The results of the current phase of the “SDGs for ALL” Platform were presented at the final conference entitled “2030 Agenda – Synergies towards sustainable future“ held on June 8, 2022 in Belgrade. The conference was part of the broader GIZ Project “Public Finance Reform – 2030 Agenda“ and gathered close to 200 participants from diverse stakeholder groups, including civil society, national and local level institutions, corporate sector, research and academic community, media and others, who joined both in person and online.
The event was opened by Jadranka Joksimović, Minister of European Integration in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, who said that the 2030 Agenda is a list of tasks for each country, and thus for Serbia, to answer questions of sustainability and security for all its citizens in the process of joining the European Union.
Slavica Đukić Dejanović, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia in charge of the 2030 Agenda, said that the representatives of citizens, the state, civil society, the business sector and all others should jointly implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which requires both vertical and horizontal cooperation of all levels of government.
UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia Françoise Jacob emphasized that the Green Agenda must be at the heart of everything, beyond and above the energy transition, saying that healthy people on a healthy planet are an absolute precondition for long-term prosperity and peace. “In recent reports, Serbia has shown progress in reducing poverty and inequality and improving the quality of education. There is still a lot to be done in the field of climate change, gender equality, employment,” said Jacob.
Jean-Luc Oesch, Deputy Head of Mission of the Swiss Confederation in Serbia, emphasized that Switzerland, together with Germany, is strongly committed to the project of achieving the SDGs. „The Swiss Parliament has allocated over 90 million euros to support Serbia in the next four years, and all projects that are being implemented contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We will continue to invest in Serbia and to support the Government of Serbia and its citizens in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda,” said Oesch.
Christian Schilling, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia, said that for Germany and its development cooperation achieving the SDGs is a priority and a guiding principle in all countries, including Serbia, especially in the light of accession to the European Union. “For that reason, Germany has decided to continue supporting this project. We intend to continue our development cooperation, especially in the field of climate and response to climate challenges and changes, and we agreed a climate partnership with the Government of Serbia last year,” Schilling pointed out.
During the panels, the representatives of the Platform used the opportunity to sum up the key achievements over the past two and a half years, highlighting the main trends and developments in terms of legislative, strategic and institutional alignment of Serbia with the 2030 Agenda. Pointing to the future priorities of the Platform, Milena Altmeyer, the project leader of GIZ’s “Public Finance Reform – 2030 Agenda” project, emphasized the need for continued focus on specific policies and priority development issues, enhanced inter-municipal exchange, more intensive involvement of stakeholders such as private sector and аcademia, and improved financing and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda at all levels – linking the “localization” and “nationalization” of SDGs even more strongly.
A discussion was launched on the need for energy transition and the processes of harmonization with the EU in the context of combating climate change. The participants also discussed the transition from the traditional model of economy to a sustainable economy, which is at the heart of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. Issues related to digital and green transformation as key processes for a sustainable economy were also discussed, as well as greater involvement and commitment of the business sector to creating sustainable development.
At the end of the conference, it was pointed out that the Platform will continue its activities in the next three years, accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, and shaping sustainable development directions of Serbia.