National reports

Malta participated as a member of the European Union in the process of formation of the 2030 Agenda; in September 2015 the country became a signatory to the Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This means that Malta must keep its promises to implement these Goals, focused on eradicating poverty, ensuring decent work for all, achieving sustainable development, and making sure that no one is left behind. This report investigates Malta’s efforts towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and some of its key goals since the implementation period began in January 2016. It also investigates issues related to development more broadly and includes recommendations with a view to better realizing the SDGs. Education for all, while not part of this report, is also essential to allow people in poverty to be dignified agents of their own destiny and participate in advancing the 2030 Agenda.
Organized around the five thematic clusters laid out in the Preamble to the 2030 Agenda- People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership, this report looks at the plans for implementation of the SDGs in the Czech Republic. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), which plays a key role in meeting the social tasks arising from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is in many cases ready for their implementation, or has even implemented them in some form. However, there are serious challenges within each of the clusters, which the report discusses. Although the Government generally supports the SGDs and the engagement of non-state actors in the planning process, some governmental departments fail, or in some cases, even refuse to take seriously the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires bold and transformative steps that are urgently needed to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path. In order for it to be a collective journey, on which no one should be left behind, the scale and ambition of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets require a broad and integrated approach not only to balancing and realigning the normative architecture of the global economy but also to restructuring regional and national political-economic practices. Politics as usual and economics as the determined by the rich and powerful will have no place on this new path. Merely tinkering with uncomfortable edges of the micro-economic status quo will not do. The historical direction and social-structural content of such a shift will involve the modification of the deep structures of poverty in the periphery economies up to and including addressing the different aspects of state autonomy and the underlying democratic deficits that stand on the way of building sustainable national economies.
The defining feature of the framework for Egypt’s national sustainable developmental strategy is the lack of a detailed roadmap to achieve several key goals, especially reducing poverty and unemployment and tackling the informal sector, for which it also lacks indicators. This is in addition to the lack of clarity in implementation mechanisms and the lack of consistency among the goals, despite the overarching strategy. The indicators used to measure the goals reflect the Government’s continuation of the neoliberal approach, which is contingent on the development of the private sector and dependent on it to finance the development goals. Thus, for example, to reduce the deficit, the strategy does not include raising taxes on companies, instead opting to tax consumers, such as with the 10 percent value added tax (VAT). In addition, the strategy differs in important ways from previous development strategies, none of which were discussed in Parliament or through any sort of social dialogue. This report examines key economic, social and environmental dimensions of the implementation framework and includes recommendations for needed changes if it is to be successful.
One cannot discuss policy priorities and challenges in Lebanon without first addressing the dangerous developments the region is currently experiencing. Oppression, backwardness and the shortcomings of democracy in the region as a whole are serious hindrances that could turn the tide and reverse the more positive trends. Despite the challenges they raise, the current developments clearly demonstrate the potential for change in the region: people are no longer willing to stand idle in the face of tyranny, poverty, unemployment and marginalization. Lebanon is still facing the systemic challenges of the political confessional system. The state must be an institutional and constitutional expression of democracy and people’s rights. Genuine citizenship cannot be achieved without the rule of law, without a system that gives citizens their rights and duties towards both society and the state, which are also preconditions for an effective civil society. Thus the main obstacle to true citizenship in the country is still the partition of state offices and institutions among the different religious confessions.
Los logros en la lucha contra la pobreza que las estadísticas por ingreso atribuyen al gobierno de Venezuela desde 1999 se ven opacados por la violencia y la inseguridad, que impiden el ejercicio pleno de los derechos a la educación, a la salud, al esparcimiento y al goce de los espacios públicos. Las reformas constitucionales y legales que se han sucedido desde 2008 suponen otro retroceso tras los avances de los derechos básicos en el primer periodo de Hugo Chávez en la presidencia, al centralizar el poder político, restringir la participación y las libertades democráticas y el pluralismo, y aumentar la militarización de la sociedad. Al mismo tiempo, las autoridades insisten con la criminalización de la protesta social.
In Hungary a system has developed that is disrespectful to both the rule of law and constitutionalism. Hungary has turned against the democratic ideals of the world, civil liberties are restricted and today it is on a declining economic path. Political life is characterized by a murderous policy divergence, confrontation and a dangerous ideology-based polarization. The majority of the society is struggling with unjust and unequal relationships without even the hope offered by mutual solidarity. Hungary's international prestige, integrity and credibility are now at its lowest point.
Serbia’s lack of any long-term vision or commitment as well as any comprehensive development strategies, make it difficult to counter the negative impact of the global economic crisis and establish a solid basis for economic growth, including increased jobs and livelihoods. In this context, with weak democratic institutions and lacking the rule of law, that the MDGs are unlikely to be achieved by 2015. There is thus a strong need to change the current neoliberal economic development paradigm to one that will focus on achieving human development for all.
Despite the vision of the Somali Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), a pro-poor instrument and support from the international community, Somalia is unlikely to meet most, if not all, of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Almost 66% of the population is living in severe poverty. Moreover, with another food crisis looming on the horizon, Somalia will not be able to recover from the worst famine in 60 years, one that affected over one-third of its population in 2011. Armed conflict continues in many areas of the country and the international aid system is unable to meet basic needs: again 857,000 are now in need of emergency aid. Ambitious plans of governments are always thwarted by fierce armed insurgency, and the aid agencies strive to mitigate the impacts as the disasters come and go. Somalia is amongst the largest aid recipients in the world. But why progress is not made towards the MDGs? Why the country is unable to break the vicious cycle of crisis?
Slovenia has had the sharpest decline in GDP since 2008 of any euro-zone member apart from Greece, although it has so far avoided having to ask for external aid owing to having entered the crisis with a far lower sovereign debt burden. The new Government has indicated that it will continue to avoid a bailout by driving through changes including bank restructuring, privatizations, and pension and labour reforms. However, poverty has increased and many people are no longer able to meet basic needs; without state assistance, the poverty rate is estimated to rise to 24%. Those who can’t find work have dropped out of the labour force. As a result, Slovenia has joined countries where people have taken to the streets to call for a more just and balanced economy, more participatory democracy and the rule of law.
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