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Statement by H.E. Mr Marko Pomerants, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Estonia at the High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, 21 April 2016

21.04.2016

Secretary General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Estonia welcomes the global consensus on the 2030 Agenda, these 17 goals reflect comprehensively our common responsibility for the future developments. Today we enter to the most crucial phase - to fulfill our commitments and start the implementation process.

Estonia takes this challenge seriously because both in sustainable development as well as in the climate process we have to focus simultaneously on the social dimension and economic growth and at the same time consider carefully environmental resources and planetary boundaries. It means that Agenda 2030 and delivery on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) should be in compliance with implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Estonia plans to be effective and efficient in its activities, so first of all we determine our starting point at this very moment. Involving relevant partners and institutional framework, general analysis of the main strategic documents will be done in 2016.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I can already today assure that coherence and synergies between different policies and strategies is decisive.

The leading role of the Government is crucial, but due to the horizontal character of sustainable development and climate issues, we are successful by involving all other players.

Awareness raising and involvement are general phrases but in practice it means that we make people aware that their contribution really matters and that through little practical changes in their everyday decisions they influence the big picture. I mean here the field of sustainable consumption and production which bring together all spheres of the society and creates bigger changes.

Estonian experience proves that, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions contribute positively to the economic growth, resource efficiency and human development. Our public sector provides favorable legislative environment and funds the country’s key technology infrastructure. ICTs create well-functioning partnership between people, industry and government as Estonian people use actively smart e-solutions which have become natural part of our lives - we have paperless government, digital e-Health, e-school, e-system for the tax declarations if to mention just some of them.

In 2015, Estonia participated in compiling the World Bank World Development Report 2016 on Digital Dividends. The report concluded that ICT is most beneficial in countries that have established strong liable institutions and have implemented comprehensive legal reforms that support digital solutions.

The main objective of Estonian development cooperation is to contribute to the eradication of poverty and achieving the other Sustainable Development Goals (according to the Estonian Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Strategy, 2016–2020).

I assure that Estonia is ready to cooperate with other states where our experience and knowledge is needed and would have an added value.

At global level Estonia is among first countries presenting voluntary report on implementation plans of Agenda2030 at High Level Political Forum in July. We are willing to share our experience and contribute to the common process.  

Both in sustainable development and climate processes all domestic activities influence global level development, which reflects back and initiates new processes at local level. So let us start!

Thank you for attention!

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