MINSK, 15 November (BelTA) - More than 70% of the tasks on the UN sustainable development agenda is reflected in Belarus' national sustainable development strategy up to 2030, Belarus' Deputy Economy Minister Alexander Chervyakov said at the seminar “Sustainable Development Goals - implementation at the national and regional levels”, BelTA has learned.
Alexander Chervyakov stressed that the Belarusian government has developed a system for short-, medium-and long-term periods. We assessed the sustainable development goals for compliance with our policy documents. Today, more than 70% of the tasks on the SDG agenda is reflected in the current national sustainable development strategy up to 2030. Naturally, these goals and objectives are also reflected in the country's program of social and economic development in the current five-year plan, and annual forecasts. I would like to note that all policy documents starting 2018 will embrace the ideology of sustainability adopted by the United Nations. Today we are conducting a pilot projectat the regional level: we are developing annual plans for development of the regions which will reflect the SDG approaches,” Alexander Chervyakov said.
The deputy minister is in charge of the interdepartmental working group on economy at the Council for Sustainable Development. “The planet is one, and we need to strive to live in harmony between ecology, man and economy.
Many problems remain unresolved, therefore the fundamental task for the mankind is to ensure integrated sustainable development,” Alexander Chervyakov said. In this regard, all countries develop their policies in the light of global approaches. Belarus' Council for Sustainable Development analyzed all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Alexander Chervyakov elaborated on those with the economic component.
Goal No. 2 relates to the eradication of hunger, ensuring food security and agricultural development. Belarus is implementing the fourth state program on development of agriculture and made great advances. The country is self-sufficient in food. Belarus is also an export-oriented country, one of the largest suppliers of dairy products. “We seek to improve the quality of agricultural products, make them more environmentally friendly. Part of the strategic measures will focus on financial recovery and ensuring profitability and efficiency of agricultural enterprises. Thus we will solve the issues of adequate wages of workers in this field. The financial sustainability of the agricultural enterprises is our key challenge in the near term,” the deputy minister said.
Goal No. 8 is about the promotion of sustainable economic growth and employment with a decent level of pay.
“Without modernization of enterprises, improving good governance or trained personnel it will be difficult to ensure competitiveness, economic growth and productive employment. Therefore, the Belarusian government has adopted a number of policy documents: the state program of innovative development, to support small and medium-sized enterprises and others. The result we expect is the increased share of innovative products with high added value and productivity growth,” Alexander Chervyakov noted.
An important objective on the UN agenda is Goal No. 9 regarding the development of reliable infrastructure, promoting industrialization and innovation. Employment will be ensured only through investment in the upgrade of traditional industries of economy and development of new industries. “Under the five-year plan, we are set to increase investments up to 12%. This is about $80 billion. Over 70% of investments will be directed into the modernization of existing facilities and setting up new ones. The third part will go into housing and social projects,” the deputy minister noted.
Sustainable Development Goal 10 is focused on reducing inequality within or among countries. It is about differentiated development within and among regions. “We are being guided by it in building the regional policy based on complementary vectors. The first one is to set up centers of economic growth in cities and regional centers with economic potential. We plan to develop 62 such centers across Belarus. This is more than a half of the country, with over 6 million population, which accounts for 62% of Belarus' exports and 68% of the country's investments. The second vector is the creation of jobs outside the economic growth centers within hour's reach. This will require well-developed modern infrastructure,” Alexander Chervyakov said. The regional industrialization plan developed by the Economy Ministry will be the major tool of the policy. The plan relies on three blocks. The first one is to determine the priority types of economic activities, technological niches, and to map out corresponding projects to business. The second one is to distribute the selected projects taking into account the specifics of the regions, their personnel, manufacturing and resource potential. The third one is to develop a package of stimulus measures for the implementation of projects at the national and regional levels. The approach will help efficiently use financial resources.
“The creation of high-performance jobs is the key for the efficient employment policy. We view this area as one of the priorities in the SDGs economic component,” Alexander Chervyakov said.More about Society