We have made a lot of effort to build partnerships with a wide range of actors, such as NGOs, universities, self-governing authorities, interest groups, entrepreneurs and state agencies, said Richard Rasi, Deputy Prime Minister in the UN, and added that, in the first half of 2018, these actors together created 6 national priorities of Slovakia through the wide participation process. Deputy Prime Minister announced these priorities yesterday in Slovakia’s first voluntary national report on progress in meeting the 2030 Agenda Objectives for Sustainable Development. Of the 190 countries that have adopted Agenda 2030, 67 countries have so far presented. In the past year, the Czech Republic presented its progress, and the other V4 countries are about to do so this year.
“A step was taken that may have no effect on the lives of people today, but it is certainly going to have a big impact on the lives of our children in the future. We also should stop thinking and live on a day-to-day basis, or from election to election, but we should start living and define our priorities for a longer time, because we do it for our future and our younger generation,” said Richard Rasi, the Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Informatization, while stating that the key to achieving the objectives of sustainable development is, above all, the mutual cooperation of all. The implementation of Agenda 2030 is not conceivable without individual voluntary commitments and the involvement of individuals across generations in society. “Of course, the essential activity of the Government is to achieve the objectives of sustainable development, but these efforts should be supported by all − men and women, organizations and individuals, both young and old. Sustainable development is something that concerns every member of the society, because it is about creating the world, which we will pass to the future generations,” he said.
The importance of the active and engaged people from several generations was highlighted by a trio of ambassadors for individual national priorities of Slovakia, who presented along with Deputy Prime Minister.
The “Education for Dignified Life” and “Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion” national priorities were presented by Daniel Bunda, the high-school student and a talented and successful Roma, who is an active volunteer in the field of experiential education in the Eduma non-profit organization. “In today’s rapidly changing world, it is extremely important for people to fulfil their potential regardless of their ethnicity, socio-economic status or health,” said D. Bunda.
“In our country, the linear economic model, i.e. to extract, produce, distribute, consume and discard, absolutely prevails. Although it has made us progress and improve in the quality of life in all directions, it is time to realize that such an economic model is neither environmentally nor demographically neutral,” said Ivana Males, Director of Circular Economics Institute, who is also the ambassador of “Towards a Knowledge and Environmentally Sustainable Economy in Demographic Changes and the Changing Global Environment” and “Sustainable Settlements, Regions and Landscapes in the Context of Climate Change” priorities.
Vladimir Krcmery, the physician and a long-time humanitarian worker, the Rector of the High School of Health and Social Work of St. Elizabeth in Bratislava, and Volunteer of the Year 2017, spoke about the “Good Health” and “Legal State, Democracy and Security” priorities. “As a man of a generation raised in a totalitarian regime, I greatly appreciate the value of democracy, peace and a well-governed republic,” said Professor Krcmery, adding that in 2018, when Slovakia celebrates twenty-five years of independence, it is time to revise some institutional and functional settings of the governance system. “A part of this effort includes, for example, the Value for Money initiative, which aims to make public spending more efficient,” he added.
Slovakia’s national priorities are based on 17 objectives of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investment and Informatization developed them in cooperation with representatives of the self-governing authorities, and the academic, private and non-profit sectors in a participatory process, and the Government approved them in June 2018.
National priorities, along with the sustainable development objectives of Agenda 2030, will become the core of the Government strategic materials, such as the Slovak Development Strategy being in process, and the National Investment Plan.
Richard Rasi, Deputy Prime Minister, is on a weeklong working trip to the U.S.A. where, in addition to his participation in the UN High-Level Political Forum, he attended several working meetings and negotiations with the UN representatives and entrepreneurs in New York and Pittsburgh. In the next days, he will speak to compatriots at the American Slovak Day, and visit the Department of Slavic Languages and Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where Slovak studies are taught, and the Museum of Andy Warhol, the Slovak native.
Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development is an international document adopted by all UN member states in September 2015. It is a set of global commitments, by which the international community responds to the most urgent challenges of the present, such as climate change, poverty, increasing economic and social inequalities, or the unsustainability of the prevailing production patterns and consumption.
Responsibility for Agenda 2030 is divided in Slovakia between the Office of Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investment and Informatization that is responsible for the national implementation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic that is responsible for implementation in the international environment.