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Lessons learned from MDGs to SDGs in the Pan-European Region

The launch of a report prepared within the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Europe and Central Asia and the United Nations Development Group for Europe and Central Asia, as part of their ongoing work on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda took place on Thursday 26 February at the International Environment House, within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network.


"Lessons on Monitoring and Implementation of the MDGs for the Post-2015 Development Agenda” is a United Nations report focusing on the transition from the MDGs to the future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It provides a brief overview of lessons that have been learnt from implementing and monitoring progress towards achieving the MDGs in the developing and transition economies of Europe and Central Asia. These lessons are relevant to the design of a post-2015 development framework. The themes highlighted in the report are supported by the conclusions from five case studies of national progress in MDG achievement from economies in this region.


After a short introductory video message by Amina Mohamed, UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Christian Friis Bach, UNECE Executive Secretary, Neil Buhne, UNDP Office in Geneva Director and H.E. Miloš Prica, Bosnia and Herzegovina Permanent Representative, presented the report in a discussion moderated by Jan Dusik, UNEP Director and Regional Representative.


“We must learn from our successes, but also from our failures to perform better in the future. A key lesson from the MDGs is that we need more and better data to monitor the implementation of the SDGs. We need a true ‘data revolution’ with new sources of data and better integration of statistics into decision-making”, said Christian Friis Bach.


“National experiences show that a country can – on average – be meeting an MDG, while still leaving behind pockets of many vulnerable people. These could be Roma, refugees, the internally displaced, people with disabilities, or others. We need to go beyond the ‘tyranny of averages’, and ensure that the SDGs can reflect the needs of the least fortunate”, said Neil Buhne.


All of these lessons are highly relevant to the design of the Post-2015 Agenda. In the report, they are supported by five case studies of national MDG achievement from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro and Ukraine, which underscore the importance of implementation efforts at the national level.


The report is available at:


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