The Czech Republic presented itself in the UN as a country with a great future

The Czech Republic presented itself in the UN as a country with a great future

The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment, Richard Brabec, presented at the UN in New York on 18 July 2017, how the Czech Republic is delivering on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how it perceives its future in 2030. The Czech Republic has formulated its vision in the document The Czech Republic 2030, which was approved in April this year by the government. The document contains a detailed assessment of the situation in various areas and also a comparison with other countries.

"The preparation of the report for the UN on our progress towards SDGs was based precisely on this document because it assesses the development of the Czech Republic from a long-term perspective, it captures our strengths and weaknesses and so allows for a comparison with other countries," was the comment on the national report by Anna Kárníková, Director of the Sustainable Development Division of the Government Office, which prepared the document.

"The opportunity to present to the UN the Czech Republic, the life there and the vision of our future is a matter of prestige. We can be proud of many things. In a global comparison, we still rank among the elite. The Czechs are the least threatened with poverty in the European Union. We have a stable system of public education and accessible health care. Despite the growing economy, our environment is not deteriorating. We are successfully separating a continuous economic growth from negative environmental impacts. We can also boast a very low unemployment rate, we manage to curb income inequality," Minister Brabec lists the strengths of the country. "That does not mean, however, that we have nothing to improve. An alarming fact is the high tobacco consumption, we have to cope with population aging, our further development is conditioned by a transition to a low carbon economy," Minister Brabec continues. Besides the government's point of view, space was given in the presentation also to the non-profit and business sector. Non-governmental partners were represented by Taťána Gregor Brzobohatá, founder of the Foundation The Beauty of Help and Miss World 2006, and Robin Dufek, Commercial Director of JRK BioWaste Management.

Taťána Gregor Brzobohatá has helped the elderly for almost ten years. Over that period, her Foundation supported specific projects for senior citizens with over 30 million Czech crowns. It stands behind unique projects such as At Home Without Fear or An Elder in Every Corporation. As part of other support services and care ensured by the Foundation, the care coordinators help elderly clients in their homes. They help them settle all the needed formalities so that they can live a dignified life in the home environment, they support family members who care for the elderly. They collaborate with hospitals or municipal districts and the government in order to achieve comprehensive and lasting changes in the society.

"The sustainable development goals are interconnected, they constitute a comprehensive picture of our society. That is why our cooperation is important. Across sectors, between the government, the nonprofit and business sectors, from the global to the national level," said Taťána Gregor Brzobohatá in her speech. "I am convinced that if we work together, we can successfully face not only the demographic changes, but also meet the commitments that we have set. I believe that together we can do it," Gregor Brzobohatá concluded.

The importance of cooperation was underlined also by Robin Dufek, whose company JRK BioWaste Management helps municipalities to reduce the amount of waste, among other things, through informing and educating citizens on this matter. "The experience of our company shows that cooperation at the local level, civic involvement and innovative approaches lead to unprecedented advances. Changes at the local level then lead to global results, the ability of countries to make better use of resources is essential for the future," Dufek adds. The company JRK BioWaste Management cooperates with communities and individuals in reducing the amount of municipal waste through promotion of home composting, waste prevention and increasing the rate of sorting. Its solutions for reducing waste have influenced more than 500 000 inhabitants and it remains a partner for more than 450 villages and towns in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

"The active involvement of the Czech Republic in this year's presentations is very important. The Czech Republic is really seen in the UN! Currently, the Czech Republic is a Vice President of the Economic and Social Council, the third most important UN body. In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs we are preparing for the Presidency role," Marie Chatardová, the Czech Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, praises the Czech initiative, as she hosted the presentations of the Czech Republic, Jordan, Thailand and Argentina on Tuesday in New York.

"Still a few years ago, sustainable development was understood primarily as an environmental issue. Today, we are discussing, inter alia, economic prosperity, human rights and combating poverty. That's why we have chosen a different model of our presentation that is sure to appeal," said Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa, who was at the origin of the idea to involve non-governmental partners from the business and nonprofit sectors, before the departure of the delegation to New York.

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