High Level Joint Steering Committee of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) Holds First Meeting Today

22 February 2021

The First High Level Joint Steering Committee of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) was convened virtually today.

The UNSDCF is the instrument for planning and implementing the UN development activities in the country for the period 2022-2026, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Cooperation Framework is prepared and finalized in full consultation and agreement with national Governments; through open and inclusive dialogue between the host Government and the United Nations development system. It embodies the true spirit of partnership that is the core principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Joint Steering Committee is led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office. Dr. Hala Hameed, Secretary, Multilateral at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as the Government Co-Chair; and Ms. Catherine Haswell, UN Resident Coordinator, as the UN Co-Chair of the UNSDCF Steering Committee presided the meeting today.

Speaking at today’s meeting, Secretary, Multilateral stated that the Cooperation Framework is a joint endeavor between the Government and the UN Country Team, to achieve the development goals envisioned in Strategic Action Plan (SAP), carrying forward the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, leaving no one behind, building on inclusivity, resilience, equality and provisioning for gender-responsiveness.

Dr. Hala Hameed further noted that the Maldives takes pride as a Small Island Developing State, and aspires to play a more prominent role at the UN’s multilateral platform as we begin the Decade of Action to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In particular, she highlighted the Net-Zero pledge made by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, at the Climate Ambition Summit, that should be a priority in the pursuance of the 2030 SDGs.

The UN Resident Coordinator briefed on the developments towards designing the Framework, and provided information on the work ahead for the Steering Committee as well as the Government as a whole. The Steering Committee Members shared their experiences and lessons learned from the past UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) process. The current UNDAF was initially formulated for the period 2016-2020, but was extended till the end of 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The UNSDCF High Level Steering Committee comprises of members from The President’s Office, Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services; the Attorney-General’s Office, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The United Nations was represented by the UN Country Team in Maldives which includes UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, UNDP, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, as well as International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and International Labor Organisation (ILO).