Transforming institutions for sustainable development

March 29, 2024


The Office for Sustainable Development of the General Secretariat of the Government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have, with the support of the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) and the participation of the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN), organized a two-day workshop on the topic "Governance Transformations for More Effective SDG Implementation". The workshop was attended by representatives of public institutions, civil society, international organizations as well as the countries of the Western Balkans.

Aneta Kankaraš, head of the Office for Sustainable Development, emphasized the importance of such platforms for dialogue and exchange of experiences and knowledge between countries in the field of sustainable development. As she said, for the successful implementation of the sustainable development policy, political will, stability, continuity of institutions, as well as financial support are necessary. Kankaraš reminded that this year, the Summit of the Future will be held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, as a unique opportunity to return to the path of fulfilling the sustainable development goals and reach a consensus in achieving a sustainable present and building a better future.

Aleksandra Kiković, the Team Leader of Inclusive and Green Growth at UNDP Montenegro, emphasized the crucial importance of Montenegro's efforts in achieving the 2030 Agenda. UNDP supports these efforts through cooperation with the National Council for Sustainable Development, providing technical expertise, supporting initiatives, capacity building, and the possibility of mobilizing resources.

Gentian Xhaxhiu, Program Coordinator at ReSPA, said that effective coordination and good governance are key to the progress of sustainable development in the Western Balkans. Institutions like ReSPA play a key role in fostering coordination and capacity building to address challenges in the region. The pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions), with an emphasis on responsible institutions and inclusive societies, is key to sustainable development and stability. It is therefore important that we collectively commit to strengthening institutions, transparency, and cooperation in order to achieve a more sustainable and resilient future in the Western Balkans.

László Borbély, President of ESDN, Coordinator of the Department for Sustainable Development, and advisor to the Prime Minister of Romania, emphasized that the European Sustainable Development Network is necessary for the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. By encouraging cooperation, mobilizing resources, and sharing knowledge and experience, these partnerships significantly contribute to accelerating progress toward achieving the sustainable development goals and building a more sustainable future for all.


The attendees had the opportunity to hear the experiences of government representatives of the Western Balkans countries, namely North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia, as well as representatives of local self-governments and governments of the European Union member states (Luxembourg, Estonia, Finland, Romania) and Switzerland, who presented their government mechanisms for the strategic improvement of the circular economy, tools for the 2030 Agenda, as well as ways of building an inclusive partnership of interested parties.

The first day of the workshop focused on the efforts of the Western Balkans countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on institutional mechanisms and frameworks. During the work sessions, examples of what works well, and what positive change is noticeable were discussed, potentials and challenges were identified and guidelines for changes were given, and messages for the upcoming Summit of the Future were drawn up.

The second day of the workshop was dedicated to the management of transformations towards sustainability, and during the working sessions, tools for effective implementation of the sustainable development goals were identified. Furthermore, stakeholders were recognized and the need to build partnerships was emphasized. The importance of capacity building in public administration was highlighted, and the way of financing the sustainable development goals was discussed.

Comprehensive discussions, analyses, and conclusions presented during the workshop will serve as the basis for the preparation of a detailed report that will contain guidelines for overcoming key challenges in management transformation, with the aim of more effective implementation of the sustainable development goals. This report will be designed to provide a clear picture of the identified problems, but also concrete solutions and strategies to overcome them, which is a useful tool for decision-makers to better understand the needs and priorities in the process of management transforming towards sustainability.