The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development came as a result of international efforts to find solutions to existing challenges. Turkmenistan actively participated in formulation of the sustainable development goals and was among the first states to officially adopt all 17 SDGs and mainstream them into the national development plans and strategies.
We see the preparation of our first Voluntary National Review (VNR) as an important part of follow-up and review process, but also as an opportunity to strengthen national policies to achieve sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda is country's main strategy, which will enable both deepening the social orientation of existing national policies and achieving country’s balanced development in three dimensions - social, economic and environmental. Given the indivisibility of SDGs, Turkmenistan applies an integrated approach to their implementation, as reflected in the VNR report.
Since the adoption of SDGs, Turkmenistan has achieved significant progress in its social policy, began the market transformations, and stepped up climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. The positive results in providing the population with affordable and high-quality medical services and education are being maintained; while the reforms continue aimed at improving healthcare and education systems. Country has embarked upon the development of market relations, which is accompanied with the continuation of the socially-oriented economic growth and greening of economic sectors, rational use of natural resources and effective adaptation to climate change. At the same time, special attention is being given to inclusivity of national reforms, and ensuring equal opportunities and full participation of women in economic, political and cultural life of the country.
A Working Group comprised of Deputy Heads of ministries and government agencies, civil society organizations and academia, was established to oversee the SDG implementation and monitoring and their further integration into national, sectoral and regional development programmes. The VNR report preparation ensured full participation of all stakeholders leaving no one behind; it reflects the vision of public and civil society organizations, private sector and youth, and represents the cooperation results between Turkmenistan and the UN system.
The preparation of the VNR report offered an opportunity to look anew at the measures being undertaken in Turkmenistan, and identify the steps forward in further implementation of SDGs:
Turkmenistan’s initiatives aimed at consolidating international efforts to addressing the major issues of the global agenda cannot be implemented single-handedly - they require an active engagement of international community, along with technical assistance and investments from international organizations and multilateral banks.