Sustainable Development Goals an integral part of Ukraine’s Recovery Plan

Government meets with UNDP and International Community to chart best way forward

September 26, 2022
Photo credit: Freya Morales / UNDP

Kyiv, 26 September – Ukraine has long been an avid supporter of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an international instrument set up in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by the end of the current decade, all people everywhere enjoy peace and prosperity. In 2019 President Volodymyr Zelensky adopted a decree on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, integrating them into state policy as a framework to achieve sustained economic and social development for all Ukrainians on a ‘leave no one behind’ basis.

Now, as discussions commence on rebuilding the country and the economy, the SDGs are being used as a guiding framework to ensure Ukraine builds forward better. Last week, an essential step in this direction took place as representatives from UNDP, the Secretariat of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the SDG Office and others met to align Ukraine's Recovery Plan with the sustainable development agenda.

Ukraine was on steady progress in achieving 15 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals before the war started in February with its greatest success in reducing poverty. Ukraine’s 2021 Voluntary National Review showed a decline in poverty from 58.3 percent in 2015 to 43.2 percent in 2018.  However, these positive trends are quickly reversing: early UNDP projections suggest that up to 90 percent of the population of Ukraine could be facing poverty and vulnerability to poverty if this war continues into a second year.

UNDP Ukraine interim Resident Representative Manal Fouani said that development and humanitarian efforts must be intertwined to ensure Ukraine does not lose its decades of development gains. “Achieving the SDGs in Ukraine in the less than eight years left in the Decade of Action may seem like a far-off target, but it is certainly possible if there is strong national ownership of the Agenda 2030 and robust institutional mechanisms,” she said. “To achieve this ambition, we must leverage recovery as an opportunity to build forward better in an integrated and sustainable way, for a more green, inclusive and fair Ukraine that ‘leaves no one behind.’”

Ukraine’s SDG Office, an advisory entity set up under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, recently reviewed the 23 Chapters of Ukraine`s Recovery Plan to ensure they are aligned with the goals of Agenda 2030 and the principles of results-based management. SDG BRIDGE Coordinator Mariam Symonova said incorporating Ukraine`s SDG commitments into the recovery model will improve its implementation and monitoring, “while synchronizing local reforms with the priorities of Ukraine’s development partners.”

Anatolii Kutsevol, Deputy State Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, said the 17 global goals of Agenda 2030,  their 169 targets and 232 unique indicators provide a good framework for implementing recovery work at the state and regional levels through two main pillars. “Firstly, they will guide the rapid recovery phase of critical social and economic infrastructure to enable people to go home,” he said.  “Secondly, they will provide a framework for mid-term and long-term recovery and development efforts through a ‘build back better’ approach in construction, as well as the adaptation of the EU acquis to join the EU. The SDGs and their KPIs will help inform policy at the national level and contribute guidance to implementation at regional and local levels.”

Background: The event was held within the framework of the Joint Programme on "Promoting strategic planning and financing for sustainable development on national and regional level in Ukraine" together with the Office of Sustainable Development Goals established with the financial support of the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland. The programme implements comprehensive measures to support the Government of Ukraine in developing joint approaches related to managing financial flows and implementing reforms associated with financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Programme aims to improve management of existing and potential financial flows by aligning and leveraging all new resources targeted for reconstruction with the SDGs. The programme is financed by the Joint SDG Fund, a UN entity set up to accelerate progress towards the SDGs by integrating economic, social and environmental policies and applying multi-dimensional and cross-sectoral approach to complex social challenges.

Media enquiries: Yulia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Communications Lead; e-mail: