UN forum highlights strategic policies to accelerate SDG implementation in North and Central Asia

The North and Central Asia Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held in Kyrgyzstan on 21 and 22 August 2019. The Forum was attended by over 80 representatives of North and Central Asian countries, non-governmental organizations, various UN entities, as well as international and financial institutions, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Commission, the Eurasian Development Bank, Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development of International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.

In her video message to the forum participants Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, highlighted three strategic policy directions that participants should pay special attention to: mobilizing additional and targeted investment in areas such as social protection, universal health care, and cleaner energy and climate resilient infrastructure; focusing on reversing existing trends in gender equality, and; emphasizing the importance of sustainable cities and communities, along with other environmental risks, including air pollution.

During the Forum, participants discussed the current situation of implementation of the SDGs in the North and Central Asia countries, identified gaps and agreed on possible actions and solutions for the acceleration of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Participants also discussed the regional and sub-regional follow-up and review mechanisms and the necessity to strengthen the regional dimension.

The outcomes of the Forum will contribute to the Seventh Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development, the main platform for follow-up and review of the SDGs in the region, to be held in Bangkok from 25 to 27 March 2020.