The United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2023-2027 was launched yesterday by the Government of Sri Lanka and the United Nations in Sri Lanka.
The UNSDCF is the Framework that guides the work of all the UN Agencies in Sri Lanka and articulates the collective vision and contribution of the United Nations to support Sri Lanka to accelerate actions towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Cooperation Framework gives primacy to accelerating actions to ensure a rapid recovery from the economic crisis along with the impact of COVID-19, prioritising support to revitalise the economy and economic activities, social services, decent employment, social cohesion, and health and well-being for all people in Sri Lanka.
The UNSDCF was co-signed by the Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardana on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka H.E. Hanaa Singer-Hamdy on behalf of the United Nations. Heads of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes in Sri Lanka also signed the Cooperation Framework. The signing ceremony hosted at the Ministry of Finance was also attended by Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms. Aruni Wijewardane and the Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of the UN Development Coordination Office, David McLachlan-Karr.
Speaking at the event, Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardana noted that “the current global challenges demonstrate the continued importance for multilateral solutions that bring together the international community around shared priorities. This Cooperation Framework with the United Nations in Sri Lanka will be key as we pursue sustainable and inclusive development for the people of Sri Lanka.”
Elaborating further the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka H.E. Hanaa Singer-Hamdy said, “this Cooperation Framework is mutually owned and anchored in national development priorities, the 2030 Agenda and the principles of the UN Charter. The UNSDCF is structured around four interrelated and mutually reinforcing Strategic Priorities where the UN system will concentrate its expertise to support Sri Lanka to make transformational and accelerated progress. These Strategic Priorities cover Inclusive and Equitable Human Development and Well-being; Resilient and Green Recovery and Growth for Shared Prosperity and Environmental Sustainability; Social Cohesion and Inclusive Governance & Justice; and Gender Equality. Of course, our work will be underpinned by a crosscutting commitment to support rapid recovery from the economic crisis and the impact of COVID-19”. She further noted that programmes by the UN System will be anchored in the principles of human rights and non-discrimination and ensuring that “no one is left behind”.
“The 2023 – 2027 Development Cooperation Framework reflects Sri Lanka’s national development priorities while working in partnership with the UN Country Team towards the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is being concluded at a very significant moment in Sri Lanka when transformational changes are being operationalized in the economic and social fronts. The Framework is also an important shift for the UN system in enhanced national level coordination in the delivery of its development activities,” Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Aruni Wijewardane said.
The UNSDCF will be funded through core budget allocations of an estimated USD 60 Million, in addition to approx. USD 325 Million through other resources – spread across the five-year period of implementation.