Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

PRIORITY TRANSITIONS AND AREAS FOR PROGRESS
Description of commitment

Leave no one behind
- The Republic of Serbia adapted the "Leave no one behind" principle to its legal framework and provided clear guidelines for the creation of public policies in accordance with that principle, will continue its full implementation in future legal acts and strategic documents.
- The Republic of Serbia has halved the value of Global Multidimensional Poverty Index in the last 9 years from 0.2 to 0.1.
- The Republic of Serbia will continue with the implementation of reforms aimed at improving the availability and access of poor categories of the population to services in the field of education, health and living standard.

Education in the function of transformative actions towards the achievement of sustainable development goals
- The Government of the Republic of Serbia is committed to the promotion of education as a pillar and accelerator of sustainable development and the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda. The strategic commitment and vision of the development of education is to ensure, through the creation of an inclusive and fair educational system, quality education for the population, especially every child and young person in the Republic of Serbia.
- The Republic of Serbia will continue to intensively develop digital education, both for especially through the promotion of digital competencies of teachers and students, as well as the pedagogical application of digital technologies in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
- The Republic of Serbia will strive to improve the level of student achievement in terms of numerical and language literacy, physical development, social-emotional development and learning at the level of primary education.
- The Republic of Serbia will continue to invest in the capacities of teaching staff and students, as well as in creating conditions for lifelong learning by developing a system of recognition of prior learning, transparency and comparability of the qualifications system, encouraging dialogue and developing social partnerships, as well as by establishing Regional Training Centers.
- The Republic of Serbia is committed to:
■ Increasing the inclusion of children from vulnerable groups, primarily children of Roma nationality, at all levels of education, and reducing the dropout rate of Roma boys, and above all girls, in order to reach the target value of 100% in primary and 80% in secondary education in 20301.
■ Increasing the number of children with development issues and disabilities in regular schools and preschool institutions, with an adequate support system, and increasing the inclusion of children from residential institutions in the education system2.
■ Promoting the capacities of employees at all levels of education and training and securing staff who, at the level of educational institutions, lend professional and additional support to employees, families and children from vulnerable groups3.

• The Republic of Serbia will make efforts to increase the quality of teaching and learning, fairness and accessibility of pre-university education and strengthening the pedagogical function of educational institutions, through improving the quality of initial education, improving the quality of the system for continuous professional training of school and preschool teachers and professional associates, raising the competencies of teaching staff ( including ICT competences) along with the modernization of teaching methods, as well as through the improvement of infrastructure (teaching rooms, information systems, computer and laboratory/special classroom equipment, server equipment).
• Learning outcomes are closely related to socio-economic status and geographic location, therefore efforts until 2030 will be focused on long-term financial and non-financial support for the process of inclusive education at all levels and thus contribute to the development of good quality education accessible to everyone from all backgrounds.
• Providing systemic support to students throughout their education is a national priority, with an emphasis on students who come from vulnerable social groups or grow up in difficult circumstances. The emphasis will be on developing empathy towards inclusive education, increasing teachers' knowledge of anti-discrimination and promoting inclusive education in society and schools.

- The Republic of Serbia is committed to inclusive education and facilitating access to educational institutions (schools/faculties) by removing architectural, communication and all other barriers for students with disabilities.

Gender equality
• The Republic of Serbia adopted the Law on Gender Equality in 2021, which is harmonized with the acquis of the EU, as well as the Gender Equality Strategy for the period from 2021 to 2030, which is harmonized with all international obligations and conventions to which the Republic of Serbia is a party.
• The Law on Gender Equality stipulates the obligation to establish local mechanisms for gender equality in order to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the principles and policies of gender equality at the local level.

Sustainable food systems in the function of transformative actions for sustainable development
- The Republic of Serbia is committed to the implementation of the National Roadmap for Food System Transformation.
- To ensure a sustainable food system, the Republic of Serbia will focus on encouraging inclusion in the international food safety agenda, supporting small agricultural producers in their association and development of short food supply chains and local markets, sharing experiences in the use of innovative digital technologies in agriculture and implementing actions for adapting to climate change, reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment and sustainable management of natural resources to reduce food loss and waste.
- The Republic of Serbia will continue increasing Allocations for research and development in agriculture in order to bring the Republic of Serbia closer to the level of the EU-27 (2.9 euros per capita compared to 7.3 euros, respectively).

