UN, Kazakhstan intend substantially contribute to environmental resilience (INTERVIEW)

UN, Kazakhstan intend substantially contribute to environmental resilience (INTERVIEW)

Trend's exclusive interview with UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan Norimasa Shimomura.

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 19

By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:

United Nations (UN) and Kazakhstan intend to make a substantial contribution to environmental resilience, UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan Norimasa Shimomura told Trend.

In Aug. 2020 First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov and UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Norimasa Shimomura signed an Agreement between Kazakhstan and the UN on Cooperation for Sustainable Development for 2021-2025.

Shimomura explained that Cooperation Framework is seen as a mechanism to further advance the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in Kazakhstan, by consolidating key resources of strategic partners, including the Government, civil society, academia, private sector, media, international community and the UN itself.

"The priorities of the Cooperation Framework have been defined based on the national priorities of Kazakhstan, and through the process of multi-stakeholder consultations, led by the idea that the 2030 Agenda must be achieved with a broad participation of people in Kazakhstan, including women, youth, persons with special needs – all to ensure that we 'Leave No One Behind'. The Theory of Change for the Cooperation Framework emphasis that achieving inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability requires participation of all people in Kazakhstan – women, men, youth, elderly, disabled and others, including those from vulnerable groups, in economic, political and social modernization of the society," he said.

Shimomura added that under the Cooperation Framework, United Nations and Kazakhstan intend to make a substantial contribution to improvement of policy coherence for reduction of inequalities, achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment, building effective, inclusive and transparent governance, strengthening the rule of law and protection of human rights and environmental resilience that should help build a more cohesive society.

"The Cooperation Framework’s strategic priorities and intended outcomes are placed within the broader Central Asia context and closely linked to common development challenges identified in the countries of the region. The Cooperation Framework is most sensitive to the long-term development priorities of Kazakhstan that target a gradual transition from an overreliance on extractive industries toward more diversified economy that is characterized by a robust small and medium-sized enterprise sector, integration of research and innovation, use of renewable energy and increase of regional trade and transit that allows the country becoming a hub of regional economic corridors," Shimomura said.

He added that within three thematic areas - Human Development and Equal Participation, Effective Institutions, Human Rights and Gender Equality, and Inclusive Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability, joint interventions of strategic partners will be implemented under six outcomes that focus on social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

"The Cooperation Framework and UN’s COVID-19 Response Plan reflect the UN System’s pledge to the Government and to the people of Kazakhstan to always pursue the most sustainable, integrated, effective and efficient development pathways to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN is deepening its support to Kazakhstan to implement the ambitious vision of the country’s forward-looking development agenda and the Government’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals," Shimomura said.

He also emphasized that the UN system in Kazakhstan will remain a valued, rights-based and trusted partner, focused on providing to its partners in the Government and society the most relevant policy advice, technical assistance and access to global networks.

Talking situation with COVID-19 he noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is more than a health crisis and it has not spared anyone in the country from being affected by this pandemic.

"As in the rest of the world, the economic slowdown in Kazakhstan caused by the pandemic may pose risks to achieving the SDGs and may affect implementation of the Cooperation Framework. The UN system in Kazakhstan’s consolidated response to these evolving demands will be pursued through the UN’s COVID-19 Socio-Economic Response and Recovery Support Plan. This plan is based on the UN’s ‘global framework’ for post COVID-19 socio-economic response. It also is fully compatible with the Cooperation Framework, as both aim to put people at the center of development," Shimomura said.

Talking long-term affects of COVID-related situation for Kazakhstan, Shimomura said that the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging test for society.

"This is a test that we can only pass if we are all united. And if we manage the recovery process right, we can better achieve the sustainable development goals and that creates a more resilient country that is more resilient against future challenges. The UN system stands in solidarity with the people of Kazakhstan and we will do our best to overcome this difficult moment," Shimomura said.

Shimomura added that putting people at the center of political and economic reforms means a human rights-based approach to development is needed.

"By respecting human rights in this time of crisis, we will build more effective and inclusive solutions for the emergency of today and the recovery for tomorrow. We believe that the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs present the best game plan to "build back better", with their inter-connected nature and focus on the principle of leaving no one behind. No one can achieve these goals alone unless we elevate our partnerships to another level," Shimomura said.

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Follow the author on twitter: @nargiz_sadikh

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