Albania has come a long way, should redouble efforts on development goalsJul 16, 2016
Wrapping up her three-day visit to Albania, Cihan Sultanoğlu, UNDP’s Regional Director for Europe and the CIS, called on the country and its partners to multiply the number of innovative partnerships aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Albania has adopted “bold targets to boost good governance, reduce inequalities, promote women, build skills for employment and protect the environment,” said Ms. Sultanoğlu, urging partners to continue to build “the kind of Albania that its young men and women need and want”.
“European criteria for public administration, justice, the fight against corruption or protection of human rights are among the means towards the highest levels of social, economic and environmental development,” she added at a conference of Albanian Ambassadors convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referring to the country’s on-going reform process.
Ms. Sultanoğlu took part in the launch of the second phase of a large administrative reform programme (STAR2) that reduced the number of municipal government units from 373 to 61, making them more efficient, transparent and accountable to local citizens.
Funded by the Governments of Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, the European Union, UNDP and the Government of Albania, the initiative will provide support to these municipalities, strengthening their institutional and administrative capacities, improving the delivery of services and involving citizens in decision-making. This initiative will accompany Albania’s local government units towards European Union accession”.
Together with the Mayor of Tirana, Ms. Sultanoğlu also launched Albania’s first crowdfunding platform, designed to help finance the construction of a playground in the capital for children with and without disabilities. The experience aims to mobilize a large number of small private donations with matching funds from the municipality.
“UNDP is ready to provide continuous support in adopting innovative approaches to identify sustainable solutions to urban challenges. Safe cities especially for women, energy efficiency, effective local governance, social inclusion, and climate and disaster risk resilience are all part of UNDP’s agenda for sustainable cities”- said Ms. Sultanoğlu.
She also interacted with representatives of the Roma community, visiting a project that aims to make sure both Roma and Egyptian populations gain access to social services. UNDP and the EU are working to boost the basic and fundamental rights of Roma people, while preserving their identity and traditions. Treating everyone equally is a prerequisite for the Albanian accession process to the European Union.
During her visit, Cihan Sultanoğlu also met with Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, cabinet ministers and other government officials, women lawmakers and UNDP’s international development partners.
In 2017, UNDP will initiate its new country programme. The new programme is designed around the global agenda for 2030 in pursuit of bold targets of good governance, reducing inequalities, promoting women’s equality and empowerment, building skills for employment and protecting nature.