ASTANA – Kazakhstan will remain a staunch advocate of a strong and effective role of the United Nations (UN) in sustainable development, said President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, addressing the first session of the Leaders’ Dialogue that discussed scaling up actions on key transitions to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) progress on Sept. 18 in New York, reported the Akorda press service.
Tokayev sees the UN’s 2030 Agenda as a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the current generation to build a prosperous future.
“Our collective efforts are undermined by current global challenges, exacerbated by geopolitical shocks. These obstacles extend beyond the capabilities of any single nation. Only through global unity can we generate tangible results,” said the President at the meeting, which he co-chaired with President of Hungary Katalin Novák.
Tokayev emphasized that achieving the SDGs is a national priority for Kazakhstan, as national strategies and programs are based on its principles.
“Today, we are heavily investing in a sustainable future. Some 80% of the state budget is synchronized with the SDGs. We ensure universal access to free education and healthcare. A new social code has strengthened the protection of vulnerable groups,” he said.
Tokayev proposed to take joint actions to achieve a sustainable future. Kazakhstan’s initiative to establish the Regional Hub on SDGs for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty is one such action.
“It will ensure the effective coordination of UN project activities in the region,” said Tokayev.
The President noted that to achieve the SDGs, the financial system should promote equality for all countries, not only for a select few. More financing is needed to address ecological, educational and health-related tasks.
Tokayev underscored that climate, food, and energy crises seriously threaten sustainable development.
“We should strengthen our international cooperation on technical support, scientific research, and risk assessment under the UN’s leadership. The SDGs represent the path to a better world for all. We should come together and redouble our commitments,” he said.
The session was also addressed by the President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen, President of Croatia Zoran Milanović, President of Finland Sauli Niinistö, President of Guyana Irfaan Ali, President of Hungary Katalin Novák, President of Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov, President of Micronesia Wesley Simina, President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski, President of Peru Dina Boluarte, and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa among others.
The same day, Tokayev met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly.
The parties addressed priority areas of Kazakhstan’s comprehensive cooperation with the UN, as well as pressing challenges.
Welcoming the President, Guterres noted the progressive development of the bilateral partnership.
“For us, Kazakhstan is a privileged partner that is a pillar of multilateralism, a promoter and defender of peace at the global level,” said Guterres.
In turn, Tokayev expressed high regard for Guterres’ actions as UN Secretary-General and reaffirmed the readiness to support his efforts to maintain peace, stability, and security.
Tokayev underlined the UN’s exceptional role in addressing the most urgent tasks. He also shared with Guterres his vision of improving the organization’s activities.