MINSK, 19 December (BelTA) – In trying to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Minsk is guided by the formula Five Cities in One, BelTA learned from Igor Yurkevich, Deputy Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee, chairman of the regional group on sustainable development in Minsk, during the parliamentary hearings held in the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament on 19 December to discuss the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals at the regional level.
The official said: “Reaching the SDGs is a multifaceted and ambitious task. The central government, the parliament, municipal government agencies, representatives of science, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and the youth are involved in the process of achieving the SDGs. As the first step the regional group determined key problems, trends, avenues, and growth points. The strategic plan on Minsk's sustainable development till 2020 was used as the basis. Its ideology relies on the formula Five Cities in One.”
Igor Yurkevich explained that the formula contains five development priorities: a city of health and high social standards, a city of knowledge and scientific technologies, a city attractive for doing business and making investments, a city of international communications, a city of smart accommodation and interaction with citizens.
The main purpose of the effective management goal is to convert Minsk into a modern European city with high living standards and a quality urban environment. The approach will allow observing the universal inclusion principle of the 2030 Agenda, Igor Yurkevich said.
The Minsk city administration works hard to secure balance in the resolution of economic, social, and ecological problems by rational and effective usage of the available resources and capabilities for the sake of the present generation of Minsk residents and future ones. The core effort is focused on priority avenues and growth points, on using cutting-edge international experience of strategic planning and regional development.
According to Igor Yurkevich, Minsk now has modern healthcare institutions, which can provide any kind of necessary aid to their patients. The applied science center for organ and tissue transplantation works well. The Minsk city oncological early treatment clinic is under reconstruction. A new radiology wing fitted with modern high-tech medical equipment will be opened there by the end of the year. Work is in progress to develop psychological assistance services. Conditions are being enabled for self-realization and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. Conditions are being enabled for inclusive education. Close attention is paid to population employment. Real estate properties are handed over to private companies for free for the sake of creating new jobs.
Minsk is revising its ecological policy in favor of a model where economic growth is accompanied by reduced consumption of resources and a lower environmental footprint. Electric buses are now part of the city's mass transit system. The strategy City of Knowledge and Science-Intensive Technologies provides for developing the educational and scientific-innovative complexes, for modernizing all the branches of the national economy. Stronger international ties remain a priority for the Minsk City Executive Committee. Minsk has been twinned with 20 cities.
“In the future we intend to cooperate with the twinned cities as part of the effort to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. We intend to study them and use their best practices. A Minsk delegation has already taken part in the conference on local partnership with a view to implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda through joint efforts. The conference took place in Bonn in early December,” said Igor Yurkevich.
The regional group on sustainable development in Minsk was established in November 2017. It comprises representatives of various branches and committees of the Minsk city administration.