Hungary looks back on a long history in its commitment to sustainability, sharing the view that our global future depends on the success of achieving the holistic, integrated and participatory implementation of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, with the primary aim of eradicating poverty in the world. Establishing inclusive, sustainable and resilient societies based on solidarity leaving no one behind can provide solid grounds for prosperity and peace everywhere.
Our country, as co-chair of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals, feels special dedication to the efficient realization of the universal and transformative 2030 Agenda at all levels and is committed to reinforcing the international cooperation aiming at its accomplishment. During the OWG consultations, Hungary put particular emphasis on building the Sustainable Development Goals and targets on the overarching principles of guaranteeing human rights, solidarity and global partnership and considers encompassing the human rights based approach in the implementation process of the 2030 Agenda of utmost significance.
Hungary is convinced that the transformation towards a sustainable world can only be guaranteed if the three pillars of sustainable development are equally strengthened. The social pillar is reinforced by Hungary’s holistic family policy, the main aims of which are to empower families and to achieve a lasting turn in demographic trends. To underline its dedication to family values, the Government declared 2018 the Year of Families. The economic pillar is supported by several measures to improve the productivity of the economy. The Hungarian Government aims to create a work–based society by the introduction of several programmes for extending employment as well as for enhancing the competitiveness of the enterprises of all sectors. The other important component of boosting sustainable and inclusive economic growth is the intention of the Government to consolidate Hungary as a knowledge and innovation-based nation. The environmental pillarhas always been the centre of the concept of sustainability in our country. Hungary holds the opinion that clean water supply and sanitation is one of the greatest concerns of the future of mankind, playing a crucial role in furthering sustainable development and peace.
After the adoption of the sustainable development framework a coordination mechanism was set up with the involvement of all the line ministries and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade being responsible for the coordination of the national implementation. In the first phase of the national implementation, the coordination process was performed in the framework of the already existing IDC Inter-ministerial Coordinative Committee. The government decision to submit Hungary’s Voluntary National Review in 2018 created a multi-stakeholder platform in 2017, which greatly enhanced both policy coherence for sustainable development and the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The platform incorporates the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) and other consultative stakeholders, e.g. CSOs, the academia and the business sector. Concerning follow-up and review, the HCSO has been proactive in advancing the realization of the SDGs both at the national and at the global level. According to their record, 75% of the global SDG indicators are available in Hungary.
The first Voluntary National Review of Hungary is a stocktaking exercise, an overview of where the country stands in the process of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. All the line ministries gave their inputs to the review by analysing the policies and strategies of their scope of authority in depth and presenting them in a comprehensive way by applying a cross-sectoral approach. Besides the government sector, the strategic stakeholders – HCSO, the Office of the Ombudsman for Future Generations, NGOs, the academia, the business sector, the youth – also gave their contributions to the review. The final report covers the policy areas of all the sectors of the country, assuring the holistic and inclusive process of both the accomplishment of the 2030 Agenda and the preparation of the Voluntary National Review.
Reporting on all the 17 SDGs has provided an important opportunity to assess national policies and strategies in relation to the SDGs, to map the ones that have a significant impact on achieving the 2030 Agenda and to present the best practices that our country is pleased to share with others. The possibility to evaluate the implementation level of the national strategies, policies and best practices will be ensured in a subsequent report in the future.