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In 2015, Kosovo joined the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committing to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aiming to eliminate extreme poverty, reduce inequality and create a greener planet.  With more than 9000 Kosovars participating in research that helped to draft the post-2015 Agenda, the UN Kosovo Team (UNKT), with international and local partners, have supported Kosovo institutions in the achievement of their development aspirations.  Work towards the fulfillment of the SDGs also honours Kosovo’s commitment to objectives such as the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and its aspirations of EU integration.  A critical moment was reached in January of this year, when the Kosovo Parliament endorsed a Resolution on the SDGs, moving to the next level of integration across institutions.

Whilst this endorsement reflected a strong commitment to positive future development, perhaps even more poignant was today’s event: the inauguration of the Council for Sustainable Development within the Assembly of Kosovo.   The Council is comprised on the MPs who lead the process while calling on other partners to support the Assembly. Through this new body of individuals, practical implementation of the SDGs can be monitored.  The UN Development Coordinator, Richardson has reminded that “The SDG agenda is a global one, honorable to all the places including Kosovo. It is a mutually reinforcing one with the EU integration, the SAA and other commitments that the institutions are working to achieve. The UN will remain committed to providing support to the needs of the Assembly as the Council moves forward with the Agenda.”

The Chairmanship of the Council for Sustainable development will rest with the Chair of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social welfare. MP Baftiu, who stated that “It is important for us to, through this process, provide substantial inputs to the global agendas for our sake first of all, but also for respecting our commitment towards our people who have elected us to improve their lives, environment, and social/economic status.”

To mark today’s event, representatives from both executive and research agencies, namely the Prime Minister’s Strategic Planning Office, the Agency of Statistics and the offices of the municipalities, in addition to the UN Organizations with the international community, came together to pledge their commitment to the 2030 Agenda and to the work of the new Council.  This Council will proceed in accordance with the Rules of the Procedure of the Assembly of Kosovo, with all SDG actions being mainstreamed so as to achieve greater inter-institutional unity.  Such procedures will also allow for assessments of SDG developments to be included within future National Development Strategy reports.

Following this formal inauguration procedure, the official opening of an SDG installation outside the Kosovo Assembly also took place.  This colourful installation will stand as a physical commemoration of the positive work undertaken in Kosovo to date and to the bright future that implementation of the SGDs endeavours to achieve.

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