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NUR-SULTAN, May 16, 2019 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Beibut Atamkulov recently received a representative delegation of the United Nations (UN), which arrived in Kazakhstan to participate in the 12th Astana Economic Forum (AEF).
The delegation included UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, Assistant Administrator of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Åsa Regnér.
During the meeting, the parties discussed strengthening cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UN in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Prospects for the implementation of joint projects with ESCAP, UNDP and UN Women were outlined.
Kazakhstan cooperates with ESCAP through the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), initiated by First President of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, primarily to enhance the transit and transport potential of the region and develop Central Asia's infrastructure.
The Foreign Minister mentioned that the implementation of the SDGs was specifically monitored by the Government of Kazakhstan, stressing that around 80% of the SDGs' objectives and indicators were covered by documents of the state planning system and strategic development programs of Kazakhstan. Mr. Atamkulov also noted that in 2019, the country planned to present a voluntary national review of SDG implementation in Kazakhstan as part of the High-level Political Forum in New York.
The Minister said that Kazakhstan has set itself an ambitious goal to become one of the 30 most developed countries in the world. “The Foreign Ministry has been instructed to attract investments in Kazakhstan and promote the country's exports, including through enhancing international cooperation and studying global best practices in creating relevant conditions. In this regard, we would like to use the intellectual and methodological potential of the UN institutions," Mr. Atamkulov noted.
The UN representatives noted with satisfaction the steadily increasing level of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UN. From this perspective, they expressed gratitude to Kazakhstan for allocating a new building in Almaty to house 16 UN-based agencies and programmes, the official opening ceremony of which was held on May 1 with the participation of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
At the end of the meeting, the UN representatives noted with appreciation the high level of organization and substantive content of the AEF's work.