2030 Agenda – Serbia meeting new challenges

Local news, 09.12.2020

The “SDGs for All” Platform organized an annual online conference on December 8 and 9, 2020, with more than 200 participants. The objective of the conference was to showcase the platform’s key achievements since its official launch in March this year, but also to discuss future development challenges and perspectives for Serbia in line with the 2030 Agenda.

On-line Conference within the SDGs for All platform
On-line Conference within the SDGs for All platform ©GiZ

The Platform is hosted by the “SDGs for All” program and is being implemented in partnership with six eminent civil society organizations: the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, the Center for Democracy Foundation, the Center for Advanced Economic Studies, the Timok Youth Center, the Belgrade Open School and the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. (For more information please visit: www.sdgs4all.rs)

During the two-day event, representatives of state institutions, civil society, the business sector, international organizations, academia and the research community, professional associations, media and others, engaged in dialogue on priorities and public policies for a better future and sustainable development – for the benefit of all citizens.

Urs Schmid, Ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia, highlighted the crucial role of strong and capable institutions in addressing sustainable development issues and pointed out that Switzerland had been providing significant support to Serbia since 1991. He also expressed Swiss commitment to the principle “leave no one behind”, reduction of poverty and inequality, sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work. “In our experience, implementation of Agenda 2030 is most successful when all concerned parties are consulted, and when the government acts jointly with the private sector, civil society, academia and development partners”, the Ambassador stated.

Thomas Schieb, German Ambassador to Serbia, emphasized that Germany is a committed partner of Serbia in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and as Serbia’s biggest bilateral donor, Germany will continue to provide its support in all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.

A special focus of all keynote speakers was on the need to recognize that, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new sustainability balance is required, with even more interdependency between economic, social and environmental resilience.

Françoise Jacob, the UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia, used her welcoming speech to emphasize that the SDGs can only be achieved if all actors work together – the government, local communities, the private sector and financial institutions. She also called for integrating the principles of sustainability into Serbia’s development vision to ensure health, security, improved well-being and equality for all, as well as economic and environmental resilience.

Slavica Đukić Dejanović, special advisor to the Prime Minister for the 2030 Agenda pointed out that the Government is working to adjust its planning documents to the SDGs, strengthening institutional mechanisms for their implementation and continuing to support dialogue exchange among all relevant stakeholders at both national and local level.

The representatives of the partner civil society organizations presented the key findings of the report on civil society’s priorities for Serbia’s sustainable development and the report on Serbia’s normative and institutional readiness to implement the 2030 Agenda.

An important aspect of the conference was the presentation of the Platform’s work at the local level and related discussions that involved representatives of local authorities, local civil society and local businesses and business associations.

During the final panel, executive directors of the civil society partner organizations highlighted that the “SDGs for All” Platform represents the synergy of efforts to effectively implement the 2030 Agenda and SDGs across all levels of the society, based on multi-stakeholder partnerships, and with broad citizen participation.

The program SDGs for All is supported by the Governments of Switzerland and Germany, and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the project “Public Finance Reform – 2030 Agenda”. The Platform involves the establishment of a society-wide dialogue among the most important non-state actors in Serbia on the alignment of Serbia's development priorities with the goals contained in the 2030 Agenda. The Swiss Government supports this program to the tune of EUR 2.6 million.