Today, experts from Economic Research Institute JSC, representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan told about the implementation of the United Nations Agenda on sustainable development until 2030 and the progress of Kazakhstan's preparations of the Second Voluntary National Review at a press conference in the Central Communications Service under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
“Since independence, Kazakhstan has demonstrated its commitment to the principles of sustainable development. The Kazakhstan’s adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda is a consistent step and the result of an urgent need of globalization and economic growth in the current conditions,” said Alikhan Abakanov, Economic Research Institute Deputy Chairman.
“As the leading UN agency, the United Nations Development Programme has supported Kazakhstan in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals since its adoption in 2015,” said Vitalie Vremis UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Kazakhstan, opening the press conference.
Approaches to develop national coordination architecture have been proposed to the Government of Kazakhstan together with development partners and UN agencies. As a result, an institutional architecture, facilitating the achievement of the SDGs has been introduced and is operating effectively in Kazakhstan. SDG Coordination Council operates under the leadership of the First Deputy Prime Minister. This is an open platform for discussions involving all stakeholders. The work of the council is performed across five main areas of the SDGs - People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership and Peace. Since May 2021, the SDG Implementation Monitoring Committee has been operating. This is a consultative and advisory body under the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In 2019, UNDP partnered with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on a new initiative to create a multi-stakeholder SDG platform. The platform brought together more than 1500 stakeholders from the public and private sectors, national and local levels to facilitate dialogue that will support efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda in Kazakhstan.
Currently, Economic Research Institute, together with the Ministry of National Economy, with the support of UNDP in Kazakhstan, has prepared a draft of the second Voluntary National Review (VNR).
“For the preparation of the Second VNR, the UN recommends five priority goals to countries each year. In the current one, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 14: Marine Ecosystem Conservation, SDG 15: Terrestrial Ecosystem Conservation, and SDG 17: Partnerships are identified as priorities,” noted Bakytgul Khambar, director of the SDG Secretariat at the Economic Research Institute at her speech.
According to Ms. Khambar, voting was held during consultations in 17 regions of the country in which more than 2000 representatives of local executive authorities, citizens and all stakeholders took part to identify priority areas for the implementation of the SDGs in Kazakhstan. Participants identified the following priority SDGs: inequality (SDG1), citizen health and well-being (SDG3), quality education (SDG4), access to clean water (SDG6), decent work and economic growth (SDG8) as priority SDGs. These goals will also be addressed in the preparation of the VNR.
“The formation of a new architecture of state planning from 2021 is an important moment in promoting the 2030 Agenda and fulfillment of one of Kazakhstan’s obligations. For these purposes, national SDG indicators have also been approved in 2021, which will contribute to monitoring of the SDGs implementation in the country,” added Bakytgul Khambar.
She noted that in a three-year period since the first presentation of the Voluntary National Review, Kazakhstan has performed a number of important initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, measures have been developed for targeted social support of the population, work for the development of a comprehensive national strategy to finance projects in the sustainable development goals has begun, work on the carbon neutrality of the economy is in progress, state documents on gender equality, expanded access to educational and health institutions and many other areas are being analyzed.
The Economic Research Institute, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme in Kazakhstan, has performed extensive analytical work using tools such as the Development Finance Assessment and Rapid Integrated Assessment, the results of which are also reflected in the Second VNR.
“The Development Finance Assessment showed that it is necessary to integrate SDG budgeting principles into the budget process. And in 2022, the Economic Research Institute conducted a Rapid Integrated Assessment on the coverage of the SDGs by budget programs. According to preliminary data, the coverage of the SDGs by budget programs is 46%. Research in this area continues today and will be carried out at the subnational level using the example of three pilot regions,” summed up Bakytgul Khambar, director of the SDG Coordination Council Secretariat at the Economic Research Institute.
“We have switched from creating an effective monitoring system supported by nationalized SDG indicators to the process of localization of the SDGs and financing the SDGs. For example, we recently provided technical support to the Kyzylorda regional Akimat with a Rapid Integrated Assessment of the recently adopted Development Plan of Kyzylorda for 2021-2025. This tool helps to determine the level of alignment and integration of the SDGs with local development strategies and programs. Over the past year, we have been working side by side with the Government of Kazakhstan to develop the Integrated National Financing Framework,” said Vitalie Vremis.
“Kazakhstan ranked 59th out of 165 countries in the Global Ranking of Countries on the Achievement of SDGs in 2021, gaining 71.6 out of 100 possible points, improving its positions by 6 points compared to last year (65 place and 71.1 points),” said Banu Nurgaziyeva, President of the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan. She also emphasized that the SDGs cannot be successfully achieved without the inclusive participation of citizens and public institutions. Non-governmental organizations, as a bridge between the state and the people, have significant potential not only to implement, but also to encourage the government to respond more actively to the needs of society in achieving the objectives of SDGs. The role of NGOs in public monitoring of the implementation of the SDGs is no less important.