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Ms. President, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Sustainable Development Goals represent a shared vision of our planet and humanity.
As we firmly set on a path of sustainable development, the success of our journey will largely depend on how well we are equipped with the means necessary to realise our collective ambition. Synergies among private and public, domestic and international resources, innovative partnership and financing arrangements will be key factors for national implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In this regard, I would like to thank the IATF for producing a comprehensive report, which demonstrates progress and gaps as well as examines the challenges in SDGs financing.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where armed conflicts are dramatically on the rise. Instability and wars are frequently fueled by third states pursuing their own political interests. The conflict-affected countries face complex severe challenges: decreased GDP, destroyed infrastructure and social fabric, massive displacement of people, increased security and defense expenditures regardless of the economic situation in the country. All these factors derail sustainable development, causing significant deterioration of SDG indicators in conflict-affected countries.
As to Ukraine, because of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and occupation of parts of Donbas we lost more than 15% of GDP and one fifth of our industrial potential. Critical infrastructure has been ruined; 1.5 million Ukrainians have been registered as internally displaced persons.
Another alarming development is Russia’s attempts to increase its influence over the conflict-affected countries, particularly Ukraine and Europe as the whole, in energy sector.
Forcing the European countries to buy Russian gas through “Nord Stream-2” instead of using Ukraine’s existing infrastructure is nothing but abandoning a perfectly functioning and reliable system and wasting billions into a political project.
Therefore, we believe that the topic on conflict-affected countries should be given more prominence in the following IATF reports.
For all countries, public policies and the mobilization and effective use of domestic resources are central to effective implementation of Agenda 2030.
The scope of reforms undertaken in Ukraine, which is still opposing the Russian aggression, is quite impressive. It ranges from unprecedented financial and banking reform, when we totally cleared the banking sector, up to decentralization reform allocating more power and financial resources to local communities.
Moreover, budget reform, including mid-term and gender-responsive budgeting, healthcare, judicial, educational and pension reform are making progress.
These reforms already bring positive results. After macroeconomic recovery and fiscal consolidation, Ukraine returned to growth; our GDP grows at 3% this year - the third consecutive year growth. In 2018 inflation decreased to 9%. Budget deficit has fallen to 2,7% in 2017 from almost 5% in 2014. Our international reserves have increased and the currency stabilized under a flexible exchange rate.
The financial benefits of those reforms are already evident: we are observing the progress in domestic resource mobilization. In a further positive development, last autumn Ukraine successfully returned to the international credit markets.
The launch of the electronic declaration of public servants’ income, expenses and financial obligations became one of effective tools in the fight against corruption in Ukraine.
Particular attention we pay to the deregulation and minimization of public servants’ influence, including by means of new technologies. The introduction of ProZorro electronic platform, which is a totally new and absolutely transparent public procurement system, has become a brilliant story of success.
Besides strengthening domestic resource mobilization capacity, Ukraine is committed to working closely with multilateral and bilateral mechanisms and funds. International development cooperation remains a fundamental catalyst of sustainable economic growth.
We would like to note the important role of the EBRD, the World Bank, the IMF and other international financial institutions, which helped boost financial stability, implementation of institutional reforms in Ukraine and further economic development.
Concluding new bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, we open up additional possibilities for economic growth and poverty reduction.
On a final mote, I would like to reiterate that sustainable development can only be achieved by sustaining peace.
With the aim of promoting social resilience and economic development of the war-torn communities in Donbas, the Government approved the State Program on Recovery and Peacebuilding, along with the establishment – in partnership with the UN and World Bank – of the Multi Partner Trust Fund.
We call upon all our international partners to support Ukraine in its efforts to bring millions of the affected people back to a normal life and to foster peaceful and inclusive communities.
I thank you.