ReSPA Joins Forces With Partners to Support Effective SDG Governance in the Western Balkans

27 March 2024 News

26-27 March 2024, Budva, Montenegro

ReSPA and public servants from the region joined the two-day Workshop of the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN) organised in cooperation with the Government of Montenegro and the UN Development Programme. Public servants from the Western Balkans and members of various ReSPA regional thematic groups discussed trends, perspectives, and challenges related to SDG coordination mechanisms along with their peers from Romania, Luxemburg, Finland and other EU Member states.  

Delving into the specific context of SDG Coordination and Good Governance in the Western Balkans and with SDG Coordination Mechanisms', participants collaboratively in interactive Group Work sessions discussed and concluded what has the Western Balkans learned so far from governance mechanisms and SDG implementation and what is the interlink among the two. The various sessions of this participatory workshop aimed to encapsulate practical insights, strategies, and collaborative approaches that can guide and enhance governance practices in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.

During the opening panel, Gentian Xhaxhiu, ReSPA Programme Coordinator, said that the Western Balkans region has made significant strides in its journey towards sustainable development. Still, challenges persist, and the region continues to grapple with issues such as economic disparities, social inclusion, environmental challenges, and institutional fragility. “At the heart of successful SDG coordination lies the principle of good governance characterised by transparency, accountability, participation, and the rule of law. By promoting integrity, inclusivity, and responsiveness, good governance enhances the effectiveness of SDG implementation efforts and builds trust between governments and citizens. We at ReSPA are proud to affirm our unwavering commitment to supporting SDG coordination and fostering good governance practices in the Western Balkans. ReSPA strives to empower public officials, strengthen institutions, and catalyse reforms that drive sustainable development outcomes through capacity-building initiatives, knowledge exchange platforms, and policy dialogue forums. ReSPA Technical assistance instruments of direct support can be another tool ReSPA Members from the Western Balkans can explore for supporting their efforts towards SDG coordination,” underlined Xhaxhiu and concluded that “investing in effective institutions is not just a pre-condition for accession but a fundamental catalyst for sustainable development and regional integration”.

Other topics, such as Financing for the SDG, Building inclusive stakeholder partnerships, Building Sustainable Development Governance hubs, etc, were also tackled throughout the workshop.

This was the first time that the European Sustainable Development Network organised its annual Workshop in the Western Balkans.



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