The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri underscored the importance of spreading awareness about the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the importance of achieving them because they have positive and important implications on the Lebanese citizen, his wellbeing and his standards of living in the coming years.

Premier Hariri also pointed out the importance of integrating the SDGs in the national programs and plans and coordinating national efforts to execute the "2030 agenda".

He said: "Many programs and initiatives launched by the government in the last few months and programs implemented by public administrations go in this direction and should be highlighted and integrated. It is useful for Lebanon to determine its priorities and choose its targets in line with its strategic plan in all sectors and fields.

Prime Minister Hariri sponsored today at the Grand Serail the signing ceremony of the project document entitled "SDGS in Lebanon: Analyzing Gaps and Reporting Progress". The document was signed by the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program in Lebanon Philippe Lazzarini and the President of the Council for Development and Reconstruction Nabil El-Jisr.

Hariri lauded the importance of establishing the National committee to lead and coordinate the national efforts to implement the United Nations' plan for sustainable development for the year 2030 - "Agenda 2030", adding that the subject will be discussed during the cabinet session tomorrow. He also talked about the importance of developing a national database for the indicators of the goals of sustainable development, in accordance with the international standards of statistics and databases.

Hariri concluded: "The success and continuity of this national effort requires the cooperation of all concerned parties from the public sector, the private sector, civil society, academia, and development experts", adding that the United Nations agencies remain a vital and important partner in helping Lebanon to attain sustainable development.

For his part, Lazzarini said: "The United Nations Resources Center is pleased to announce that this project being signed today is a priority to support and promote the SDGs in Lebanon.

This project consists of two components: The first is a gap analysis of the current situation under each of the 17 sustainable development goals in consultation with the main stakeholders including the Prime Minister's office, the CDR, relevant ministries, UN agencies, academia, private sector, and civil society.

The second component includes support towards a "Voluntary National Review" which entails reporting on the country's progress towards the 2030 agenda, covering national priorities and targets for sustainable development and their relations to the SDGs.

The center expresses its appreciation of this important official step taken by the government through the Prime Minister's Office, CDR and with the United Nation to implement the 2030 agenda.

With this project Lebanon will soon join the group of states that have already conducted a "Voluntary National Review", which until 2016 included 22 countries."

Under the first phase of the project, a gap analysis of the current situation under each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be carried out, in consultation with the concerned parties including, representatives of the Prime Minister's office, Council for Development and Reconstruction, relevant ministries and departments, United Nations agencies, academics particularly development experts, private sector, and civil society. The gap analysis will include a review of all the relevant laws, decrees, national strategies and plans and their importance towards the attainment of the goals of the SDGs.

The second phase of the project will include support of the "Voluntary National Review" which entails reporting on Lebanon's progress towards the attainment of the SDGs that Lebanon will submit periodically and voluntarily to the United Nations.

Lebanon has agreed to the United Nations sustainable development plan entitled: "Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", known as "Agenda 2030", through the speech delivered by the then Prime Minister Tamam Salam at the Sustainable Development summit that was held in New York on 26-09-2015. It should be noted that the "2030 Agenda" consists of 17 goals divided into 169 targets covering all aspect of economic, social and environmental development and focuses on the importance of coordination between all local, regional and international parties to achieve the goals.

NNA