Is the world on track to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030? Where is the world making progress, and where efforts need to be intensified?
On 9-18 July 2018, the world came together at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) to evaluate where countries stand in this joint quest for a prosperous, equal and healthy future for people and planet.
Albania was one among 47 countries to share efforts, lessons learned and experiences to meet the globally agreed goals. The Deputy Prime Minister of Albania Ms.Senida Mesi attended the HLPF and presented Albania’s Voluntary National Review on Sustainable Development Goals- a report which outlines Albania’s Path towards achieving Agenda 2030 and SDGs, progress achieved with factual data on the achievement of targets and indicators, as well as and reflections on what steps should be taken to achieve the Global Goals by the set deadline. The report has been prepared in consultation with a variety of stakeholders from civil society, private sector, academia to mention but a few.
Deputy Prime Minister Mesi underlined that Albania has placed SDGs at the center of the country’s long term- development prospects.
“We have a clear long vision for the development of our country: “Accession to the European Union (EU)” as an over-arching priority with full political consensus and nationwide support which orients us: “to become a strengthening democracy, with a competitive, stable and sustainable economy, and with guarantees of fundamental human rights and liberties. In this context, we have worked to integrate the Agenda 2030 with the EU integration, as key processes that are mutually reinforcing”-underlined the Deputy Prime Minister.
In its first topic, the report focusses on the progress towards European Union integration as key development driver and a sound way of achieving a sustainable future for the people of Albania.
“Albania has achieved major milestones in the EU integration process, the latest being the European Commission (EC)’s unconditional recommendation of April 2018 to open accession talks with the country followed by the positive decision of the EU Council to set out the path towards accession negotiations in June 2019, has been guided by the progress and completion of many complex and interrelated reforms, including five areas identified as priorities in this process, which progress have been presented in the VNR”-said Mrs. Mesi.
Deputy Prime Minister Mesi highlighted progress in areas such as: Public administration reform; strengthening the independence, efficiency and accountability of judicial institutions; intensifying the fight against corruption; increasing the fight against organized crime; ensuring the protection of human rights, including property rights.
Deputy Prime Minister also spoke about challenges Albania still faces: “We are aware that we have to do more on Fostering innovation and competitiveness, Foreign Direct Investments & domestic investments, which remains still a priority for the Government. We are striving to implement a reform agenda to promote domestic and foreign investment, in order to boost economic potential for the economic growth. Our aim is to encourage private sector investment in the country, in particular by accelerating private sector growth and creating jobs, achieving in the same time Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all, and Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure”.
In her concluding remarks Mrs. Mesi underlined:” We consider the European Union as the home we belong to. The need to work towards EU integration, and continue with the reforms remains unseparated from the actions towards the achievement of 2030 Agenda, as we consider that by increasing our endeavors, towards the implementation of 2030 Agenda, we are stepping further the EU accession”.
To download the VNR for Albania go here:
To read the full speech of the Deputy PM Mesi go here: http://www.ambasadat.gov.al/united-nations/en/vice-prime-minister-mrs-senida-mesi-presents-voluntary-national-review-sustainable-development-goals
To read the National Council of Civil Society- Declaration on SDGs go here: http://www.amshc.gov.al/kkshc/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018.06.22-Nr.-16-1-KKSHC-Deklarate-per-SDG-EN.pdf