Progress Report

The self-report below is organized according to the 24 transformations of the Agenda for Humanity. It is based on commitments pledged at the time of report submission. Click on the 'Expand' symbol to expand each section and read the reporting inputs by transformation.

1B
Act early

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    In 2016 the Bulgarian government adopted a national defense strategy. The strategy is a result of the 2015 mid-term review of the strategic document which has been in force since 2011. Bulgaria is party to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, Vienna Document 2011 on confidence and security building measures, Open Skies Treaty, Document on confidence and security building measures in the naval field in the Black Sea, OSCE Code of conduct on politico-military aspects of security. Bulgaria actively participates in the work of the UN Group of Friends of Mediation, aimed at crisis management, preventive diplomacy, mediation, peace-building, resilience and reconciliation.

  • Achievements at a glance

    Bulgaria is tackling the root causes of conflicts, providing humanitarian aid and development assistance, and participates in international political forums for conflict resolution. According to the national defense strategy the tasks of the armed forces have been harmonized in line with its NATO commitments. The document sets the National Defense as a comprehensive, nationwide business with unified leadership, planning, financial and resource security. Bulgaria participates in the UN, NATO and EU missions and operations in the Mediterranean, Western Balkans, Africa, and Middle East. Bulgaria supports NATO’s efforts for post-war reconstruction of countries and the process of building local security forces, which creates conditions for averting conflict relapses.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    The tasks of the armed forces have been harmonized with the NATO commitments.The main tasks of the army remain defense, support of international peace and security and contribution to national security in peacetime.
    Bulgaria continues to act with high vigilance on the topic of export control of defense related products and dual-use goods and technologies. The goal is for arms supplies to be regulated to prevent their acquisition by persons/entities that are part of the international ban lists and to prevent destabilizing actions in conflict zones.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    Taking into account the limited budget resources, Bulgaria is taking necessary measures to maintain a balance between the allocated resources and the country's defense capabilities. It is also of key importance to synchronize the activities of the armed forces with all government and non-government organisations and structures within the framework of a single strategy and plan. Continuous efforts have been exerted to find common political solutions. Bulgaria is trying to meet the increasing humanitarian needs for affected communities within its budget line.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    A full review and re-issue of the national defence strategy is expected to take place in 2020. Bulgaria, led by the principle of building peace in neighboring regions and countries and avoiding conflict resumption, is exploring ways to further increase its participation in the police contingents of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

    Bulgaria is a state party on cluster munitions. In accordance with its terms, our country is obliged to destroy its stockpiles of cluster munitions by October 2019. For this reason a special law was endorsed.

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    1C - Remain engaged and invest in stability

1C
Remain engaged and invest in stability

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    The promotion of regional cooperation in various areas is a key factor for the establishment of security, wellbeing and stability in South-East Europe. The negative trends in the development of demographic processes over the past several decades and the ensuing changes in population size and structure have been increasingly affecting the normal functioning of social systems, including labour market, social security, health and education.

  • Achievements at a glance

    During the Bulgarian Chairmanship-in-Office of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) from June 2015 – July 2016, the participants adopted a Joint Statement on migration challenges which emphasizes that only a comprehensive cross-border approach seeking to find long-term solutions can be successful and stresses the need for continuous enhanced cooperation at international, European, regional, national and local levels. The Bulgarian Chairmanship-in-Office also led intense consultations with the Regional Cooperation Council on launching the Regional Platform for Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism. In addition, on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the SEECP in 2016, the participants adopted a Summit Declaration which includes commitments to strengthening cooperation in addressing the ever changing challenges and new threats to the security and stability of South East Europe, which is indivisible from the security and stability of Europe.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the SEECP in 2016, the Bulgarian Chairmanship-in-Office initiated a Summit Declaration, adopted by all participants, which includes commitments to strengthening cooperation in addressing the ever changing challenges and new threats to the security and stability of South East Europe – indivisible from the security and stability of Europe. Bulgaria successfully passed the Chairmanship-in-Office to Croatia.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    All stakeholders are committed to continue efforts to implement initiatives and decisions related to maintaining regional security, stability and sustainable development.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    Overcoming the demographic challenges is crucial for the achievement of sustainable and inclusive growth. A major initiative was providing follow-up guidelines, which was undertaken through the international conference “Facing the Demographic Challenges in the Countries Participating in the South-East European Cooperation Process”, held in Sofia in the framework of the Bulgarian Presidency of the SEECP. A particular emphasis was placed on workforce mobility encouragement, youth employment support, territorial and cross-border cooperation facilitation, etc. The conference ended up with adopting a Joint Declaration to serve as a road map for future coordinated efforts aimed at achieving positive changes in the region’s demographic processes.

