Chance to save the planet

06.11.2020

"Involvement of civil society institutions in implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Kazakhstan"

The online conference on Sustainable Development Goals was held on 5 November.organized by Expo&Women International Organization with support of Civil Initiatives Support Center NJSC of the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Economic Research Institute.

Project partners were: National Commission for Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President, Committee for children rights protection of the Ministry of Education and Science, Anti-corruption Agency, Committee on Statistics of the Ministry of National Economy.
Representatives of stat.organizations and independent experts discussed mechanisms for responding to challenges of the time in the field of security and human rights protection - the most urgent tasks of SDG 16 (PEACE, JUSTICE and STRONG INSTITUTIONS).

It should be noted that the Civil Initiatives Support Center NJSC has been operating in Kazakhstan since 2016, created on the initiative of Kazakhstan NGOs, taking into account the experience of leading countries in the field of civil society development. Center implements state tasks through non-governmenta.organizations – social projects, each of which affects the Sustainable Development Goals. There are 116 such projects this year.⠀

"About 800 specific civil initiatives are supported by mini-grants. Amounts of grants are different. We have projects related to supporting civil initiatives at the rural level", said Batima Mukina, Chairman of the Center Board, opening this conference.

Civil Initiatives Support Center NJSC regularly conducts contests for state grants provision for NGOs. As part of its activities, the Expo&Women project was funded to conduct awareness-raising work on SDG-16.  17 Republican online seminars wer.organized on such relevant topics as: 
  • elimination of all forms of violence and exploitation against children and adolescents; 
  • domestic violence; 
  • formation of an anti-corruption culture in the youth and social sphere;
  • public access to information and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the national legislation and international agreements, etc.
"Many seminars were held with the live broadcast. Total number of views was more than 30 000 for 8 months, which undoubtedly confirms the demand for this topic among population of Kazakhstan", said Lyazyat Askarova, Chairman of the Board of Expo&Women International Organization, Project Manager.
Sociological study was conducted, "Methodological recommendations on implementation of the SDGs in Kazakhstan" were developed as well, and an informational video clip with participation of public figures of Kazakhstan and leaders of the SDGs was created during the explanatory events initiated by Expo&Women. Lyazyat Kazhitayevna addressed to all citizens of Kazakhstan: 

"We have one planet. We do not have planet B, and we do not have a plan B, so the global goals that the United Nations offers us are related to all of us. Paragraph 50 of the UN Resolution states that we have the only chance to save the planet. I urge you to make the UN's global goals as your own".

UNDP and Human Rights
UNDP supports the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in 170 countries around the world. A lot of work is being done in Kazakhstan. Aigerim Yegemberdiyeva, Project Manager of Partnership for Building National SDG Platform, spoke about the Organization programs aimed at achieving those Goals in our country.

"Engaging civil society institutions in SDGs helps strengthen the institutional framework and tools needed to achieve those Goals. ...UNDP, as the UN Development Agency, is constantly building up the potential for cooperation with national partners in important and priority areas for the country. Those initiatives and projects have one goal: to achieve and strengthen sustainable change", she said. 

The First Voluntary National Review has been prepared through the Partnership for Building National SDG Platform. Experts of the Economic Research Institut.organized round tables with "Mission 2030" business game in 17 regions of the country. The First Regional Summit on SDG financing was held as well. 

"All interested parties took part in each of these events. We expect that the effect of this project will be comprehensive and will serve as an effective support for government measures to nationalize the Goals. 

... This year, UNDP, together with ESCAP and UNICEF, attracted a grant from the joint United Nations SDG Fund to assist the Kazakhstan government in integrated national SDG funding structure", Ms. Yegemberdiyeva said during the conference.

According to her, a special program for 2020-2020 has been launched for this purpose with the support of national ministries. It is planned to increase the budget for social projects, where special attention will be paid to vulnerable segments of population, including women and children. 

"We can talk a lot about human rights. It is enough to recall that Article 1 of the Constitution explicitly states that the highest values of the state are the person, his life, rights and freedoms", Commissioner for Human Rights, Elvira Azimova, emphasized in her speech. According to her opinion, the SDGs are an exemplary mechanism for protecting human rights.

"If we are talking directly about SDG 16.3 - promoting the rule of Law at the national and international levels and ensuring equal access to justice for all, we can recall the first report that Kazakhstan voluntarily submitted to the UN in July 2019. It defines the legal status of the Commissioner for Human Rights. This is an independent human rights mechanism. As an elected person independent of the Executive, her tools allow to convey the problem of human rights violations. ...The second direction that Kazakhstan has outlined is to reduce domestic violence against women", the human rights activist concluded.

Unfortunately, despite all the measures taken, violence against women and children is still a widespread negative phenomenon.  SDG 16.1 – reducing the spread of all forms of violence and the death rate from this phenomenon - is aimed at preventing those problems.

"President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed to create a comprehensive program to protect children as well as their families affected by violence in the message to the people of Kazakhstan dated September 2 last year. Increase penalties for sexual violence, pedophilia, crimes against children and women, and domestic violence. Concept on Family and Gender Policy for 2030 provides for a 20% reduction in offenses against women and children by the end of 2020. Currently, the Majilis of the Parliament is considering two bills: new Law "On countering family and domestic violence" and bill "On amendments and additions to certain legislative acts aimed at strengthening responsibility for family and domestic violence", informed Saltanat Tursynbekova, member of the National Council for Family Affairs, Women and Children's Rights Protection under Nur Otan Party and the National Commission for Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President of RK. 

Tursynbekova is the Head of the "Kazakhstan Without Domestic Violence" Project. She paid special attention to the work of crisis centers and public funds to support women and children, such as: "Nemolchi", "Korgau", "Rodnik", "Amanat", "Podrugi", etc. in her speech.

The SDG Secretariat 
Kazakhstan has Coordinating Council for the SDGs to сoordinate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.  The Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan is a coordinating body of the Council. The Secretariat is the Economic Research Institute JSC (hereinafter – ERI), which provides expert and analytical support to initiatives.

Main tasks of the Council are: 
  • review and develop proposals for formation of unified policy for implementation of the SDGs in the Republic of Kazakhstan;
  • coordination of activities of interdepartmental working groups on SDGs; 
  • review and develop proposals for mplementation of the SDGs; 
  • participation in formation of the Voluntary National Review of Kazakhstan on SDGs.
In addition, the Economic Research Institute provides expert and analytical support for implementation of the SDGs in Kazakhstan.

At the end of the first part of the conference, the Deputy Chairman of Economic Research Institute JSC, project expert Shakharbanu Zhakupova noted the importance of ERI research, and economic impact on process of involvement of civil society institutions in realization of the Goals.

"To understand what institutional measures are being taken to improve socio-economic development, it is necessary to continue the reforms that are being implemented: ensuring macroeconomic stability, economic diversification – transformations that are taking place in our country's economy", she concluded. 

The second part of the conference was devoted to thematic sessions.

Role of civil society was discussed during thematic discussions of the sessions: 
  • in countering domestic violence,
  • in protection of children's rights;
  • in the fight against corruption in social sphere,
  • in ensuring public and media access to information and open data.



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Saved: 06.11.2020






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