Green transition in the function of transformative actions for sustainable development
- The Republic of Serbia is committed to increasing energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the total final energy consumption through the implementation of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan, which is expected to be adopted by the end of 2023.
- The Republic of Serbia will continue to strengthen resistance to climate change by strengthening capacities at the local level for risk assessment and development of risk reduction plans, as well as by adopting the national Program for Adaptation to Changed Climate Conditions by the end of 2023.
- By signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the Republic of Serbia undertook the obligation to align its national legislation with the acquis of the EU, including European legislation in the field of climate change, which will significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
- The Law on Climate Change re-established the National Climate Change Committee as an advisory body of the Government.
- Implementation of the adaptation measures proposed in the Third National Report under the UNFCCC and the Framework for Adaptation Planning will contribute to achieving the full potential for climate change mitigation in the agriculture, forestry and water sector.

Energy
- In accordance with the current Energy Development Strategy, the Republic of Serbia is committed to increasing energy efficiency in all sectors of consumption and increasing energy production from RES in order to reduce import dependence and increase energy security.

Science, technology, innovation, digitalization and data in the function of transformative actions towards achieving the goals of sustainable development
- The Republic of Serbia is committed to the development and application of new knowledge and digitalization in order to establish a resilient infrastructure, use environmentally sound technologies, support innovative entrepreneurship and encourage innovation.
- In the coming period, the Republic of Serbia will focus on the development of medium and high-tech industries, which will enable sustainable economic growth and contribute to green growth, since these activities are generally less energy and emission intensive.
- The Republic of Serbia is committed to achieving long-term strategic goals, priorities and directions of scientific and technological development.
- The Republic of Serbia will continue work on connecting science and ICT in at least four areas: medicine, agriculture and food production, industry and the environment, and in the coming period will build and equip the multidisciplinary BI04 Campus for research and development of life sciences within four themes: biomedicine, biotechnology, bioinformatics and biodiversity. The full functionality of the BI04 Campus will contribute to the growth of the share of research and development expenditures in GDP to at least 1.5% by 2030.
- The Republic of Serbia will invest around 800 million euros in the organization of EXPO 2027, which will open room for innovation, development and testing of creative solutions, promotion of knowledge exchange and capacity building for joint planning of policies and investments. The infrastructure for these needs will be built on the principles of green and energy-efficient construction and contribute to the improvement of economic activities not only in Serbia but also in the region.

Institutional framework in the function of transformative actions towards achieving the goals of sustainable development
- The Republic of Serbia is continuously working on improving institutional coordination and mainstreaming the goals of sustainable development into public policies and will continue to strengthen institutional capacities for the implementation of Agenda 2030 and reporting to the UN.
- At the same time, the Republic of Serbia will continue to develop a transparent system for monitoring the implementation of its public policies in relation to the goals of sustainable development using modern information and communication technologies.

Development and humanitarian aid

• Although a developing country, the Republic of Serbia is committed to encouraging and fostering international cooperation in the field of technology development, innovation and digitization. The Republic of Serbia is recognized as an example of good practice in the field of North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation.



National benchmark for reducing poverty and inequality by 2027

Leave no one behind
- The Republic of Serbia will increase the UHC service coverage index from 72 to at least 80 by 2030.
- The Republic of Serbia will increase the coverage of children from vulnerable groups, primarily children of Roma nationality at all levels of education, and above all girls, and reach full coverage in primary education and 80% in secondary education by 2030.

Gender equality
• The Republic of Serbia will be committed to reducing the gender gap by 2030 in the economy, science and education:
Our goal is for the gender equality index in the field of work (participation, segregation and quality of work) to achieve a value of 71.4.
* Our goal is for the gender equality index in the domain of money (financial resources and economic situation) to achieve a value of 81.6.
* Our goal is to reduce the wage gap between men and women to 5%.
* Our goal is for the gender equality index in the domain of knowledge (educational achievement and participation, segregation) to achieve a value of 60.
* We aim for the gender equality index in the domain of power to achieve a value of 40.
* Our goal is for the gender equality index in the health domain (health status, conduct, access to health care) to achieve a value of 87.7.
* By amending the Law οn budget system, the Republic of Serbia has been applying gender-responsive budgeting of its public policies since 2015. The Republic of Serbia will continue to strengthen capacities and make efforts so that all budget users at all levels of government fully switch to gender-responsive budgeting.
- The Republic of Serbia will reach the gender equality index value of 80 by 2030 in accordance with the Gender Equality Strategy.
- By 2030, the Republic of Serbia will reach the gender equality index in the field of work (participation, segregation and quality of work) in the value of 71.4, the wage gap between men and women will decrease to 5% and reach the value of the gender equality index in the domain of knowledge (educational achievement and participation, segregation) of 60.

