16 February 2022, Nur-Sultan - The Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as the coordinating body for monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), together with the Economic Research Institute JSC (ERI), with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), held a roundtable to launch the discussion on the 2022 Voluntary National Review (VNR).
In 2021, Kazakhstan took the initiative to launch the second VNR on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to be presented at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2022.
The main objective of the roundtable is to pool efforts, share ideas on the preparation of the second VNR, and jointly identify priority SDGs to be included in Kazakhstan's voluntary national review. The meeting is the first part of a series of discussions on the preliminary draft of the second VNR, involving all stakeholders: Government agencies, business, academia, civil society, international organisations, and other interested parties.
“Since the submission of the first Voluntary National Review, Kazakhstan has implemented a number of comprehensive measures to achieve the SDGs. However, the negative impact of the pandemic has reversed significant progress on many of them. Therefore, it is an important mission to develop the second Voluntary National Review and present it at the UN High-Level Political Forum in New York from July 13 to 15 this year”, stated Abzal Abdikarimov, Vice Minister of Economy of Kazakhstan, opening the meeting.
“We have to admit that the second Voluntary National Review is being prepared at a very challenging time, compounded by the negative effects of COVID-19 on both the economy and all areas of life. And yet it is in times like this that countries may need to rethink and review their strategic line and approaches to building a better and more sustainable future. In this context, the VNR preparation process is one of such unique tools that makes it possible to build consistent steps towards sustainable development”, said Yakup Beris, UNDP Kazakhstan Resident Representative.
For his part, Alikhan Abakanov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the JSC Economic Research Institute, noted that "The drafting of the VNR is a joint effort that makes it possible to involve a wide range of stakeholders in the discussion process of the document and to establish a fruitful dialogue between the state, civil society, business and the academic community. At the same time, the VNR is a tool to assess not only Kazakhstan's progress, but also the potential challenges on the path to implementing the SDGs."
During the meeting, the main provisions of the draft VNR were presented, focusing on the main challenges and further actions to achieve the SDGs. The current information on the structure of the national SDG indicators and possible options for their presentation in the second Voluntary National Report were also presented during the event.
In 2019, Kazakhstan presented its Voluntary National Review for the first time at the UN High Level Political Forum in New York.
The Voluntary National Review represents a summary of the results achieved since the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030). The VNR aims to promote the exchange of experience, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNR also seeks to strengthen policy and government institutions, and to gather support of interested parties and build partnerships for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.