Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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Remarks by President Begaj at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Dear Prime Minister Frederiksen (Ms. Mette), (Danmark)

Dear Prime Minister Brown (Mr. Mark), (Cook Island)

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, allow me to express my gratitude to the Secretary-General for convening this High-level meeting focused on one of the most important commitments of the international community. A commitment that is taken in the name of our societies, humanity, and for the coming generations.

Sustainable development stands as our most robust guarantee for a world characterized by peace and stability. As we find ourselves halfway through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the timing of this meeting could not be more critical.

There’s a growing concern due to lack of progress, and in many cases, regression in several Sustainable Development Goals. The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing conflicts have presented troubling challenges, making it increasingly difficult to remain steadfast in our pursuit of these commitments and the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.

The global impact of Russia’s unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, a blatant violation of international law and the UN Charter, reverberates across borders.

The devastating consequences of this ongoing conflict threaten not only Ukraine’s economy and well-being, but also jeopardize the attainment of the SDGs and disrupt global trade and the economy, severely affecting food security for the most vulnerable.

We must remember that development and conflict are incompatible, and it is imperative that this war ceases, giving way to peace and recovery.

Regarding Albania, I would like to emphasize that my country is on an accelerated development path, advocating for comprehensive and transformative approaches that encompass economic, social, and environmental development.

The implementation of the SDG agenda is not just a priority; it is a collective national effort spanning all state institutions, including civil society.

The Albanian Parliament recently adopted a resolution outlining our commitments to promote, finance, and monitor the realization of the SDGs as part of our journey towards EU integration.

Financing remains a significant challenge, and Albania has created the SDGs Acceleration Fund, primarily funded by the government.

With only seven years left until our 2030 deadline, we must intensify our efforts and accelerate progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda. And the Sustainable Development Goals continue to serve as our universal, indivisible, and integrated blueprint, guiding our vision and aspirations for the years ahead.

Thank you!