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17 October 2016, Kyiv - Cihan Sultanoğlu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and UNDP Regional Director took part in the High-level Group devoted to the presentation of the first draft of the National SDG Report.

“Ukraine has started a challenging process of adapting the global goals of Agenda 2030 – the Sustainable Development Goals – at the national level, and the development of the first National Report will set out Ukraine’s long-term version of sustainable development. The results of the inclusive consultative process on the SDG targets and indicators represent national priorities that Ukraine should pursue as its own contribution to Agenda 2030. These priorities will take account of new development challenges in Ukraine.

If we are to meet the challenges of sustainable development we must recognize the indivisibility of the SDGs. Eradicating poverty in all its forms relies just as much on environmental and social justice as it does on economic growth. Managing these complexities is inherently difficult for governmental institutions. I am pleased to see that the National Report is being designed in a manner which combines efforts to facilitate a new type of economic growth, respond to aspiration for social justice and better governance, and take care of the environment.

I wish to congratulate the Ministry and the UN team for the great success around the 10 local consultations on the SDGs throughout Ukraine. Under the leadership of your Ministry and local administrations, this solid process has generated a lot of interest and debates among citizens, local authorities and CSOs on the importance of the SDGs for the country. I am pleased to hear that the results of the 10 local consultations will be reflected in the National Baseline Report. The local perspective is as important as central government priorities in moving toward achieving the 2030 agenda.

Success in the effective implementation of the SDGs in Ukraine will depend on open and transparent governance, which builds on opportunities to improve policy coherence across all sectors. This can be pursued through developing an open platform that includes a wide range of partners willing to help to fine-tune the SDGs for the Ukrainian context, and subsequently in their implementation, monitoring and reporting. The Government will have a key role in this regard and it is expected that the SDG framework, once established, will be fully integrated in the diverse governmental processes of strategic planning, macroeconomic forecasting and developing sectoral, regional (oblast) and local programmes.

The SDGs are designed to make a real difference in people’s lives and, with strong leadership and accountability, tangible progress will be achieved by the target date of 2030. The development agenda, based on the SDGs, should become a reference point for national development, sparking a conversation that responds to a growing call for the active contribution of society to ‘leave no one behind’.

I look forward to hearing the results, findings and recommendations of the First National report from the distinguished experts”.

Note on Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine:

Throughout 2015 and 2016, United Nations has been supporting the Governmnet of Ukraine, and in particular the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade with the adaptation of the SDGs to the Ukrainian context and preparation of the National SDG Baseline Report.

The Ministry has facilitated the development of the National Baseline Report “SDGs Ukraine”, which is intended to define a strategic framework for national development until 2030 according to the SDG goals and targets. The main objectives of the report are - to establish national development targets in accordance with the global priorities based on the principles of “Leave no one behind” and sustainability; and to define the baselines for a further 15-year monitoring of SDG implementation. The National SDG Report will be used for strategic planning of national development by national and international organizations.

The National SDG Report justifies the selection of targets for Ukraine’s development based on global priorities, and presents the results of broad-based discussions and the specific national situation. This is important not only in the context of benchmark development but also in terms of management decisions and policies in general. In some cases, global targets are too high for Ukraine, and in some other cases too low.

For example, Ukraine has achieved a high level of education and further development should not focus on enhancing access to primary education, but on improving the quality of vocational training and promoting lifelong learning for adults. Similarly, the problem of infant mortality is not as threatening in Ukraine as premature mortality of people (especially men) aged 20-64 years.

Four national consultations on SDG targets (with around 300 participants) and 10 sub-national ones were conducted in recent months across Ukraine as a basis for developing the National Baseline Report. The national consultations were organized in four groups:

  • Group 1: Sustainable Economic Growth & Employment,
  • Group 2: Equitable Social Development,
  • Group 3: Effective, Accountable & Inclusive Governance & Justice for All, and
  • Group 4: Environmental Sustainability & Resilience Building.

The participants (from national and regional authorities, the international community, civil society organizations and academia) discussed priority goals and targets for Ukraine, made proposals to adjust them to the national context, and provided suggestions on national programme documents and strategies for integration of the SDGs.

The 10 sub-national consultations were conducted throughout Ukraine, to ensure inclusive participation of civil society and state institutions, and common understanding of the SDGs and their relevance to the context of national development in Ukraine. The participants were primarily representatives of local authorities, NGOs, academia, and youth unions, who discussed the most relevant/crucial SDGs for Ukraine. The consultations focused on actions that should be taken to achieve the top priority SDG targets in this region; how to ensure consideration of the needs of the most vulnerable and promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment during implementation of the priority SDGs; who the stakeholders are and who can be the lead for SDGs in the particular oblast.

Given the nature of the SDGs, it has been recognized that SDGs form an indivisible agenda that should be adapted for each country’s national and sub-national needs. That is, eradicating poverty in all its forms cannot be achieved unless the five ‘Ps” of the SDGs namely, people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships, are addressed. Efforts to nationalise SDG targets and indicators will invariably provide opportunities to enhance the monitoring and evaluation systems of government agencies: this remains a key objective of strengthening approaches to integrating the SDGs and ensuring national ownership.