Serbia Reaffirms its Commitment to Agenda 2030 at the SDG Summit in New York
27 September 2023
Serbia outlines priority transitions and key areas for progress at the SDG Summit that took place on 18-19 September at UN Headquarters in New York.
Leave No One Behind
The Republic of Serbia adapted the "Leave no one behind" principle to its legal framework and provided clear guidelines for the creation of public policies in accordance with that principle, will continue its full implementation in future legal acts and strategic documents. In addition, the Serbia has halved the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index in the last 9 years from 0.2 to 0.1 and will continue the implementation of reforms aimed at improving the availability and access of poor categories of the population to services in the field of education, health and living standard.
Serbia is committed to the promotion of education as a pillar and accelerator of sustainable development and the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda. The strategic commitment and vision of the development of education is to ensure, through the creation of an inclusive and fair educational system, quality education for the population, especially every child and young person in the Republic of Serbia. More specifically, Serbia will continue to work on the development of digital education, both for especially through the promotion of digital competencies of teachers and students, as well as the pedagogical application of digital technologies in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning. In addition, important steps will be taken to improve the level of student achievement in terms of numerical and language literacy, physical development, social-emotional development and learning at the level of primary education. Serbia will continue to invest in the capacities of teaching staff and students, as well as in creating conditions for lifelong learning by developing a system of recognition of prior learning, transparency and comparability of the qualifications system, encouraging dialogue and developing social partnerships, as well as by establishing Regional Training Centers. Serbia remains committed to increase the inclusion of children from vulnerable groups, primarily Roma and children with development issues and disabilities, while promoting capacities of employees at all levels of education and training.
To ensure that all women and girls are empowered, Serbia adopted the Law on Gender Equality in 2021, which is harmonized with the acquis of the EU, as well as the Gender Equality Strategy for the period from 2021 to 2030, which is harmonized with all international obligations and conventions to which the Republic of Serbia is a party. The Law on Gender Equality stipulates the obligation to establish local mechanisms for gender equality in order to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the principles and policies of gender equality at the local level.
Sustainable Food Systems
To ensure sustainable food systems, key for transformative actions for sustainable development, Serbia is committed to the implementation of the National Roadmap for Food System Transformation, with special focus on focus on encouraging inclusion in the international food safety agenda, supporting small agricultural producers in their association and development of short food supply chains and local markets, sharing experiences in the use of innovative digital technologies in agriculture and implementing actions for adapting to climate change, reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment and sustainable management of natural resources to reduce food loss and waste. Additionally, Serbia will continue increasing Allocations for research and development in agriculture in order to bring the Republic of Serbia closer to the level of the EU-27 (2.9 euros per capita compared to 7.3 euros, respectively).
Serbia is committed to increasing energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the total final energy consumption through the implementation of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan, which is expected to be adopted by the end of 2023 and will continue to strengthen resistance to climate change by strengthening capacities at the local level for risk assessment and development of risk reduction plans, as well as by adopting the national Program for Adaptation to Changed Climate Conditions by the end of 2023. By signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the Republic of Serbia undertook the obligation to align its national legislation with the acquis of the EU, including European legislation in the field of climate change, which will significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Importantly, the Law on Climate Change re-established the National Climate Change Committee as an advisory body of the Government. Implementation of the adaptation measures proposed in the Third National Report under the UNFCCC and the Framework for Adaptation Planning will contribute to achieving the full potential for climate change mitigation in the agriculture, forestry and water sector.
In accordance with the current Energy Development Strategy, the Republic of Serbia is committed to increasing energy efficiency in all sectors of consumption and increasing energy production from RES in order to reduce import dependence and increase energy security.
Science, Technology, Innovation, Digitalization and Data
Serbia will continue to support and work on the development and application of new knowledge and digitalization in order to establish a resilient infrastructure, use environmentally sound technologies, support innovative entrepreneurship and encourage innovation. In the coming period, the Republic of Serbia will focus on the development of medium and high-tech industries, which will enable sustainable economic growth and contribute to green growth, since these activities are generally less energy and emission intensive. More specifically, Serbia will continue work on connecting science and ICT in at least four areas: medicine, agriculture and food production, industry and the environment, and in the coming period will build and equip the multidisciplinary BI04 Campus for research and development of life sciences within four themes: biomedicine, biotechnology, bioinformatics and biodiversity. The full functionality of the BI04 Campus will contribute to the growth of the share of research and development expenditures in GDP to at least 1.5% by 2030. Moreover, Serbia will invest around 800 million euros in the organization of EXPO 2027, which will open room for innovation, development and testing of creative solutions, promotion of knowledge exchange and capacity building for joint planning of policies and investments. The infrastructure for these needs will be built on the principles of green and energy-efficient construction and contribute to the improvement of economic activities not only in Serbia but also in the region.
Serbia is continuously working on improving institutional coordination and mainstreaming the goals of sustainable development into public policies and will continue to strengthen institutional capacities for the implementation of Agenda 2030 and reporting to the UN. At the same time, the Republic of Serbia will continue to develop a transparent system for monitoring the implementation of its public policies in relation to the goals of sustainable development using modern information and communication technologies.
Development and Humanitarian Aid
Although a developing country, the Republic of Serbia is committed to encouraging and fostering international cooperation in the field of technology development, innovation and digitization. The Republic of Serbia is recognized as an example of good practice in the field of North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation.
Read more about National Benchmark for reducing poverty and inequality by 2027 here.