On May 10, 2018 the last kick off meeting of the project SDG implementation in the Western Balkans took place in Tirana, at the premises of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment. The objectives of this meeting were: 1. to present in detail the activities under the project “SDGs in Western Balkans”; 2. strengthen and to improve institutional capacities in line with the SDGs in Albania; 3. to facilitate cooperation among relevant Ministries and institutions responsible for SDGs implementation and 4. Enhance the interrelations of different targets and the achieved results for the National Focal Points for SDG implementation in Albania. The overall goal of the project “Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Countries of the Western Balkans” is to provide targeted support to the National SDG implementation bodies in Albania, FYR Macedonia and Montenegro to cope with the challenges of implementing the UN 2030 Agenda. In addition, the project strengthens capacities of representatives of different Ministries relevant to the task (so called Focal Points) for SDG implementation. This allows targeting all relevant institutions for SDG implementation on the country level and cross-sectoral approach in defining the actions.
The meeting was opened by the Deputy Minister Mrs. Ornela Cuçi, who after welcoming the participants, introduced them to the purpose of this meeting. In her addressing, she mentioned that Albania is working on the Country Report on Agenda 2030 and the Focal points from the relevant ministries are aware of this important global process. Mrs. Cuçi said that Albania had endorsed the 2030 Agenda on September 25th, 2015 and the Government is bound to embark upon a comprehensive implementation in line with the National Strategy for Development and Integration 2015-2020 and the country’s EU integration agenda, by landing the SDGs through the MAPS (main-streaming, acceleration and policy support) approach.
Mr. Mihallaq Qirjo, REC Albania Country Office Director made a short presentation of the“SDGs in Western Balkans” project objectives and expected results. During his presentation he further explained the project activities in detail, but also fine-tuned the activities proposed during the project concept development period. After the REC presentation, the floor was opened for discussions from the ministries’ representatives. Some of the discussions were focused on a baseline analysis that was carried out to define the level of integration of SDGs’ - goals and targets into the NSDI II and sectoral programmes, by using a Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA). The analysis involved the assessment at the goal, target and indicator levels of the NSDI and related strategic framework- a set of over 50 strategies, national plans and policy documents.
At the end of the meeting, it was decided that the focal point of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment should be the focal point of this project and it should identify some of the issues that would be of priority to be implemented under this project in cooperation with REC.
This project is financed by the German Environment Agency (UBA) through their Advisory Assistance Programme (AAP) for environment protection in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and other countries neighboring the European Union – a programme from the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.