Meeting of the UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus with the National Sustainable Development Goals Coordinator
- The UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus, Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki, held a working meeting virtually with the National Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Coordinator, Anatoli Isachenko.
The UN Resident Coordinator briefed the National SDG Coordinator about the work of the UN System agencies in 2020, focusing on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Resident Coordinator informed the SDG Coordinator about the new COVID-19 Social and Economic Response Plan for Belarus prepared by the UN agencies under the leadership of UNDP and UNICEF. The Resident Coordinator also informed the National SDG Coordinator about resource mobilization efforts and discussions with key donors, including the EU, about funding for COVID-19 related work in communities.
The Resident Coordinator underscored the indispensable role of partnerships in work on the SDGs and conveyed to the National SDG Coordinator the concerns of members of the Partnership Group of the SDG Council about undue pressure on civil society organizations in recent months. Civil society organizations working in the areas of the environment, women’s rights and children’s rights and those providing support to the elderly or people with disabilities represent an important sector of professional partners who are leading innovation and piloting solutions for SDG acceleration, the Resident Coordinator said. The United Nations acknowledges the important voice of civil society in the spirit of the SDGs and the principles of partnership and ‘leaving no one behind’. The Resident Coordinator and the National SDG Coordinator agreed that the SDGs should not be politicized. The Resident Coordinator added that human rights which underpin the SDG agenda should not be politicized either. Development without respect for human rights cannot be truly sustainable.
The UN Resident Coordinator referred also to the national strategic plans and programmes, many of which are being prepared by sectoral ministries and recalled that the UN agencies and experts offered a range of comments and concrete recommendations to the National Strategy 2035, the National Programme on Gender and the National Programme on the Health of the Nation and Demographic Security. In view of Belarus’s global commitments to climate change mitigation and adaptation, the UN is ready to contribute to designing a truly cross-sectoral and inclusive Green Economy action plan.
The Resident Coordinator and the National SDG Coordinator also discussed cooperation in popularizing knowledge about SDGs and localizing SDGs as well as implementing innovative sustainable development strategies regionally. They also exchanged views on the importance of joint projects, attracting donor resources and registration of technical assistance. The UN Resident Coordinator noted that less complicated and faster official registration for technical assistance would make it easier to attract donor funding and ensure programmes are relevant, effective and timely.
The Resident Coordinator and the National SDG Coordinator agreed to continue their constructive dialogue and support for SDG projects and to meet again soon.