UNDP at 50: A Reliable Partner for Inclusive Prosperity and Protecting the Planet

Feb 23, 2016

As UNDP marks 50 years of service to humanity, we are happy in Zimbabwe to join hands in celebrating this contribution to humanity globally.  Since 1966, we’ve worked with countries in reducing poverty, empowering women, creating jobs, promoting human rights and political participation and protecting the environment in the nearly 170 countries where we work.

To mark the occasion, UNDP is hosting a Ministerial Meeting on 24 February 2016 in New York. Ministers from all UN Member States are invited. The Ministerial Meeting will be an occasion for Member States to celebrate UNDP’s past, and chart a course for the future of global development. Participating Ministers will share their vision for how UNDP, over the coming decades, can best contribute to countries’ efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In today’s development world we face many challenges. On the one hand, climate change, political instability, and economic inequality continue to blight progress. On the other hand, technological advances, tremendous economic growth, and an unprecedented global consensus about the best way forward present unprecedented opportunities for success.

In UNDP, we imagine a world where all people prosper, societies are more inclusive, and the planet is protected from climate change. We want to leave no one behind. This is what the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is all about. It’s our guide for the next 15 years.

In its programmes, UNDP offers financial support and technical expertise in development thinking and practice, leveraging decades of experience at country level, to support countries meet their development aspirations and bring the voices of the world’s peoples into national policy making, their effective implementation and sharing their benefits.

In each country office, the UNDP Resident Representative also serves as the Resident Coordinator of development activities for the United Nations system as a whole. Through such coordination, UNDP seeks to ensure the most effective use of UN and international aid resources.

Here in Zimbabwe, our partnership with the people and Government of Zimbabwe dates back to 1980 when the Standard Basic Service Agreement (SBSA), which provides the legal framework for the cooperation, was signed by both parties. In 1997, the Government of Zimbabwe and UNDP formulated the first Country Cooperation Framework (CCF) for Zimbabwe, covering the period 1997 to 2000.

On the basis of an evaluation of the first CCF, the second CCF (2000 to 2003) was formulated, emphasizing on economic policy advocacy, governance and the combat of HIV/AIDS. The second CCF was extended to 2006 to allow for implementation of outstanding activities in the light of the complex and emerging socio-economic and political challenges that Zimbabwe had faced since 2000.

In the decade that followed, UNDP support was centred on supporting dialogue that can help build national consensus on key challenges affecting the country; strengthening the capacity of national institutions to deliver on the MDGs and provide basic social services to the most vulnerable group, particularly those affected by the HIV and supporting the transition to recovery and longer-term development.

The UNDP 2012-2015 programme cycle focused on three programmatic areas; citizen participation and good governance; economic management and sustainable development; and social sector development and resilient livelihoods. The programmatic areas were derived from the two overarching strategic programme pillars, namely sustaining the momentum on and consolidating governance reforms, and, promoting economic reforms and early recovery of sustainable livelihoods.

Some of the key contributions and results during this programme cycle included; support to the constitution making process and establishment of key independent commissions – Human Rights Commission, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, and piloting of livelihood interventions by providing start-up grants for entrepreneurship with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise and Cooperative Development.  In addition, UNDP supported the development of strategies and action plans such as the National Biodiversity and national Climate Change Response.

The support to the country’s economic transition at the national level including institutional capacity building of key ministries such as the Ministry of Finance, Lands and Rural Resettlement, Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development as well as Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development will strengthen service delivery.

As the Principal Recipient of the Global Fund Grants since 2009, UNDP facilitated effective and efficient delivery of support, thus contributing to major achievements in the fight against HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and in strengthening health systems across the country. This has significantly increased access to lifesaving services across the country, benefitting millions of people.

Going forward, the new generation of development goals call for a fresh vision and new ways of doing business. UNDP is well positioned for both and will continue to support countries in the implementation of the 2030 agenda (SDGs) building on the MDGs.   In addition, UNDP will support countries in the implementation of the recently adopted global agreements – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the New Climate Change Agreement.    This will be achieved through the new UNDP Country Programme anchored in the Zimbabwe United Nations Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF 2016 to 2020) and guided by ZIM-Asset.

 As UNDP celebrates its 50th anniversary globally, here in Zimbabwe we wish to express our gratitude to Government and all development partners for the excellent collaboration with UNDP and UN system in Zimbabwe.


Op-ed by Bishow Parajuli
Bishow Parajuli is UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Zimbabwe.

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