Universal health coverage
- The Republic of Serbia will increase the index of universal health care coverage (UHC) from 72 to at least 80 by 2030.

Sustainable food systems in the function of transformative actions for sustainable development
• The food system of the Republic of Serbia plays a fundamental role in the economy, social and cultural development of the country. The framework for the development of the agricultural and food system is defined by the Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy, which sets the following goals: production growth and producer income stability; growth of competitiveness while adapting to the requirements of the domestic and foreign markets and technical-technological enhancement of the agricultural sector; sustainable resource management and environmental protection and improvement of the quality of life in rural areas and poverty reduction. The Republic of Serbia is committed to implementing the National Roadmap for Food System Transformation, which was presented at the UN Food System Summit in New York in 2021.
o The agriculture and food industry sectors account for 15% of total employment and 7% of total gross value added.
o The gross value added (GVA) generated by the food industry increased by 4.1% in the last ten years and now accounts for 2.4% of Serbia's GVA, while employment increased by 0.7% to 4.3% of total employment (comparable averages in the EU are: 3% for employment and 2.1% for GVA).
o The share of agriculture in total state expenditures is 2.0% in 2021.
o The sector is competitive on the regional and global markets.
o The Republic of Serbia achieved a surplus in trade in agricultural products of EUR 1.3 billion in 2019, with an increase in the export of agricultural products of 13.3% year-on-year.
■ Further development will be made possible by building infrastructural capacities, innovations and promoting partnerships in agribusiness in order to increase production characterized by higher added value, and thus increase incomes.
o The agriculture and food sector in the Republic of Serbia is attractive for foreign direct investments and with a 14% participation in the total FDI of Serbia, it is in second place, right after the automotive sector (25.5%).
■ The Republic of Serbia advocates for the active inclusion of business in the international food safety agenda, as well as in ensuring a sustainable food system.
■ The Republic of Serbia recognizes and actively participates in all forms of international cooperation in the field of veterinary medicine and phytosanitary control through the promotion of an effective, balanced and operational response to cross-border epizootics and plant diseases.

o More than half of agricultural sector companies in the Republic of Serbia are of an innovative nature, with a growing trend in their number in the last 7 years. The Republic of Serbia will continue increasing Allocations for research and development in agriculture in order to bring the Republic of Serbia closer to the level of the EU-27 (2.9 euros per capita compared to 7.3 euros, respectively).
o Improvement of the competitiveness and efficiency of the food production system and acceleration of economic growth in the following period will be achieved by:
■ deepening and exchanging experiences in the use of innovative and digital technologies in agriculture in order to ensure a technological step forward.
■ encouraging the association of small agricultural producers as well as the development of short food supply chains and local food markets in order to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of agriculture.
■ increasing the number of products with a "protected designation of origin", organic products from the Republic of Serbia and traditional local agricultural products and by promoting them on the domestic and export markets, while applying high environmental protection and quality standards.

o The Republic of Serbia encourages a more balanced development of urban and rural areas.
■ Farmers are increasingly using smart agricultural technologies, along with government incentives in order to deal with the costs of equipment acquisition which remain high.
■ Continuous forms of local dialogues are established for the planning and coordination of actions in the development of balanced and inclusive food systems in the Republic of Serbia.
■ Efforts will be focused on specialization in growing crops in regions with the most favorable conditions.

o The Republic of Serbia recognizes the challenges and strengthens the resilience of its agriculture to droughts and floods associated with climate change. Irrigation systems, hail protection systems, storage facilities and collection centers with refrigeration equipment for storing fruits and vegetables are being built.
■ Strengthening of climate-resistant Serbian agriculture requires financing for the further climate adaptation activities; sustainable management of resources and environmental protection, use of environmentally friendly technologies that contribute to mitigating climate change and reducing the impact of agriculture on natural ecosystems.
■ The Republic of Serbia will contribute to the further food loss and waste reduction.

o The Republic of Serbia recognizes the importance of consolidation of fragmented agricultural holdings to increase the volume of and for technologically more developed agricultural production.

o As a candidate country for EU membership, the Republic of Serbia has the opportunity to use IPARD funds. One of the components of the IPARD program also contributes to sustainable development by enabling the diversification of economic activities, including ecotourism and eco-services. The funds provided through this component are used for the procurement of new equipment, machinery, construction, extension, reconstruction and repair of facilities.

