ASTANA – The United Nations Office in Kazakhstan held a meeting with media representatives to highlight the upcoming agenda for the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit and address issues related to sustainable development on Sept. 6 in Astana.
The SDG Summit will be held on Sept. 18-19 in New York and seeks to assess the progress made in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs. The countries will announce their global and national commitments to SDG transformation. As a result, a negotiated political declaration will be made.
UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey noted the world is not moving forward. The SDGs were adopted in 2015. Since then, significant progress has been made in poverty eradication and combating unemployment. But Covid-19 hit the world, the geopolitical challenges and climate disasters.
“This has created a pushback where many of the indicators, how we measure the progress on the Sustainable Development Goals are worse now than when we started. That is on a global level,” said Friberg-Storey.
It will take 286 years to close gender gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws. Friberg-Storey emphasized the role of media and how they can support the citizens of Kazakhstan to promote the SDGs and how people can contribute to their lifestyle and life choices to be sustainable.
“We have 27 UN entities working in and with Kazakhstan to promote and advance the SDGs,” she said. “We focus primarily on policy advice to the government. Because the responsibility, the capacity, and the resources to address the needs of the country are with the government, not with the United Nations.”
Friberg-Storey also spoke about Kazakhstan’s humanitarian assistance. “Over the past 20 years or so, Kazakhstan has been supporting other countries with $500 million. Kazakhstan has recently provided aid to Afghanistan and to the victims of the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria,” she said.
According to the UN, 21.3% of the land in Kazakhstan is degraded, and the life expectancy gap between men and women is eight years. Kazakhstan is the most urbanized country in Central Asia, with almost 62% of the population living in urban areas, a 73% decrease in maternal mortality rate since 1993 and 100% access to electricity.
Kazakhstan is also making progress in gender equality and education.