Speech by the UNDP Resident Representative a.i. at the LOOP Circular Economy Conference

May 15, 2024


Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed colleagues, 

It is with great pleasure that I address you today at this crucial juncture, where leaders and stakeholders from across the region are coming together to talk about something as important as transitioning to a circular economy.  
As we gather here today, we are confronted with the stark realities of our unsustainable consumption and production patterns, which exert tremendous pressure on our planet's finite resources and exacerbate environmental degradation. In the face of these challenges, the concept of a circular economy emerges as a symbol of hope, offering a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable, regenerative, and inclusive economic model. 

At the forefront of this transition stands the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a global leader in advancing sustainable development and fostering resilience in the face of complex challenges. Founded on the principles of innovation, inclusivity, and partnership, UNDP works tirelessly to support countries in their pursuit of sustainable development pathways that leave no one behind. 

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNDP is deeply committed to promoting circularity and sustainability across various sectors, recognizing the immense potential of such efforts to drive socio-economic progress and environmental stewardship. Through a multi-faceted approach that encompasses policy support, capacity building, and stakeholder engagement, UNDP strives to catalyze transformative change and unlock opportunities for a greener, more resilient future. 

Allow me to brief you on some of the key initiatives spearheaded by UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina to advance circularity and sustainability: 

Firstly, UNDP works closely with national and local authorities to integrate circular economy principles into policy frameworks and development strategies. By providing technical expertise and facilitating multi-stakeholder consultations, UNDP assists in the formulation of inclusive and forward-thinking policies that prioritize resource efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable production practices, 

Secondly, UNDP supports the private sector in BiH to embrace circularity as a driver of innovation, competitiveness, and long-term profitability. Through targeted technical support, knowledge sharing, and access to finance, UNDP empowers businesses to adopt sustainable business models, optimize resource use, and minimize their environmental footprint, 

Thirdly, UNDP places a strong emphasis on raising awareness and building the capacity of local communities and civil society organizations to actively participate in the transition to a circular economy. By organizing training workshops, awareness campaigns, and community-led initiatives, UNDP fosters a culture of sustainability and empowers individuals to become agents of change in their own communities. 

Furthermore, UNDP actively collaborates with development partners, academia, and the wider UN system to leverage synergies, scale up impact, and foster innovation in the pursuit of circularity and sustainability. Through strategic partnerships and collective action, UNDP seeks to amplify its efforts and catalyze systemic change that transcends borders and boundaries. 

In closing, I would like to reaffirm UNDP's unwavering commitment to advancing circularity and sustainability of economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and beyond. As we navigate the complexities of the 21st century, let us seize this moment as an opportunity to reimagine our economies, redefine our priorities, and forge a path towards a future where prosperity is synonymous with sustainability, and where the well-being of people and planet are safeguarded for generations to come. 

Thank you and enjoy the program.