2D
Take concrete steps to improve compliance and accountability

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    Bulgaria participates in the formal meetings of the intergovernmental process on enhanced respect for international humanitarian law.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    Bulgarian institutions (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense and Bulgarian Red Cross) are currently conducting consultations for the establishment of a National Committee on International Humanitarian Law.

3D
Empower and protect women and girls

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Gender equality is provided for by the national legislation in force: the Constitution, the Anti-Discrimination Act, and the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, the Gender Equality Act, adopted in 2016. This Act attunes national legislation to EU and international standards, establishes the principles, mechanisms and instruments to be applied by the state policy on gender equality, and allots the responsibilities among the government agencies. Bulgaria complies with its commitments under the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. In April 2016, Bulgaria signed the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

  • Achievements at a glance

    The gender equality policy was complemented by the updated National Gender Equality Strategy (NGES) 2016-2020, adopted on 14 November 2016. The NGES aims to establish guarantees for equal gender treatment, equal access to society’s resources and equal gender participation in decision-making, so as to ensure gender equality in all areas of public, economic and political affairs in Bulgaria. Greater involvement of women in the labor market, attainment of an equal degree of economic independence and reducing the gender gap in terms of income are among the priorities of the NGES.

    As part of the ongoing process of harmonising national law with the principles and requirements of the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, an inter-agency work group was set up, including representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Agency for Social Assistance.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    In October 2016 the World Economic Forum published its 2016 Global Gender Gap Report which ranked Bulgaria 41st among the 144 world countries surveyed (43rd in 2015). Bulgaria is implementing various measures to ensure that gender equality is integrated into all policies. Bulgaria continues to pursue consistently a policy towards ensuring and guaranteeing women’s labour rights and the empowerment of women and facilitating and encouraging their employment. The adoption of the NGES will have a double-pronged effect of eliminating the risk of poverty among women in active age, and of reducing their post-retirement poverty risk.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    Special emphasis will continue to be placed on evolving measures, conducive to equal gender participation in labor market and in economic activity, the reconciling of professional and family responsibilities, access to vocational training and promotion.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    The key actions under the NGES during the 2016-2020 period will include:
    - introduction of a systematic approach including care for the dependent members of the family;
    - additional measures to improve the gender balance in the various economic sectors and professions;
    - a better balancing of professional and family obligations.

  • If you had one message for the annual report on what is most needed to advance the transformation 'Empower and protect women and girls', what would it be

    Measures towards a better balancing of professional, family and private interests are seen as being especially conducive to the economic empowerment of women and the overcoming of gender stereotypes associated with a woman’s social role.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Gender

4B
Anticipate, do not wait, for crises

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    No coherent approach for disaster risk management policy existed at the initial stage. There was lack of expert capacity, insufficient coordination and information sharing between the respective stakeholders at district and municipal levels. In compliance with the Hyogo Framework for Action a National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction has been established in 2012.

  • Achievements at a glance

    The Disaster Protection Act was adopted in 2006 and was amended in July 2016. The last amendment incorporated the Hyogo Framework for Action and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Redaction priorities, as e.g. improving the understanding of disaster risk in all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity, hazard exposure of people and assets; cooperation between stakeholders; shared responsibility; policy coherence; involving society in the disaster risk management process. The Disaster Risk Reduction Council to the Council of Ministers (DRRCCM) is currently elaborating a new National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy. During the second half of 2016, 27 district councils for disaster risk reduction (out of 28) as well as 236 municipal councils for disaster risk reduction (out of 264) were established. At national level rules for the organization and activity of the DRRCCM were updated and adopted; thus preconditions for improving the work of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction were ensured.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    DRRCCM issues instructions on implementing plans and guidelines on disaster protection. DRRCM prepares an annual report on the priority disaster risk reduction activities to be financed during the upcoming year and an annual Report on the state of disaster protection, and presents them to the Council of Ministers. The reports take into account the municipal and district disaster risk reduction councils’ reports on priority activities and on the state of disaster protection. DRRCCM is supported by National Coordination Group comprised of representatives of ministries, agencies, Bulgarian Academy of Science, universities, scientific institutes, national association of municipalities and legal advisers.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    There is a need for stronger commitment from all stakeholders to invest in disaster risk management. In one (1) district and twenty nine (29) municipalities Disaster Risk Reduction Councils (DRRC) are still to be established.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    The first draft of the new National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy has been elaborated and is in line with Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The Strategy shall identify short-, mid- and long term disaster risk reduction targets under each priority areas for action. The formal adoption of the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction is expected in 2017.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Disaster Risk Reduction