High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the
Sustainable Development Goals
21 April 2016
Action at all levels – National Implementation
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Dear Colleagues and Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to start by congratulating you, Mr. Lykettoft, and your team for bringing us together to discuss about the Sustainable Development Goals that we, Member States, approved last September.
During the last fifteen years, the Millennium Development Goals marked an historic and effective approach of global mobilization to tackle major concerns such as hunger and poverty; health and education; gender inequalities and discrimination, but also environmental degradation and global warming.
The new Agenda for 2030 is universally applicable and it concerns all of us, all countries, with all our differences and distinct national realities. It certainly concerns my country, Albania.
Let me briefly explain what sustainability means to us, for the present and the coming years:
It means reinforcing the rule of law, strengthening our democratic society values, increasing economic performance, the well-being of the people, deepening our broad based social harmony.
As foundations of our development path, social cohesion, religion coexistence and cooperation are the main assets of the Albanians, wherever they live.
In His visit to Albania, the very first in Europe, Pope Francis said that Albania’s interreligious harmony was an “inspiring example” for the world, showing that Christian-Muslim coexistence wasn’t only possible but beneficial for a country’s development.
My country has gone through a long and painful transition, which has brought profound changes, but has also unveiled disparities. We need to further refine an inclusive domestic economic agenda based on continued growth while being respectful to the environment.
Judiciary reform, employment in general, integration of youth in the labor market, in particular, inclusiveness with disabilities and all those who can contribute to development, empowerment of women and girls, are key elements for our progress.
Quality education and free quality health care for all, already two main priority areas of our development agenda, will keep us busy, very busy in the years ahead. They will be crucial components in our road to sustainability.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Albania and UNDP entered into a new partnership in mid-2014. This partnership consisted in implementing a pilot project, which could develop and test governance targets and indicators feeding the United Nation’s post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal framework, namely Goal 16: “Peace, justice and strong institutions”.
Presenting a vision of the 15 years ahead in few minutes is an almost impossible mission. But I think that what really counts is not what and how much we say here but what and how much we will be doing there, in our respective countries. Meeting the 17 goals and measuring the 168 indicators will matter more.