- The Republic of Serbia will be committed to the implementation of the National Roadmap for Food System Transformation.
- To ensure a sustainable food system, the Republic of Serbia will focus on encouraging inclusion in the international food safety agenda, supporting small agricultural producers in their association and development of short food supply chains and local markets, sharing experiences in the use of innovative digital technologies in agriculture and implementing actions for adapting to climate change, reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment and sustainable management of natural resources to reduce food loss and waste.

Green transition
- The Republic of Serbia will contribute to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing its ambitions and by 2030 will reduce its gas emissions by 13.2% compared to the level of 2010, i.e. by 33.3% compared to 1990, in accordance with the submitted updated Intended Nationally Determined Contribution for the period 2021-2030 within the framework of the Paris Agreement.
- The Republic of Serbia will continue to strengthen its resilience to climate change by strengthening the capacity at the local level for risk assessment and the development of risk reduction plans, as well as by adopting the National Program of Adaptation to Changed Climate Conditions by the end of 2023.

Energy
- The Republic of Serbia will be committed to increasing energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the total final energy consumption through the implementation of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan, which is expected to be adopted by the end of 2023.

Science, technology, innovation, digitalization and data
- Total investments in research and development amounted to 0.99% of GDP in 2021 and by the end of 2030, the Republic of Serbia will increase the share to 1.5% of GDP and continue with investments in order to match the world investment level of 1.93% of GDP as soon as possible.

- The Republic of Serbia, as the initiator of the United Nations resolution "International Decade of Sciences for Sustainable Development, 2024-2033", will remain committed to launching initiatives for the full implementation of that resolution.

- The Republic of Serbia adopted and started implementing the Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence.
Education
o The Gender Equality Index in the domain of knowledge (educational achievement and participation, segregation) was 57.3% in 2021. In order to enable the achievement of the target value of the index of gender equality in the domain of knowledge of 60%4, the period ahead will see special attention being paid to:
■ issues of gender equality in the education system - from access to quality programs to the development of programs that will promote the principles of gender equality,
■ establishing systemic support for encouraging women's participation in social and technological innovations and increasing the benefits of innovative activities5,
■ gender mainstreaming in public policymaking and legislation in the area of preschool, primary and secondary education and training, strengthening the capacities of all relevant actors and institutions and raising the level of awareness of the importance of achieving gender equality.

Strengthening of national planning and institutional frameworks to support commitment

-In accordance with the Law on the Planning System of the Republic of Serbia, the preparatory process of drafting the Development Plan of the Republic of Serbia will begin in the coming period as the umbrella and most strategically important document of development planning, which is to be adopted by the National Assembly for a period of 10 years. The special attention will be paid to a balanced regional development, as well as to development planning in accordance with the 2030 Agenda.
-In the context of drafting the Development Plan, the strengthening of horizontal and vertical coordination of all actors will continue, including the strengthening of cooperation mechanisms through public debates, consultative processes and social dialogues on the most important issues in the field of sustainable development.

- At the same time, the Republic of Serbia will continue to develop a transparent system for monitoring the implementation of its public policies in connection with the Sustainable Development Goals by using modern information and communication technologies.


Ares of strengthened institutional frameworks

Making SDG achievement a more central focus in national planning and oversight mechanisms, Strengthening the capacities of local and subnational governments to advance the SDGs , Rejuvenating and strengthening public sector institutions , Boosting transparency and access to information, Strengthening national statistical systems, Securing country-level data for the SDG targets

Additional information

Action Network
Type of initiative
National Commitment to SDG Transformation
Member State
Serbia
Geographic scope
National
Key priority transitions
Leaving no one behind, Investing in women and girls, Making the digital transformation work for everyone, Tackling the global crisis in education, Accelerating access to energy for all and the shift to renewables, Securing food, water and sanitation systems, Protecting biodiversity and natural resources , Development and humanitarian aid
More information
Share