Ms. Maria Francesca Spatolisano Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs

“The contribution of regional cooperation and partnerships to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda:
the experience of the Central European Initiative”

Distinguished participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, I am delighted to join you today, and to congratulate the Central European Initiative on its 30th anniversary.

The Central European Initiative is an embodiment of one of the most important underpinnings of the 2030 Agenda – that all actors at all levels must work together to achieve a more sustainable future.

Paragraph 21 of the 2030 Agenda acknowledges the importance of the regional and sub-regional dimensions, regional economic integration and interconnectivity for sustainable development. The Central European Initiative has fully taken on this challenge, aligning its three-year Plan of Action with the 2030 Agenda.
The goals and targets that the Initiative advances through strengthening regional cooperation are too numerous to mention here in full:

  • good governance,
  • anti-corruption,
  • economic growth,
  • environmental protection,
  • renewable energy and energy efficiency,
  • research and innovation, just to name a few.

The Initiative is also about inclusion. All relevant stakeholders – from policy makers to researchers, from entrepreneurs to civil society – take part. We at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs hope to strengthen cooperation with the Central European Initiative to advance these aims through shared action.

While we are currently focusing on the discussions at hand at the HLPF, we must also ensure that the momentum be kept up through concrete implementation actions.

On 24-25 September, the SDG Summit will serve as the culmination point of the first four years of SDG implementation. In addition to the inter-governmentally-agreed political declaration, voluntary actions to accelerate SDG implementation will be announced before and during the SDG Summit.

These Acceleration actions can reflect a more ambitious target, a new policy or programme, new investments or increased financial or other support.

I urge the Central European Initiative and all the participants to make these commitments – and to implement them. The credibility of the SDGs in these trying times relies on all of us being able to showcase real, tangible results. We thank the Central European Initiative for its continuous efforts towards this shared aim.

Thank you.

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