sharing of best practices in technology and innovation for development and brings together leading experts, analysts, practitioners and businesses.  

Calum will join online and share best global practices in the development of smart and digital cities.

I am pleased to note that for the fourth time Mogilev has become a platform for discussions, exchange of knowledge and experience on how to achieve the SDGs at the regional level.  I hope that this work will become an additional incentive for other regions to start developing their sustainable development strategies. I thank you for your attention and wish everyone productive discussions at the Forum!