Speech of UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan Katarzyna Wawiernia at the XI Civic Forum

October 19, 2023
Photo: Press office of the IX Civic Forum

Your Excellency Chairman of the Majilis Mr. Koshanov, 

Honorable Minister Ms. Balayeva,

Dear participants of the XI Civil Forum,


I am honored to join you today at the XI Civil Forum of Kazakhstan. 

Looking back on the scope and the speed of the country’s development, I highly commend the partnership of civil society and state in facilitating the action towards sustainable development of Kazakhstan. 

We are at the midpoint of the 2030 Agenda, a critical time for renewed ambition and action to accelerate progress on the SDGs and the pledge to leave no one behind.

As it was concluded in New York in late September, the world is not on track to meet the SDGs. 

Today, progress to achieve the SDGs is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. With only 7 years left to achieve the Global Goals by the 2030 deadline, there is an urgent need to step up action and accelerate sustainable solutions to global, regional and national challenges — adopting a whole-of-society approach and engaging all stakeholders of the process. 

Today’s gathering exemplifies the solidarity and commitment of Kazakhstan to the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals. We as UNDP are very proud to be supporting the Government and civil society of Kazakhstan in this journey. 

We also anticipate and rely on the enthusiastic participation and involvement of the non-governmental sector within the newly established SDG Commission in Parliament, as this represents a valuable resource for advancing the SDGs.

We all come together and work together because we agree that the SDGs cannot be achieved in isolation. Our future can look brighter with political will and collective action, including the vibrant civil society of Kazakhstan uniting efforts for a greener, more equitable and just country. 

I would like to emphasize that NGOs work on reaching out vulnerable groups of population, carrying out campaigns on raising awareness of communities on various top issues and efficient partnership with the Government and Parliament makes them remarkably valuable for the achievement and advocacy for SDGs.

In this context it would be rightful to highlight the role of non-governmental sector which is fairly considered as a “bridge” between Government and people.

Today in Kazakhstan there are about 18 thousand actively working NGOs in different spheres. It is indeed a great asset of human capital and expertise to develop and build on considering the potential amount of social and other benefits that could be provided through this large and interlinked community. 

Almost 1/3 of these NGOs are engaged into systematic support of the socially vulnerable groups of population which well aligns and provides immense impact towards implementation of the key goal of the 2030 Agenda ensuring that “no one is left behind”

There is a lot of work ahead of us particularly towards localization of SDGs across all regions of the country. Therefore, it is necessary to build a joint systematic approach with the involvement of competent NGOs and their expert community to support Parliament and Government in this complex process.

We do have successful examples of partnership with NGOs and hope that this will continue further.  Notably, we have been very inspired by the level of commitment and engagement of NGOs in the development of the first and second Voluntary National Reports of Kazakhstan back in 2019 and 2022. And it is true that such unprecedented success of the VNRs was a result of consolidation of valuable expertise and knowledge provided by the non-governmental sector. 

Dear participants,

We have been witnessing the vibrant evolvement of the country’s non-governmental sector which was driven by the new needs and challenges that society faces. In line with that our partnership has become more full-fledged and start being more inclusive, versatile and SDG oriented. 

Civil Forum brought all of us together and we must work together for the benefit and wellbeing of people towards brighter and sustainable future for the country. 

Thank you!