Experts from Central Asia and South Caucasus come together to discuss monitoring and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

12-13 November 2018, Tashkent, Uzbekistan - The General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA), hosted a two-day "Meeting on Monitoring and Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: Supporting the five Central Asian states, Azerbaijan and Georgia."

The meeting, which brought together more than 70 participants from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, provided an opportunity to exchange information on imperatives of a unified approach to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a special focus on Goal 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and on Goal 3 - Good Health and Wellbeing (Targets 3.3, 3.5 & 3.8).

Mr. Gayrat Khidoyatov, Deputy General Prosecutor of the Republic of Uzbekistan, highlighted in his statement that: "On 20 October 2018, Uzbekistan has adopted Resolution No.841 on the measures to implement the national goals and targets in the field of sustainable development until 2030. This Resolution highlights the fact that the Government of Uzbekistan takes its commitments very seriously under the UN General Assembly Resolution No.70, adopted in September 2015. The Resolution No.841 is also a reflection of the systematic approach of the Government on the step-by-step implementation of the Goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".

Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, stated in her welcoming speech: "UNODC supports the countries in Central Asia with monitoring and reporting on indicators under SDG 16, in terms of countering transnational organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, and SDG 3, especially on such targets as ending the epidemics of AIDS among people who use drugs, strengthening the prevention and treatment of narcotic drug abuse, providing access to quality essential health-care services."

Ms. Mittal continued by noting that "UNODC works closely with other UN Country Team sister agencies, such as UNDP, UNICEF and WHO, to support Governments in defining their baselines and monitoring systems to track the nationalized SDG indicators under the Goal 16 and Goal 3, associated with its mandates. While there are shared challenges of data collection for monitoring the progress, the presence of multiple stakeholders reflects the shared responsibility and commitment of the Governments and the UN to the 2030 Agenda. UNODC is working in the region to support the States by sharing the global best practices, expertise, tools and methodologies. Through this event, UNODC ROCA is looking forward to establishing regional networks for fostering greater cooperation around the effective monitoring of Goal 16 and Goal 3 under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

Along with exchanging the experience, senior officials and experts from participating countries worked on the identification of two sets of needs, namely those related to the effective monitoring and reporting on progress made in implementing the 2030 Agenda, as well as, the technical support required to design and implement policies and programmes to accelerate progress towards their priorities.

Considering that the youth makes up the majority of the Central Asian population, unique opportunity was also provided for students of universities from Uzbekistan. The students - who are involved in the organization of the Tashkent International Model United Nations (TIMUN) exercise which promotes the culture of lawfulness, preventing crime and drug use, combatting human trafficking, terrorism, corruption, and healthy lifestyle, to be held in spring 2019, and supported by UNODC, - joined the discussion of the 2030 Agenda. The students - as the future policymakers and changemakers - were engaged in informal interaction with regional experts, asked questions of concern and shared their views.

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