The Sustainable Development Goals in North Macedonia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in North Macedonia:
14 September 2023
DISCUSSION AHEAD OF THE GLOBAL SDG SUMMIT 2023 - Youth should not only participate, but take one of the leading roles on the sustainable development path
Skopje, 14 September 2023 - Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in a rapidly changing world is an impossible challenge without increased engagement of all people on the planet, especially of the youth, whose distinct perspectives and ideas can truly boost the progress towards the Agenda 2030. How to get greater youth engagement was at the focus of the discussion organised by the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in North Macedonia and the National Youth Council (NYCM) that was held at Youth Hub today. In light of the Global SDG summit (18-19 September 2023, New York, USA) the main goal of this discussion was to encourage initiatives and activities among young people, that would be useful for accelerating the implementation and achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Seeking innovative ways to benefit from full integration in the decision-making processes is an important step. The discussion on accelerating sustainable development in the context of the SDG Summit 2023 showcased how youth can make important contributions. “The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development is a shared promise by every country to secure the rights and well-being of everyone, on a healthy, thriving planet. However, this pledge is not being realized globally,” says Rossana Dudziak, UN Resident Coordinator in North Macedonia. "We now have a vital opportunity to move from rhetoric to action and break through to a better world. Achieving the SDGs also requires broader societal engagement. Civil-society and think tanks, and in particular youth must be able to strengthen their role as advocates for change and promoters of accountability. This requires not only participation, but a role in the actual decision making, especially for young people." Dudziak highlighted the fact that we all have a responsibility to act towards a greater, greener, better future of humanity and of our planet. “Our future lies in our hands. It also lies in the hands of today's younger generation, which will pass the torch to future generations," according to the 2030 Agenda. The role of young people in joint action to achieve the SDGs is indisputable and necessary for inputting their energy, passion, knowledge and skills “ said Filip Ivkovski, NYCM president. “One of the steps in accelerating the achievement of Agenda 2030 is the repositioning of young people and their transfer from the field of the consulted party to a new field as active participants in the overall process.” Some 50 young people and representatives of the UN family also discussed North Macedonia's commitments and achievements related to the SDGs since 2015, highlighting areas such as health, education, gender equality, and economic growth. The attendees raised important questions such as to what the key transitions necessary to accelerate SDGs are, how can youth support these transitions and how can UN and NYCM work together to advance sustainable development in the country. Today’s discussion provided an opportunity to ensure shared understanding on the expectations from the upcoming Summit, as well as review the venues and ways to jointly contribute to ensuring and facilitating key transitions necessary to accelerate SDGs. The National Youth Council is a representative body for youth organizations in North Macedonia, uniting 51 organizations, 17 youth organizations, 20 organizations for youth, one union, seven youth wings of other organizations and six associate members, promoting and advocating for the rights of the youth in the country. Through the Joint Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021-25, the UN Family in the country is working closely with the Government and all other stakeholders to advance sustainable development, including with youth.
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11 September 2023
UNFPA presentation of results for protection and prevention of gender-based and domestic violence
Skopje, 17 July 2023 - A presentation of the achievements in the field of protection and prevention of gender-based and domestic violence was held today in Skopje within the framework of the event "There is help for a life without violence" - Investment in gender equality today is an investment in a common future - in the presence of about 120 representatives of national institutions, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, UN agencies and media. The event marked World Population Day - 11 July and the results achieved as part of the project "Prevention and protection from gender-based violence in North Macedonia", which is implemented by the United Nations Population Fund - UNFPA North Macedonia in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and financially supported by the British Embassy Skopje. "Our goal is not just to provide a temporary break from violence, but to build a future where violence is an unthinkable concept. It requires joint efforts of institutions, civil society, the private sector and individuals like each of us", said Elizabeta Gjorgievska, Spouse of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia. "Violence against women and domestic violence are no longer a private matter, and that is why the state builds comprehensive and integrated policies that prevent violence, protect victims from violence and encourage them for further independent life," said Jovanka Trenchevska, Minister of Labor and Social Policy. "Advancement in gender equality is not just the right thing to do – it's a policy that benefits everyone." Greater gender equality is the basis of healthy democracies", said Julia Smith, Deputy Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Republic of North Macedonia. "World Population Day is a reminder that in a world of 8 billion people we can achieve a prosperous, peaceful and sustainable future for everyone. On this day, we revive conversations and efforts to empower women and girls for equal rights and choice in a world of 8 billion", said Afrodita Shalja, Head of the UNFPA Office in North Macedonia.
