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Brunei commended for SDG efforts

James Kon

Brunei has embraced a whole-of-government approach, involving stakeholders in the selection of indicators, setting national benchmarks, and taking ownership of the findings. The inclusive and collaborative effort sets a remarkable example for other nations to follow, said United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) representative Dr Arman Bidarbakht Nia.

He said this at the launching ceremony of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) website yesterday.

He also commended the Sultanate’s multiple achievements in support of the SDGs including efforts to improve transparency and accountability through a data-driven assessment of its SDG progress.

“Brunei’s openness to the facts that data teaches us is commendable. By recognising the current status, successes, as well as areas where there may be room for improvement, the country has taken an objective approach towards addressing development gaps. This willingness to confront challenges head-on is crucial for accelerating progress towards the ideals of our society.”

He applauded Brunei for its commitment to transparency.

UNESCAP representative Dr Arman Bidarbakht Nia delivers his remarks. PHOTO: JAMES KON

“The dissemination of results from a purely data-driven assessment demonstrates the government’s dedication to openness and accountability. By placing development gaps under the government’s radar, this ensures that appropriate measures can be taken to address these gaps effectively. Brunei Darussalam is also one of the few countries to present SDG progress in their Voluntary National Review so transparently, which sets a good example for other countries to follow,” he said.

He also acknowledged the hard work and diligence of the Special National Coordination Committee on SDGs and SDG Technical Working Group. “It is through their efforts that we stand here today, celebrating this moment of success,” he added.

On the launch of the SDGs website, he said, “The importance of evidence-based follow-up, review, and the full implementation of SDG indicators cannot be overstated. Without the crucial elements, the progress made towards the 2030 Agenda could remain a secret.

However, Brunei has risen to the challenge and demonstrated its commitment to transparency and accountability by launching the National SDG Tracker.

“The launch of the National SDG Tracker for Brunei Darussalam represents a significant stride towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he said.

However, he also noted that it is crucial to acknowledge that the milestone is not the final one. “It serves as a reminder of the immense task that lies ahead. We must continue to strengthen our national statistical system, address data gaps for the SDGs, integrate SDG indicators into our national and sectoral planning and monitoring, and establish a systematic approach to sustain this initiative. UNESCAP stands ready to collaborate with the government to achieve these objectives. Regular monitoring of progress against SDGs is essential for our ongoing journey.”