North-East Asian Forum on Sustainable Development Goals Opens
Forum on SDGs checks progress on leaving no one behind
5 September 2018, Ulaanbaatar – While North-East Asia is ahead of other regions in Asia and the Pacific in achieving many of the SDGs with fewer than 10% of its population in poverty, relatively low unemployment rates, higher enrolments in secondary education, wider access to basic services, and relatively strong public institutions, inequality remain a major challenge. ESCAP studies show that despite robust growth in the region, income inequality is widening with major discrepancies in access to education, clean energy and decent work, particularly in China, Japan and Mongolia.
These are among the key takeaways from the North-East Asian multi-stakeholder Forum on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), under the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality” held on the 5th and the 6th of September in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Jointly organized by Mongolia’s Parliament and Government, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the UN in Mongolia, the Forum gathered together a dynamic mix of senior representatives from governmental agencies, international community, academia, development partners, civil society, private sector and media to exchange experiences in tackling the SDGs which aim to end poverty, fight inequality and protect the planet for future generations.
“We are keen to share experiences, so that we can learn from each other’s achievements and challenges in implementing the Global Goals, support each other in the SDGs progress and foster mutual cooperation on the Regional Roadmap to the SDGs,” said Mongolia’s Chief Cabinet Secretariat, G. Zandanshatar.
The Forum sought to share progress and map next steps to achieving the Global Agenda 2030. Recognizing this, the Forum focuses on six of the 17 SDGs, namely, quality education (Goal 4), decent work and economic growth (Goal 8), reduced inequalities (Goal 10), climate action (Goal 13), and peace and justice (Goal 16) as well as ways of implementing the SDGs through partnerships (Goal 17).
At the opening of the Forum, Sangmin Nam, Acting Head of the East and North-East Asia Office of ESCAP highlighted the progress and achievements the North-East Asian countries have made in promoting complementarities between national contexts and the SDGs. He also noted: “There are many population groups that are still left behind. Hence it’s important to provide national and sub-regional contexts on the six selected goals under review and enhance awareness and understanding of the key challenges and opportunities for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in North-East Asia”.
One of the highlights of the event was a discussion on progress towards the SDGs shared by participating countries. Japan shared their experience of creating the SDGs Promotion Headquarters led by the Prime Minister of Japan which focuses on accelerating the SDGs while empowering the next generation, localising the SDGs and ensuring advancement of women. Another successful example was shared by a civil society representative from South Korea on reducing inequality in access to information and ensuring the participation in decision-making while making sure the SDGs are implemented through practical means.
The Forum also held a special session on Mongolia’s pioneering experience in implementing the SDGs.
“Mongolia has shown its commitment to the Global Development Agenda 2030, by becoming an early adopter of the SDGs through formulating its own Sustainable Development Vision 2030 back in 2016. The need of the hour now is to increasingly translate the vision and its goals into concrete and well-aligned government policies and budgets, while ensuring that public investments target social and environmental sectors. The United Nations stands ready to support Mongolia in this journey”, said Beate Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia, who is co-hosting the Forum.
The North-East Asia multi-stakeholder Forum on Sustainable Development Goals is part of the preparatory process for the 6th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development to be held in 2019.
For further references:
For further inquiries:
Nomin Lkhagvasuren, Communications consultant, UN Mongolia
Tel: (976)-11-327585/ 99134426