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13 June 2023
UNEP’s Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General meets UNCT North Macedonia to discuss the importance of joint action on environmental issues
Only through a united, holistic approach will we succeed in the efforts to tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change; of nature and biodiversity loss; and of pollution and waste. This is the conclusion of the United Nations Country Team’s (UNCT) meeting in North Macedonia with the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms Inger Andersen, who was visiting the country. Ms Andersen met with representatives of UN agencies working in the country and discussed the importance of instilling the environmental issues in all UN programmes and activities, since what happens with our environment has a far-reaching effect in all aspects of humanity’s existence. “There is a critical need to mainstream environmental dimensions into the work of the UN in North Macedonia. The UN Environment Programme is committed to strengthening collaboration on joint action towards progress on the sustainable development goals,” said Ms Andersen. Members of the UNCT noted that while environmental issues are already a sizeable portion of the UN family’s portfolio, greater efforts are needed in mobilizing every person in the country to be an advocate for the environment. The meeting of UNEP’s Executive Director, Andersen with North Macedonia’s UNCT comes as part of her programmatic visit to the country and the region. Her other engagements included meeting with Government representatives, visit to the Shar Planina National Park, meeting with young environmental activists, academia, CSOs and other key stakeholders.
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07 June 2023
European Immunization Week 2023 “Door to door” campaign in North Macedonia
European Immunization Week (EIW) is a pillar in what the World Health Organization is calling the year of ‘The Big Catch Up’ in which we are addressing a concerning decline in childhood vaccination rates across the world. Much of this decline can be attributed to impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but as we continue to fight the consequences of this devastating disease, it is important that we do not lose ground in our efforts to control and eliminate other vaccine-preventable diseases. In the WHO European Region as elsewhere, un- and under-vaccinated people remain at risk of contracting preventable diseases like measles, diphtheria and polio. Public health systems must therefore remain vigilant to track and trace any cases of vaccine-preventable diseases, and we must remind the people of this Region that every vaccine and vaccine dose counts to save lives, protect ourselves, and protect those we love. In North Macedonia, WHO has worked together with the Ministry of Health, National Immunization Committee, the Institute of Public Health, Centers of Public Health, and local Health Centers which are providing immunization services, but also with the support of other UN partners to identify under-immunized groups and expand equitable access to COVID-19 and routine vaccinations. Building on past successes, WHO is launching a novel initiative to address this issue by increasing the outreach for vaccination services at local level via door-to-door on-spot vaccination enhancing the accessibility and coverage rates through deployment of mobile vaccination teams across the country and dissemination of evidence-based informational materials on immunization. As part of this year’s WHO nation-wide campaign, а five week long “Door to door” caravan started on 24 April 2023 to address the traditionally low immunization in particular areas of the country. More than 30 medical teams are visiting families in over 120 settlements where marginalized communities live. Citizens are being informed about the health benefits of regular immunization and are at the same time offered on-the-spot COVID-19 vaccination. “In North Macedonia, WHO and all partners have worked together to identify under-immunized groups and expand equitable access to COVID-19 and routine vaccinations,” concludes Goran Kochinski, National Professional Officer for Immunization, WHO Country Office in North Macedonia. WHO, and other partners, we will overcome the obstacles brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the progress we have made in each country and the Region in protecting children and adults from life-threatening diseases will continue so that no one will be left behind.
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07 June 2023
New WHO Initiative for Building State Capability: Strengthening the Ministry of Health Stewardship and Governance Functions
WHO initiates the enhancement of the stewardship and good governance functions at the Ministry of Health, thereby enabling a better healthcare for all. WHO supports the necessary skills development of dedicated teams to carry out, monitor and assess this initiative. Dr. Anne Johansen, Head of the WHO office in North Macedonia emphasized the novel approach of the WHO to health system reforms according to a unique method - one that tries and adjusts and then monitors the outcome and adjusts interventions again, as needed. “We have designed this initiative to support the sustainable institutional capacity development of the health sector, which sets it apart from the traditional approach of focusing solely on health systems strengthening projects. We aim to establish a strong foundation for developing the Ministry's stewardship functions to a point where it can continuously improve the performance of the entire health system” confirmed Dr. Johansen. High-ranking officials at the Ministry and stakeholders from related health agencies have manifested resolute motivation to carry out the initiative aiming to contribute to improving significantly the health outcome for all patients in the country.
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