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The first SDG Week in Bosnia and Herzegovina puts focus on the SDG Framework

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Week in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was held from 4 – 8 October 2021 and served as a meeting, consultation, and discussion platform for promotion of Sustainable Development Goals in BiH.

The SDG Week was implemented in cooperation with the Council for monitoring the implementation of SDGs in BiH (the Council). The Council includes members from all relevant state, entity, and Brčko District of BiH representatives and will work on coordination and monitoring of implementation of the SDGs in the country. The UN and the Council work together on promotion and implementation of SDGs in BIH. The SDG Week was an important venue to present the role of the Council with wider stakeholders.

We are continuing what was started in BiH at the beginning of 2017, when the first working group was formed to roll-out implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals with the immense support of the United Nations Office in Sarajevo and the Government of Sweden. All institutions had to officially adopt the SDG Framework for the document to be alive and for its implementation to start”, said Milos Prica, ambassador at large at the BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I invite everyone in Bosnia and Herzegovina to read the SDG Framework and use it as a guide for how they can contribute to achieving Agenda 2030. The Framework covers many important areas from good governance, health, energy efficiency, education, economic prosperity and beyond. It is an important tool that will help us build a fairer, greener, more prosperous and more inclusive society for all, where no one is left behind”, said Ingrid Macdonald, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in BiH.

Eva Gibson Smedberg, the head of development cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden in BiH, pointed out that Sweden financed the development of the SDG Framework in BiH.

The adoption of the Framework and the establishment of the Council for implementation of SDGs are very important steps forward. Now that the formal conditions have been met, the real work follows on the ground. What is needed for successful implementation is certainly a better awareness of all actors in the process“, said Eva Gibson Smedberg. Two events that opened the SDG Week in BiH on 4 October aimed to initiate a discussion with authorities at local level on implementation of the adopted SDG Framework in BiH and open a policy dialogue on the importance of social protection in the context of Agenda 2030.

SDG Week put the spotlight on the future of work through a special edition of the Future Talks by UNDP Accelerator Lab. Future Talks brought together inspiring speakers on 5 October from different continents to discuss the future of work.

One of the highlights of SDG Week was the conference “Greening the economy – accelerating business”. Representatives of businesses, financial institutions, academia, and international organizations in BiH discussed on 6 October, within three panels, what the green transition entails for the private sector and to deepen the understanding of the benefits of investing in green solutions.

The event „Future of Education: Universities 4.0“, held on 7 October, involved young people and students in a dialogue on new directions and tools that education needs to embrace for sustainable living and work. This year, the principal partners of the event were Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST) and The School of Economics and Business of University of Sarajevo, in cooperation with other public universities in BIH.

Signing of the Pledge for Sustainable Development marked the end of the first ever SDG Week in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The winners of the SDG Business Pioneers Award in BiH 2019-2021 gathered on 8 October to confirm their commitment to sustainable business and Agenda 2030 by signing the Pledge for Sustainable Development.

Not by chance, the SDG Week closes with private sector. It is our pleasure to bring together progressive companies that share the same values based on Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals. By signing the SDG Pledge, the winners of the SDG Business Pioneers Award demonstrated once more their commitment to create decent jobs, continue to have zero tolerance to corruption and reduce their impact on the environment. We sincerely hope that this example will be followed by others and that it will result in healthier, more competitive and greener BiH private sector”, stated Steliana Nedera, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in BiH.

800+ live audience followed 70+ local, regional, and global keynote speakers in 7 events organized under the framework of the SDG Week. The recorded sessions were viewed by 4200+ people over the span of 5 days.