By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Second Voluntary National Report of Azerbaijan was successfully presented in New York on July 15 in the framework of the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development, organized at the UN headquarters.
Mutually beneficial regional and global cooperation, sharing knowledge and experience in the field of innovation for capacity building and technology transfer for development are an important factor in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The participating countries, as well as representatives of the UN and other international organizations, positively evaluated Azerbaijani Voluntary National Report.
Ali Ahmadov, Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Azerbaijani National Coordination Council on Sustainable Development, made a presentation of the report.
He presented extensive information on ensuring in Azerbaijan in recent periods inclusive and equivalent in quality education, sustainable economic growth, full and effective employment, ensuring decent work, and improving the social situation of a sensitive category of the population. The report also included regulation of activities in the field of combating climate change and their consequences, as well as the deepening of reforms in the judicial system.
Speaking about the main difficulties in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Azerbaijan, Ahmadov again informed the international community about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He brought to attention that as a result of the conflict, 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands were occupied, more than one million compatriots were expelled from their homes and became refugees and internally displaced persons.
All of the above has created difficulties for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the country. The participants of the forum were brought to the attention of the failure to comply with the well-known resolutions of the UN Security Council number 822, 853, 874 and 884 adopted on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
At a meeting with Amina Jane Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ahmadov noted that the country plans to be at the forefront of achieving the SDGs based on the experience gained by Azerbaijan in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Ahmadov said that all government agencies are ready to support the integration of the SDGs in their activities.
"At the same time, it is planned to prepare a new strategy “Azerbaijan-2030” and integrate the SDGs into it," he mentioned.
In turn, Mohammed appraised the establishment of a high-level national coordination structure for integrated coordination and implementation of SDG commitments in Azerbaijan, the work done in a short period of time to integrate the SDGs. She stressed that Azerbaijan became the first country in the region and the CIS, which for the second time presented the second Voluntary National Report at a high-level political forum.
Stressing the importance of creating institutions of peace and peacemaking to achieve sustainable development, Mohammed said that the UN is always ready to support Azerbaijan in the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Ministry of Economy with the participation of local experts and working groups established the Sustainable Development Goals, taking into account data from relevant government agencies, prepared the Second Voluntary National Report.
Currently, Azerbaijan is one of the first countries in the region and in the CIS, and in general one of the 14 countries in the world that submitted the second report.
Azerbaijan presented its first voluntary national report to the UN in July 2017.
In accordance with the UN Resolution dated September 25, 2015, as many as 17 goals and 169 targets for sustainable development for the period 2016–2030 have been defined.
To implement this program, the National Coordinating Council on Sustainable Development has been created by the decree of the President of Azerbaijan.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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