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Regional cooperation key to the achievement of global goals

A conference dedicated to the implementation of the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) was held in Sarajevo on 29 and 30 November 2021.

Participants in the conference included representatives of institutions responsible for Agenda 2030 and policy coordination in five countries, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as representatives of the Embassy of Sweden to BiH, Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) and the United Nations.

Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) reminded the attendants at the opening of the conference that in April 2021 the Council of Ministers adopted the SDG Framework in BiH.

Zoran Tegeltija

This document is a good example of cooperation in the preparation, but also in the adoption, because the structure included representatives of all relevant levels of government in BiH”, stated Tegeltija.

Dr Ingrid Macdonald, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in BiH, pointed out that the recently endorsed SDG Framework of BiH, and the establishment of the Council for Monitoring the Implementation of SDGs in BiH, was a proof that progress was possible.

Dr Ingrid Macdonald

Bosnia and Herzegovina is willing to contribute to the global commitment towards achieving the SDGs and thereby advance its own sustainable development agenda in the country”, said Macdonald.

Eva Gibson Smedberg, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden to BiH, underlined that Sweden supported the design of the SDG Framework for BiH through UN.

Eva Gibson Smedberg

We are very pleased that the document has been endorsed by various levels of the governance. There is a lot of work ahead that will require strong engagement and firm commitment by all”, said Smedberg.

Ratka Sekulović, Director of ReSPA, said that ReSPA, through capacity building and networking activities, contributed to policy development and cooperation in the region.

Ratka Sekulović

Policy coordination is also mentioned in the EU enlargement package, which was published this October. All Western Balkans countries are strongly invited to take more serious steps to improve in this area”, said Sekulović.

The conference specifically addressed SDGs-aligned policy design, coordination and implementation within the broader system of strategic planning and development management in the countries of the region.