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Belarus considers instituting national coordinator for UN SDGs

MINSK (BelTA) - Belarus is considering the establishment of an institution of a national coordinator that would help organize and record progress made on the Sustainable Development Goals, Belarus Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said when speaking at the high-level debate of the UN General Assembly on achieving sustainable development goals, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

That would allow the country to conduct comprehensive national activities and synchronize them with the international agenda, the Minister said. He noted that Belarus attaches great importance to the successful achievement of the sustainable development goals. The country is working to involve all sectors of society. Vladimir Makei recalled that in October 2015 Belarus together with the UN organized a national campaign the Express for SDGs. “No event comparable in scale and importance was held in any other country of the world. The campaign involved more than 150,000 people. The participants got familiar with the sustainable development goals and opportunities to contribute to their implementation,” Vladimir Makei said.

He stressed that the work to achieve the sustainable development goals in any country should be supported by appropriate international assistance. “We need to enable all mechanisms and processes approved by the summit 2015. Countries that require support should have access to a “one-stop shop” United Nations assistance coordination center that would lend expert advice, finance, technology and means of implementation,” the Minister suggested.

Vladimir Makei urged the United Nations to avoid having its working methods “blindly subordinate to formalism”. Synchronization of the activity of the Organization with the further implementation of the goals is necessary. However, it proceeds on a pro forma basis for now, the Minister said. The member states discuss important, but first of all, bureaucratic issues: the activity of committees, frequency of adopting resolutions, themes of the Secretary General's reports. “Here we risk replacing the real implementation of the agenda with an ordinary routine, “optimization” of working methods of the UN bodies, the release of reports which, According to Winston Churchill, “are, by their very length, defend themselves against the risk of being read,” Vladimir Makei warned. “We cannot allow countries and the UN itself to become hostage to the formal rules and procedures. After all, the development agenda is about real destinies of nations, every single person, family and society,” the Minister noted.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the UN member states on 25 September. The agenda comprises 17 goals to eliminate poverty, hunger, secure good health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and also partnerships for the goals.