President Stevo Pendarovski, within the framework of his participation in the United Nations General Assembly, attended the opening of the High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development under the auspices of the General Assembly and addressed the leadership dialogue “Increasing the activities of key transitions to accelerate the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals”.
In his address, President Pendarovski emphasized that with the support of UN agencies and donor support, we made progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the state established three main national obligations: investing in developing skills for the future as a prerequisite for economic growth, increasing the share of renewable energy sources to support climate action and energy sustainability and adoption of the National Development Strategy, which together with the MKD2030 Development Framework should rationalize all Sustainable Development Goals in Macedonian society.
Below is the integral text of the address of President Pendarovski.
Seven years ago we adopted the SDGs as a global plan for a safer world. Since then, the world has been anything but safe, especially for the poor and vulnerable. The multiple crises have widened inequality, increased poverty and slowed down the green transition. Extreme weather has become more frequent and more deadly.
The accumulated risks and crises of today are only a foretaste of the future that awaits our world unless we implement the SDGs on time. It is only with bold, ambitious, and just actions that can we avoid such a scenario.
North Macedonia has adopted the 2021-2025 Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. With the support of the UN agencies and donors, we have made progress on SDG targets and outlined three major national commitments.
First, investment in developing future skills as a prerequisite for economic growth. This asks for education adapted to the needs of the labour market, reducing the STEM gender gap and creating jobs for the young, digital generation.
Second, increasing the share of renewable energy to support climate action and energy sustainability in line with the enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions, the National Strategy for Energy Development and the Long-term Strategy on Climate Action.
Third, the adoption of the National Development Strategy, which, along with the Development Framework MKD2030, should streamline all SDGs in the Macedonian society by building a consensus that transcends ethnic, religious, generational and political differences. Good governance, rule of law and anti-corruption are central to this end.
By fulfilling these commitments, we will achieve three goals.
First, we will contribute to a safer and more sustainable planet.
Second, we will implement 70% of the criteria for European Union membership. Our European future is essentially grounded on sustainable development.
Third, we will tackle our most urgent challenge – the massive emigration of young people. The success of our SDG commitments to create a just, inclusive and resilient society will be measured by the readiness of our young people to envision their future in their homeland.
We can’t afford to wait for more favourable conditions to implement the SDGs. And we will not wait!
We have to do it – in the name of the current and future generations.
Thank you for your attention.