Statement of Habitat Bulgaria on the Voluntary National Review of the progress of Bulgaria in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
In February 2020, the Bulgarian Ministry of the Foreign Affairs submitted to the Council of Ministers the Voluntary National Review of Bulgaria of the progress in the implementation of each of the 17 SDGs of the UN. The review was published on the portal for public consultations of the Cabinet on February 20, 2020.
Habitat Bulgaria developed a position on the VNR and published it on the portal on March 5, 2020.
HFH Bulgaria’s position includes a general comment that for each of the 17 SDGs, there are specific objectives, which specify what, how much and until when, the countries, incl. Bulgaria, have committed to achieve. In view of this, HFH Bulgaria recommends that the review of the progress should exhibit the progress concerning the specific objectives and their indicators as adopted by the UN. Additional arguments are to be found in the guidelines for the assessment of the progress in the implementation of the SDGs, which recommend that:
• The conclusions have to be based on empirical evidence allowing tangible measurement;
• Particular steps, which the countries intend to make in the near future and the years to follow, in order to speed up the progress, shall be identified.
HFH Bulgaria also elaborates on SDG 1, SDG 7 and SDG 11and some of their specific objectives to adduce several critical comments about the following:
The review does not show what the values of the indicators were by September 2015 and what they are now, i.e. are there homeless people, inadequate housing, informal housing, access to basic infrastructure and utilities, ghettos and the share of the population living in ghettos and is there any progress and what actions have been planned.
HFH Bulgaria reminds that the National Housing Strategy drafted in 2017 – 2018 has not been adopted and the country has no long-term housing policies, which would guarantee the improvement of the housing conditions by 2030.
HFH Bulgaria indicates that a statement included in the review that “The economically deprived regions and vulnerable groups of the population are given a priority in the renovation of the housing stock…” contradicts with the practice in the funding of housing renovation projects by the National Program for EE of the Multifamily buildings.
In conclusion, HFH Bulgaria recommends a revision of the document in a way, which objectively shows the progress of the country in the implementation of the goals based on the approved indicators.
05 March 2020,
National Director, Habitat Bulgaria