Discursul prim-ministrului interimar, Aureliu Ciocoi, în cadrul evenimentului regional cu genericul „Schimbări urbane – transformarea și factorii care o alimentează”, organizat de PNUD

Publicat:Mon, 22/02/2021 - 19:32

Distinguished guests,

Dear Mr. Achim Steiner – UNDP Administrator,

At the outset, I would like to thank for the invitation to participate and represent my country and its people at this important regional event organized by UNDP, where we have an opportunity to reflect on the current crises, but also discuss a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future, and rethink the ways we do development;

The Government of the Republic of Moldova has committed to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and we have furthermore pledged to innovate and do development in new ways. The recently conducted voluntary National Review of progress made so far clearly indicates not only the specific areas of achievements, but also the “problem spaces” and options to accelerate progress. On this basis the country is engaged in implementing the 2030 Agenda through combined efforts of key stakeholders to eliminate all forms of poverty, combat inequalities and tackle environmental and climate change, ensuring that no one is left behind.

The Republic of Moldova also has an Association Agreement with the EU which we consider an immense opportunity for the modernization and democratization of the country. Concordantly, the agreement is a concrete way to activate the potential of the EU-Moldova relations, focusing on the so much needed support to core reforms, economic recovery and sustainable growth, good governance and sector cooperation.

At the same time, being a small and open economy, in the current circumstances the country is confronting deep crisis in many economic sectors due to additional risks and challenges associated with COVID-19, including in areas like health, access to health services and education.

Moreover, Moldova is still a predominantly rural country with about 57% of the rural population (2019, WB). Consequently, some migration from rural to urban areas has been noticed, with the capital city of Chisinau being the most attractive urban center, providing for multiple opportunities in terms of living conditions, jobs and income, access to services and so on. But, as such migration trends are not sustainable; we need to focus more attention on supporting the development of additional/new growth poles, other than the capital city.

Despite the above mentioned and other difficulties, the Government is making bold steps to accelerate progress along the SDGs and reduce inequalities (including the rural-urban disparities), both monetary and non-monetary ones. In this respect, I would like to highlight two recent relevant examples of policy and programmatic efforts of the Government in support to urban sustainable development.

The first one is related to the approval of the National Programme for the development of cities-growth poles of the Republic of Moldova (2021-2027). Such programme will support the development of growth-poles in Cahul, Comrat, Ungheni, Orhei, Soroca and Edinet, thus creating a network of growth-poles for attracting investment, creating new decent jobs; it will also accelerate the development of the adjacent rural areas. The Government of Moldova, with support of the European Union and UNDP, is implementing a flagship programme to support the regions of Cahul and Ungheni to become positive examples of socio-economic growth and scale-up such experience to a national scale.

Another relevant example refers to the support of the Government towards development of local infrastructure that is so much needed to create conditions for local greener growth. This means the support of the Government to the establishment of the multifunctional industrial platforms in 16 districts outside the capital city with lower levels of industrialization to ensure more uniform regional development. Such platforms will support the development of M-SMEs (micro and small medium enterprises), testing of new and greener production technologies, decent job creation and export promotion.

Speaking about sustainable urban development and transformation in the Republic of Moldova, I would like to underscore several areas of opportunities for the people of my country. Those include further support to the establishment of growth-poles throughout the country, increasing the capacity of the local economy and communities to sustain themselves and create new decent and greener jobs, further development of local public services and growth and modernization of local infrastructure, local-level energy transition and further attraction of new climate and smart investments in renewables, exploring new ways and models of connecting diaspora to local development processes and innovative investment, and much more.

In concluding, I am taking this opportunity to thank again UNDP for all the assistance and enthusiasm in supporting the Government and people of Moldova. Concurrently, I would also like to solicit additional assistance of UNDP in terms of innovation capacity, experimentation and innovation work, particularly with focus on local economic development, urban transformation and social inclusion. The crisis clearly suggests that we need to concentrate on transformational change and aspire to finding new non-linear solutions test these solutions and scale up the successful ones. I know that UNDP is building a global network of Accelerator Labs as innovation spaces for transformational development and - we would like to become a part of such network and benefit from the global network of the UNDP expertise and experience.

Thank you for your attention and we stand ready to further collaborate and work with UNDP and the UN family of agencies in advancing sustainable human development of our country.

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