UN in Gjirokastra: Local Stakeholders committed to accelerating implementation of Global Development Goals 

Wednesday, 25 September, 2019

Gjirokastra, 25 September 2019 – In a week packed of events aimed at raising awareness on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the country, Gjirokastra hosted a Town Hall dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals and how such major global objectives translate at local level.

Mayor Flamur Golemi and Prefect Astrit Aliaj were joined by distinguished guests: Brian J. Williams – the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania and heads of resident UN Agencies in Albania. The Italian Ambassador, Alberto Cutillo, a close partner to the Government and UN in Albania,  was the special guest of this Town Hall.

Mayor Golemi appreciated the support of the UN agencies for their contribution to Gjirokastra, the UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage city and underlined how his priorities relate with global development goals. “One of the key priorities of my tenure is to work closely with development partners to make sure that Gjirokastra becomes a role model city for protection of environment and tackling climate change while ensuring economic growth and improved social services for our citizens.” – he said.

On behalf of the UN Agencies in Albania, the UN Resident Coordinator Brian J. Williams praised the commitment of local authorities and stakeholders in Gjirokastra towards the achievement of the Global Goals, emphasizing the important role of Local Government to achieving the SDGs. “The Sustainable Development  Goals address everyone and every member of community has to be in. You, as local governments, are policy makers and catalysts of change and you are best positioned to link the global goals with local communities”, he noted. 

The achievements and challenges of our times and the role of individuals in making a difference were echoed by Ambassador Cutillo, who affirmed that “The Sustainable Development Goals are a challenge that concerns everyone: governments, but also people, because our choices can make the difference”.

The Town hall was followed by a series of other events in the city on the occasion of the SDG week. UN Women, in cooperation with INSTAT, brought together local women councilors and other stakeholders to discuss the role of data and statistics in policy development. Participants discussed how this data can be used to support SDGs’ implementation at local level, focusing on SDG 5, gender equality and women empowerment.

UNICEF was with children at Secondary School “Koto Hoxhi”, in a child-friendly interactive discussion  on why SDGs matter for children and in what ways they can contribute. UNHCR invited local stakeholders to visit a newly-rehabilitated social centre providing temporary accommodation to asylum seekers with specific needs seeking protection.

The Global Goals Week 2019 in Albania kicked off earlier this week in Vlora with UNDP organizing the Social Good Summit aiming at raising awareness about the climate crisis that Albania and the world are facing and call on the society to take urgent climate action if Albania is to meet the Paris Accord.

UN Women, in cooperation with civil society organizations, will carry on activities around SDGs: in Elbasan to raise awareness among youth from Muslim community on gender roles and in Vlora information sessions with service providers of women with disabilities.