Mirjana Spoljaric Egger speaking at the 1st Kazakhstan SDG Forum.

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, 21 May 2019 - UNDP Eurasia head Mirjana Spoljaric Egger paid a three-day visit to Kazakhstan taking part in the country’s first Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and discussing UNDP’s partnership with Kazakhstan together with top government officials, business leaders and international development partners.

With just over a decade to go until 2030, delegates at Kazakhstan’s first Forum on SDGs - a flagship event of the 2019 Astana Economic Forum - explored multiple solutions for helping the country green the economy, bring the most marginalized groups up to speed and achieve inclusive and quality education for all.

The event was organized by the Ministry of National Economy of Kazakhstan, Institute of Economic Research, UN agencies, with the support of UNDP in Kazakhstan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Opened by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Askar Mamin, the forum brought together experts from the Government, business community, development partners and advocates for sustainable development. High Level United Nations officials, Vice-President of the ADB, former President of Colombia and the Nobel peace prize laureate presented practical solutions for Kazakhstan as part of progress on the SDG agenda.

In her speech Ms. Mirjana Spoljaric Egger acknowledged the commitment of partners in Kazakhstan to the global Sustainable Development Agenda.

“As part of our investments in “platform ways of working”, UNDP is supporting innovation and “SDG Acceleration labs”, helping national partners to find unique and innovative business solutions to accelerate progress towards sustainable development. In Kazakhstan, UNDP has created and invested its own funds in the SDG Platform, in order to develop and strengthen institutional coordination mechanisms and SDG statistics and mainstreaming. We will be happy to support the development of the new national strategy on SDGs till 2030”, - she said. 

A central element of UNDP’s work is the support to the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and SDGs helping Kazakhstan achieve the transition to sustainable development. It is a part of broader work and aims to facilitate and support UN wide efforts. 

At the Forum a statement of intent was concluded between the Government of Kazakhstan, ADB and UNDP to cooperate in supporting the nationalization and localization of the SDGs in Kazakhstan through setting specific goals, adapting the SDG indicators to the developmental particularities and ambitions of the country, monitoring the SDG trends in the country, strengthening the national SDG infrastructure and the capacity of relevant partners to plan and contribute to strategy implementation, and providing the necessary financing to achieving the SDGs.

As a part of her visit Spoljaric Egger held bilateral meetings with the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mr. Smailov, Deputy Prime Minister Ms. Abdykalikova, Minister of National Economy Mr. Dalenov and Chairman of Civil Affairs Agency Mr. Shpekbayev. The parties discussed SDG acceleration, financing for development, social protection system modernization, support for vulnerable groups and implementation of the “Leave no one behind” principle as well as further strengthening of bilateral relations regarding Agenda 2030. She also shared UNDP’s gender equality and women empowerment priorities and her personal experience of advancing in a public sector career as a woman at the lunch with women leaders.

Speaking at the dialogue with youth leaders in tech and women entrepreneurs organized by UNDP Kazakhstan at Astana Hub Ms. Spoljaric Egger emphasized that empowering women and girls in Science, Technology… (STEM) and business are one of core values that UNDP Global Gender Strategy 2018-2021 is built on. Gender equality is an essential component of UNDP support to countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the achievement of its goals. One of the highlights of the event was the introduction of a newly launched “GenderBot” Telegram-bot, an AI-powered gender dictionary, developed by two young girls and aimed at raising awareness about gender equality, as well as the rights and opportunities of girls and women.

As part of the Astana Economic Forum, Ms. Spoljaric Egger addressed a side-event devoted to motivation of public servants in the 21st  century organised by the Astana Civil Service Hub, the Graduate School of Public Policy, and the Nazarbayev University, where she talked about reward and recognition of public servants. “Cultural, institutional and organizational factors should be taken into account when discussing the motivation of public servants to achieve development goals”, - she said.  

During her visit and jointly with other UN officials, Ms. Spoljaric Egger met with the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Prime Minister Askar Mamin and Minister of Foreign Affairs Beibut Atamkulov to discuss further cooperation between Kazakhstan and United Nations in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs.

Concluding her visit, Ms. Spoljaric Egger encouraged partners to accelerate SDG achievement and implement Agenda 2030 across all levels of society with particular attention to tackling inequalities, harnessing new technologies and financing for development.


Contact information:

For media inquiries, contact Marat Raimkhanov, UNDP Kazakhstan at marat.raimkhanov@undp.org or Nicolas Douillet, UNDP Eurasia at nicolas.douillet@undp.org

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