Empowerment of women in politics and Support to Sustainable Development Goals Roll-out and Private Sector Engagement - new projects financed by the Government of Sweden and implemented by the UN Agencies in BiH

Stronger women’s leadership and participation in political life, and support to the rollout of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and engagement of the private sector are in focus of two projects which the Government of Sweden will finance with the total amount of USD 2.5 million and UN agencies will implement in the next two years.

Women around the world are still under-represented in influential positions in all areas of society and in all processes. Women’s equal participation in decision-making processes must be promoted at all levels. The Government of Sweden in partnership with UNDP and UN WOMEN will therefore promote increased representation of women across the board, in all spheres of decision-making in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project titled “Women in Elections” will aim to ensure women are given an equal chance to run in the forthcoming general elections in 2018, and local elections in 2020. Advocating for women’s rights and political participation is in focus of USD 1.9 million worth project, which is funded by the Government of Sweden and will be implemented by UNDP in partnership with UN WOMEN.

“Women and men should have the same power to shape society and their own lives. The feminist foreign policy is an agenda for change which aims to increase the rights, representation and resources of all women and girls, based on the reality where they live. Bosnia and Herzegovina is not an exception to the global reality that women are chronically under-represented in political and other decision-making bodies. Put women at the table from the start and you will notice that more issues and perspectives are brought to light” said H.E. Anders Hagelberg, Ambassador of Sweden to BiH. Ambassador Hagelberg emphasised that the SDG project “will help BiH translate the ambitious 2030 Agenda into action, by bringing the relevant stakeholders together around the SDG Roadmap”.

“Today we mark one of the key steps towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Empowerment, inclusion and building partnerships for development are in focus of two projects we signed today. Empowerment of women and achieving gender equality are crucial for development, in all the societies and countries of the world. Partnership with Government of Sweden will also bring public and private sector closer together aiming to foster broad partnerships needed to achieve SDGs and creation of future in which all people will have equal rights and equal opportunities” said Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator.

The 2 year project SDGs Roll-out Support and Private Sector Engagement worth USD 600,000 aims to capacitate and prepare private and public sector partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the implementation of the largest global agenda that exists in the world today: the Agenda 2030 that was adopted by all UN member states including Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2015.

2030 Agenda moves away from siloed approaches to development and promotes the integration of the economy, environment, and society. As such, it can add value to the EU accession and Reform Agenda of BiH. Multiple stakeholders at all levels of society need to be engaged ensuring that no one is left behind or left out, as governments at all levels, the business sector and other non-state actors and individuals, as well as international organizations must contribute in shaping up the sustainable future for the BiH society. Achieving Agenda 2030 will take an unprecedented effort by all segments of the society – and private sector has to play a very important role in the process, thus dedicated focus and project component that caters to this stakeholder group in particular. Companies in BiH will have an opportunity to benefit through this project from the Swedish private sector excellence and experience of application of socially and environmentally responsible business practices and new business models needed to be adopted by the private sector to become a key partner in sustainable development.