Lithuania finds it very important to implement the 2030 Agenda at both national and international levels. Lithuania has carried out an analysis of compatibility which showed that most of the SDGs and their targets are reflected in the national strategic planning documents.
To ensure coherence and integration of economic development, solution of social problems and protection of environment, Lithuania has a system of institutional and strategic planning based on the principles of sustainable development.
A group of experts has been established for drawing up the voluntary national review of 2030 Agenda implementation, it involved representatives of various ministries, non-government organisations and municipalities.
Lithuania has distinguished the following priority areas: reduction of poverty, social exclusion and income inequality, promotion of employment; strengthening of public health; increasing the quality of health care and accessibility of health services; development of innovative economy and smart energy; quality education; development cooperation.
In the poverty, social exclusion and income inequality reduction area Lithuania has made some progress but it has been faced with challenges. In 2016 exposure to poverty risk or social exclusion affected 30% of the Lithuanian population. Therefore, the state is implementing significant reforms which contribute to the increase of retirement pensions, promotion of employment opportunities, favourable financial conditions for families and increase of state-subsidised income.
Strengthening of public health and increasing the quality of health care and accessibility of health services are inseparable from sustainable development. To ensure a healthier society, Lithuania has focused on alcohol prevention, healthy nutrition and morbidity reduction. While increasing the accessibility of quality and acceptable public health care services, Lithuania has implemented integrated health care service models, analysed and assessed possibilities to provide public health care services that meet the new present-day needs of the population and increased the variety of services.
Innovative solutions and smart energy are the basis of Lithuania’s modern and sustainable economy. By encouraging undertakings to use raw materials with greater efficiency, optimise production processes and reduce waste generation and air pollution, Lithuania has focused on the promotion of eco-innovation and investment in new technologies. The implementation of the National Energy Independence Strategy strengthens the country’s energy security, competitiveness and promotes energy prosumerism. Lithuania has built a liquefied natural gas terminal and launched Lithuanian-Swedish and Lithuanian-Polish intersystem power links. The share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption accounts for almost 26%, and heat from renewable energy sources exceeds 46%.
Quality education is another goal of particular importance for Lithuania. Considerable attention is given to accessibility and quality of early age education, the improvement of general education, learning outcomes and inclusive education development. The Lithuanian population is among the most educated nations in the world. Since 2011, Lithuania has been a leader among the European Union Member States by number of the population aged between 25 and 64 with secondary and/or higher education. In order to provide more favourable conditions for high-quality education, Lithuania intends to implement an extensive reform of the education system involving pre-school, primary, general and higher education as well as adult education and training.
Despite the challenges arising at the national level, Lithuania has distinguished development cooperation as one of the priorities. Lithuania contributes to poverty reduction and implementation of other SDGs by providing multilateral and bilateral assistance to partner countries worldwide. One of the fundamental principles of the Lithuanian development cooperation policy is partnership with a partner country, the international community of donor countries, international organisations, international financial institutions, local government authorities, civil society, including non-governmental organisations, and the domestic and foreign private sector.
In addition, Lithuania devotes much attention to the sustainable development of cities and communities. The new general plan of the territory of Lithuania is being developed. It will become the key instrument for ensuring inclusive and sustainable urban development, reducing the socio-economic exclusion of cities and the negative impact of built-up territories on the environment, and securing the protection of natural and cultural heritage.
Lithuania is determined to continue the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and contribute to the solution of global problems by making use of the opportunities provided by the SDGs.