State of Palestine’s Main Message
to the 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
The State of Palestine’s Political Commitment and National Ownership to the SDGs
- The State of Palestine committed itself to working with all partners in order to achieve the SDGs. So as to implement this commitment, the Palestinian Council of Ministers issued a decree establishing a national team to head the monitoring and implementing the SDGs in Palestine. The team is headed by the Prime Minister’s Office and is composed of the membership of all relevant partners.
- “Leave no one behind” was chosen as a slogan for the 2030 Agenda. The realization of these slogans in Palestine remains extremely difficult so long as the Palestinian people are not able to exercise their right to self-determination. The concept of sustainability is inextricably linked to independence. A military occupation hinders the exercise of sovereignty including the exploitation of natural resources and obstructs sustainable development.
- The 2030 agenda recognizes the people’s right in self-determination without the provision of means to implement this right. Therefore, the State of Palestine, and for the purposes of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, perceives that there should be an 18th SDGs, which is: “Ending the occupation, and the consolidation of the independent State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital”.
National Priorities of Sustainable Development
- The Palestinian Government launched the National Policy Agenda (NPA) for the years 2017-2022 under the slogan of “Putting Citizens First”. The NPA lays the foundation for three pillars for the future of the State of Palestine: path to independence, government reform and improve services to citizens, and sustainable development.
- The NPA has adopted 75 of the SDG targets, taking into account the impediments of the Israeli occupation, the dire fiscal situation of the Palestinian Government and the sharp decline of donor aid to Palestine.
Challenges in the Implementation of SDGs
- The continuation of Israel’s occupation, its systematic and widespread violations of international law continue to be the biggest impediment for Palestine to achieve the SDGs. Therefore, ending the occupation is a prerequisite for enabling Palestine to meet its commitments towards sustainable development.
- Population Growth: as estimated at 2.8% in 2017, entails increasing demand on basic services. By 2030, there will be a need to construct 1650 new schools, 36 new hospitals and create one million new jobs.
- The State of Palestine is further challenged by the insufficient resources to fund the implementation of the SDGs. The World Bank estimated that the Palestinian people are prevented from $3.4 billion of their potential revenue due to Israel’s restrictions.
- There is an imminent need for capacity building in Palestinian National Institutions. Palestine hopes to benefit from the expertise of friendly States in order to institute the best-known practices.
- The lack of available data for monitoring the SDGs and their targets remains an obstacle to the implementation of the Agenda.
Building Partnerships for the Implementation of the SDGs
- The implementation of SDGs requires the cooperation of all stakeholders. The government of Palestine adopted a set of principles to ensure active participation of non-governmental actors into the implementation of the SDGs.
- The State of Palestine continues to make active efforts in strengthening its partnership with international community. In 2017, Palestine concluded the reform for its local aid coordination structure that will strengthen the alignment of donor aid with national priorities.
The Government of Palestine, together with its all partners, will focus on the following:
- Implementing the 75 SDGs targets that are in line with the national policy agenda.
- Strengthening community participation in the implementation of SDGs. A stockholders engagement strategy will be developed and implemented.
- Developing a national system for reporting on the implementation of the SDGs. This will be coupled with an annual review, in cooperation with all stakeholders. The review will submit to the national forum on sustainable development.
- Collaboration with all relevant stakeholders to provide the needed data for SDG indicators.
- Developing regional and global partnerships in support of national SDG priorities.
- Raising public awareness, regarding the SDGs, at the national and local levels.
- Strengthening the role of local media in monitoring the implementation of the SDGs.