Opening Remarks By Sabine Machl, United Nations Resident Coordinator
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Dear Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the Government,
Dear Chairman of the Parliament and Members of Parliament,
Dear Development Partners and Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps,
Dear Colleagues and Guests,
It is a true honor for me to deliver the welcoming remarks on behalf of the Development Partner Coordination Group. This Group consists of all major bilateral and multilateral development partners including the International Financial Institutions who are operating here in Georgia. On behalf of all of us, I would like to thank you Mr. Prime Minister, your Administration as well as all members of the cabinet for the opportunity to hold this High-Level Forum and to discuss the way forward in our cooperation in order to make our support as effective as possible.
We consider this platform key to jointly reflect on the progress as well as the opportunities and to further increase results and strengthen our co-operation. It is also very timely, given that many Development Partners are in the midst of preparing their new cooperation and support strategies. We are looking forward to hearing the Government’s priorities and areas you would like us to focus on in 2020 and beyond. During today’s Forum we very much hope to be guided by a “results driven approach” which can then be further refined in the six thematic working groups that will meet throughout the year. Those groups which are co-chaired by one Ministry and one representative of the development partners will work on sectoral coordination.
The ambitious 2030 Agenda with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was immediately embraced by Georgia. Your country was among the first ones to do a voluntary national review in 2016 and a second review is coming up this year. We are convinced that the coordination of our work will contribute greatly to the implementation of Georgia’s national priorities. We are looking towards the government’s leadership in shaping these priorities to make the promise of leaving no-one behind a reality. The SDGs delineate the world we want - a world free from poverty, deprivation and inequality; a fairer world; a world that respects natural limits. The SDGs respond to our challenges of the 21th century and represent the interlinked “5 Ps” of people, planet, prosperity, partnership and peace.
We, the development partners, stand ready to support Georgia in maintaining sustainable, inclusive and “green” economic growth that needs to be accompanied by the poverty reduction, the protection of human rights as well as the advancement of the rule of law and judicial reforms. Particular attention should be given to energy efficiency and the need to unlock its entire potential by adopting the relevant legislative package in the Parliament. In addition, we believe that strengthening democratic institutions, building human capital and tackling challenges that are posed to all of us by climate change need to be in the focus of our attention. We stand ready to work with you at different levels, be it in the areas of legislation, policy or design as well as implementation of national strategies and action plans.
We are looking forward to supporting the putting into practice of the decentralization strategy which was adopted at the end of last year. Every woman and man in Georgia, no matter where they live, should be able to benefit from the progress the country is making. This includes that everybody has access to quality education, healthcare as well as finances to realise their respective aspirations.
During our dialogue we would very much welcome to hear about your plans of how the whole-of-society approach can work towards strengthening the resilience of communities. We would like to learn how you envisage the involvement of civil society, the private sector, academia and NGOs in reaching Georgia’s ambitious development agenda.
The national budget, donor resources and the administration’s capacity to implement are not infinite. The only way to ensure sustainable results that contribute to inclusive growth, is to make sure that we use every lari, every project, every working hour in the best possible way. No overlap or duplication. Striving for a coherent approach and complementarity of our efforts.
On behalf of all development partners we are very much looking forward to our interactions and discussions throughout this afternoon and once again thank you very much for engaging in this high-level dialogue with us.