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29 January 2020, 17:31

Call to identify problem areas for Belarus long-term development program to address

Marianna Shchetkina
Marianna Shchetkina

MINSK, 29 January (BelTA) – It is necessary to determine problem areas in the course of developing the national program on Belarus' sustainable development till 2035. Belarus' national coordinator for reaching the sustainable development goals Marianna Shchetkina made the statement during a meeting held in Minsk to discuss long-term priorities of the country's sustainable development, BelTA has learned.

The official said: “It is necessary to identify problems. It is important for us to determine the painful points our country should focus on first. It is necessary to clearly sketch out the trajectories we should move along.”

In her opinion, the priorities should include matters of demography, the development of the green economy and business initiatives, the resolution of gender problems. “For instance, the digitization of economy we all strive for will increase the threat of cyberattacks. Robots will make many professions unnecessary. It means it is necessary to organize retraining in time and prepare the education system for these changes. In other words, goal No.4 on the list of SDGs – education – is coming to the forefront,” Marianna Shchetkina noted.

In her words, close attention should be paid to measures designed to improve the demographic situation. Like many other European countries Belarus has to deal with the problems of the falling birthrate and the aging population. As much as 13% of the population will be over 65 years old by 2035 according to UN projections. “We are talking about a higher burden on the healthcare system, social security services and about the instability of the pension systems. It is necessary to revise the workload employable citizens have to handle in order to support unemployable ones,” Marianna Shchetkina said.

She stressed the need to get the nation more actively involved in reaching the SDGs. “The UN calls for mobilizing everyone everywhere. We need a major effort. Not every Belarusian knows what the SDGs are and it has to change,” the national coordinator said.

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