ZAGREB, March 26, 2019 – Sustainable development is present-day society’s obligation for what is coming and it must not become yet another platitude and formal meeting of imposed goals, it was said on Monday at a conference on sustainable development, organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).
The conference was organised as Croatia is expected to present its first voluntary national overview on the realisation of 17 sustainable global development goals at a UN political forum to be held in July.
Environment Protection and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said the topics covered by those goals and the UN Agenda 2030, such as the right to clean water, sanitation, and climate change, were related to the activities and policies of his ministry.
He said sustainable development must not be a trend but the obligation of present-day society and everyone for what was coming.
“Supporting the sustainable does not mean proposing exclusionary solutions but taking society through a transformation towards stability, greater resilience and new solutions,” Ćorić said, adding that thinking about sustainability meant creating synergy between different sectors.
He said his ministry supported sustainability in draft low-carbon and energy strategies as well as in a nationally integrated energy-climate plan. Attempts are being made to integrate every conclusion and plan into global documents, such as the Paris Agreement, while keeping in mind the EU’s energy and climate objectives, he added.
HGK president Luka Burilović said sustainable development must not become yet another platitude and formal meeting of imposed goals, given that it would impact the national economy and environment as well as children.
Speaking of the national overview that Croatia will present to the UN, he said it covered the economic, social and environmental dimensions. “We will present our progress in education and healthcare, on the labour market and in terms of economic growth in general.”
Burilović recalled that on the UN’s 2018 sustainable development list, Croatia ranked 21st among 156 countries, rising 15 places.
In order to advance partnership and synergy, the HGK has decided to bring together all interested parties through the HGK_COR accelerator so they can contribute to the realisation of sustainable development goals.
The state secretary at the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry, Spomenka Đurić, said the government set up the Sustainable Development National Council in January 2018 due to the complexity of the Agenda 2030 goals and its impact on economic and social change.
She said the Cohesion Policy, as the EU’s main investment policy, also focused on sustainable development and improving the quality of living for all citizens, including investment in the scientific, broadband, business, energy, transport, environmental, social and education infrastructures.
To that end, nearly 86% of the funds available to Croatia from the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion has been advertised through February, 65% has been contracted in the amount of 4.4 billion euro, of which 15% has been paid to beneficiaries, she added.
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