Tirana, 23 November 2017 - In the framework of the commitments Albania has undertaken as a member of the United Nations for the implementation of the Agenda2030 for global development and work done to implement these commitments, FAO in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development held a meeting on " Implementing and Monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Albania. Stakeholder Sensitization Workshop on the SDGs on Food and Agriculture". The meeting was attended by representatives of the United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), private sector, civil society and the academic world.
In Albania, the Office of the Prime Minister is leading efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and coordinates the work of the line ministries. In addition, the National Statistics Office, INSTAT, has assessed what data is available already and what other data will be required to measure progress.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is expected to take the lead in identifying the national priorities for Goals 2, 14 and 15 of the Agenda2030. FAO is supporting this process through the project "Support to the MARD in the implementation and monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals", including raising awareness and capacity for their implementation and monitoring.
In his speech at this meeting, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Ilir Halilaj expressed the commitment of the Ministry to work on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. He emphasized that in addition to improving quality, special attention will be paid to ensuring sufficient production for the domestic market as well as increasing exports.
In his opening word, Mr. Arben Kipi, FAO Assistant Representative in Albania said: "The European integration agenda includes not only an engagement in the field of environment and agriculture but also represents an opportunity for accelerating the work on translating the Objectives of the Sustainable Development from Global Objectives to Albania's Objectives."
Mr. Brian Williams, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Albania, said: "The Sustainable Development Goals are a vision for the development of a healthy and sustainable society, with diverse opportunities for everyone. This development agenda should be followed even after European integration. It includes commitments stemming from the Paris Agreement on Global Actions to Address Climate Change (COP23). Agriculture is a very important element in it."
In addition, Mr. Ewald Rametsteiner, FAO Programme Coordinator (Global Delivery), Sustainable Agriculture Programme added “Food and agriculture is central to achieving many of the SDGs. This is an important opportunity for agricultural sectors in Albania to engage more strongly at high political levels. It is also an opportunity to explore new ways to work constructively on solutions with other sectors, the private sector, civil society, and academia.”
The UN Statistical Commission has prepared global indicators to measure development. This committee consists of the national statistical offices of the member states. Since the context of each country is different, all states are required to adapt the Objectives to their status, including the development of national indicators. This is often called "nationalization" of Objectives at the country level. In addition, signatory states have committed to report on progress both globally and nationally.
FAO and other United Nations organizations will support the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to create services and mechanisms for increasing rural investment in the framework of Sustainable Development Goals.