Moldova’s first Voluntary National Review (VNR) unveils the progress towards Agenda 2030 implementation in the country

Chisinau, 16 July 2020 - The Government of the Republic of Moldova presented the country's first Voluntary National Review on 16 July during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2020. The Republic of Moldova joined the Agenda 2030 and committed to implement the 17 SDGs through combined efforts of key stakeholders to eliminate all forms of poverty, combat inequalities and tackle environmental and climate change, ensuring that no one is left behind. Since 2017 the country is going through the process of nationalization and adaptation of SDGs to its local context. 

As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of the progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven. Subsequently, the VNR seeks to strengthen policies and institutions of governments as well as mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for further implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

VNR Report

According to its VNR report, the Republic of Moldova registered noteworthy progress since its commitment to implement the 2030 Agenda. Significant progress was registered in achieving SDG 1 (No poverty), 8 (Decent work and Economic Growth), 13 (Climate Action) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), while moderate results and less noticeable results were obtained in achieving SDG  2, 3, 5, 7, 9 ,11  and respectively SDG 4, 6, 10, 12, 15 and 16.

In its ambition to achieve SDGs, nonetheless the country has faced a myriad of challenges.

  • People and their capabilities represent the main wealth of the country. But demographic decline is a key challenge. Emigration, especially of young and skilled people, low fertility issues, reduced life expectancy and an ageing population are cumulatively generating an annual decrease of population by over 1.7%.
  • Inequalities persist and the risks of food poverty and energy poverty are high. Prompt measures are necessary to ensure inclusion of the most vulnerable and reduce income and non-income inequalities.
  • The high vulnerability of the health system to global epidemics, for instance that of COVID-19 virus, has demonstrated the need for reform to ensure universal access to essential services, safe, qualitative and affordable medicines and vaccines.
  • The country’s dependence on external energy sources points to the need of promoting energy efficiency and undertaking relevant measures, intensifying and diversifying (including industrially) the available resources of renewable energy, as this is an essential condition for the economy’s sustainable development.
  • The reduced use of innovation and research in solving societal problems limits the competitiveness and the capacity of the state to respond to the multiple problems influencing negatively the sustainable development. Over the last years, only one fifth of all the enterprises have reported innovation activities.
  • The peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict is imperative. At present, this conflict remains a challenge to territorial integrity and impedes the implementation of systemic structural reforms across the entire territory of the country, which would ensure broad sustainable and inclusive development, assumed by the country. The Moldovan authorities are deeply committed to a peaceful, sustainable, and all-encompassing settlement of the conflict, while observing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, within the limits of internationally recognized borders.

It is worth mentioning that Moldova is committed to accelerated achievement of the SDGs through the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU, implicitly the 2030 Agenda. The implementation of SDGs requires a joint effort, through the development of comprehensive and sustainable partnerships as well as allocation of sufficient financial resources. It is important to ensure that all people participate in implementing the SDGs, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, or financial situation.

The report was developed in a participatory, interactive and inclusive manner despite the inconveniences induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. The broad stakeholder consultative process included online and offline consultations with all relevant actors from civil society (youth, human rights organizations etc), the business community, academia, development partners and all levels of Government.

The full report can be found here.

The statistics for the Sustainable Development Goals can be found here.


One day before the presentation of the VNR report, on July 15, Moldova organized a VNR Lab, an informal platform to present the country’s experience in incorporating the 2030 Agenda into national policy and statistical frameworks, the lessons learned during the SDG implementation, the core principles that guided the 2020 VNR process and last but not least to present the country’s opportunities in terms of sustainable development.

The lab focused on the VNR preparation process in Moldova, highlighting the methodology and principles of the country’s VNR report, preparation process and follow-up actions. The event also touched upon the impact on COVID-19 on the VNR preparations and SDG implementation as well as upon emerging fields of sustainable development opportunities of the country.

The development process of the VNR report and organization of the VNR Lab were guided by the UN Moldova Country Team, with financial support of the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Moldova, UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women and UNFPA.

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