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Deputy FM I. Amanatidis' speech at the event entitled "17 UN Goals for sustainable development" (Observatory of International Organizations and Globalization, 16 March 2017
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with great pleasure that I am here today so that I may contribute to the discussion of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and, subsequently, of the initiatives that will have to be taken, on both a national and international level, for their implementation by 2030. This pertains to universal goals, which affect human activity as a whole and, as result, human rights as a whole, as expressed at the level of society, the economy, and the environment.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) broadly define sustainable development, encompassing issues such as poverty, gender equality, health, education, good governance, migration, climate change and environmental protection. Consequently, many different areas of Public Administration as well as other Bodies, such as the Hellenic Statistical Authority, the private sector, and civil society should be involved and work together in the process of implementing these Goals. In this context, today's event is an excellent opportunity for one to mention the government's initiatives to date for achieving these goals as part of our broader plan for growth, as well as the steps which will be taken.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is well known that fair and sustainable development has been placed at the very core of our government's efforts, as a catalyst for growth for all of the country's forces, which have been affected deeply by the prolonged recession and the imposition of harsh austerity measures on the country. Being aware that the distance that separates us from each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in reality also defines the distance that separates us from ensuring our citizens a decent life, the inaugural meeting of the interministerial coordination network for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place last December, with the participation of 50 heads of public administration, on the initiative of the Co-ordination Office for Institutional, International and European Affairs of the General Secretariat of the Government
The purpose of the meeting was none other than joint planning, and to define the basic stages and a timetable for achieving the objectives on a national level. Present at the meeting were heads of the Coordination Office for Institutional, International, and European Affairs, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Hellenic Aid-3) and of ELSTAT (Hellenic Statistical Authority), who in turn laid out the situation as regards implementation of the SDGs at the international, European and national levels.
At the same time, the roadmap for achieving the objectives at a national level was presented by the organizers, the method for mapping of the current situation by government officials, the procedure for setting down the legislative and policy methods for the achievement/integration of the goals by field of competence and stage of implementation, as well as the prioritization of objectives according to the priorities of each ministry were discussed.
With mapping and prioritization of the goals as a point of departure, a new meeting was conducted at the beginning of the month (7 March 2017), focusing on policy cohesion as regards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, as policy cohesion is crucial in achieving any one Goal through the achievement of other Goals. For example, achieving the goal "Water" contributes to achieving the goal "Food Safety" or the goal "Health," since the goals are interrelated.
Beyond our participation in the global effort for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, sustainable development was made a priority for Greece quite a while ago by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras himself. And this is because "the vision of equitable development entails the progressive integration into production of the entire labour force, which finds itself in the grey zone of “unemployment" and permits redistribution, for those who have suffered the most from the imposition of harsh austerity in recent years.
Our country found itself in the welter of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, which has affected the standard of living, human rights, civil liberties, the environment.
Through the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, we bravely tackle the need on a global level, as well as our own national challenge: to put an end to the recession, returning to growth for all, not merely for the few.