UNDP Brussels Office
The UNDP Representation Office in Brussels is part of UNDP's Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA) which is based at UNDP headquarters in New York.
UNDP’s Representation Office in Brussels partners with the institutions of the European Union. Together with the wider UN-family in Brussels and with our partners in the European Union (EU), our goal is to promote and advance the development agenda and international UN standards - such as the Sustainable Development Goals and human rights - both in EU policy discussions and in the external action of the European Union.
In Brussels, the UN and UNDP work as active partners with key stakeholders such as the European Commission, European Parliament, European Council, the European External Action Service, and Committee of the Regions, but also with the Asian, Carribean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Secretariat), civil society actors, press and think-tanks in the EU-environment.
UNDP and the EU have been working together for 15 years, and engaging in a strategic partnership ever since 2004. The UNDP-EU partnership is described in more detail in Our Partnerships.
To achieve our goal, the UNDP Brussels Office works on many levels. We network with key actors in Brussels, engage in policy dialogue with a view to influence EU-policy, we support UNDP Country Offices around the world in their relationship with the EU, we manage Brussels-based joint programmes, coordinate the Brussels-based UN Team and engage in joint communication and outreach activities to raise the awareness about the UN and development issues.
Influencing development policy
We provide advice and input to EU policy-making on issues such as human development, governance and peacebuilding, climate and disaster resilience. We advocate adherence to UN and multilateral standards and norms.
While the partnership adds value at the policy level, the overarching intent is to translate these norms into practical realities – above all for the poorest and most vulnerable members of the human family. Some results that we have achieved can be found in Our Work.
Supporting UNDP Country Offices
UNDP and the EU work together on programmes and projects in over 100 countries. Therefore, another primary focus for our office is to provide support to UNDP Country Offices in their relations with the EU.
Our goal is to give UNDP Country Offices support in keeping up to date on EU policies and programmes and to help them identify new opportunities for partnerships. While Country Offices often take joint initiatives together with the EU delegations in the field, we add value by providing, for instance, critical support to our offices around the world on administrative and financial matters, both in the initial stages of the partnership and throughout the project duration. We also build networks and gather and share best practices and lessons learned within the network of our Country Offices.
By promoting a harmonization of practices we have been able to contribute to more timely, effective and efficient implementation of joint programmes. This in turn has helped in keeping the EU-funding to UNDP programmes on a significant level. At the same time, our Country Offices provide valuable information on best practices, lessons learned and on opportunities for deeper engagement with the EU.
Managing initiatives and programmes
A majority of the programmes and projects under the UNDP-EU partnership are run from the over 100 countries we work in. In addition, there are some initiatives that are managed directly by the UNDP Brussels office.
These programmes include the Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI). Funded by the EU and the Swiss Development Agency and managed by our office, the JMDI brings together the expertise of five other UN agencies – IOM, ILO, UNHCR, UNFPA and UN Women in the area of migration and development.
To effectively support the election cycle in countries, the EU-UNDP partnership includes a Joint Task Force on Electoral Assistance (JTF). The JTF is formed by staff from the European Commission and UNDP and it is based in Brussels.
UNDP and EU are working together on a global programme - Parliamentary Action on Renewable Energy - which helps parliaments in Africa, the Arab States and in South Asia to draft policy frameworks in support of renewable energy and climate change mitigation. A leading portal for the parliamentary development community - AGORA connects Members of Parliament, parliamentary staff and civil society organizations with international organizations, parliamentary development experts and professionals to ensure cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and best practices.
UNDP's Articulation of Territorial Networks for Sustainable Human development ( ART Programme), which focuses on local authorities and local development, is also present at the UNDP Brussels office. In Brussels, UNDP ART builds networks and partnerships with European regions and cities, and works closely with the EU itself, with the aim of supporting local authorities in developing countries.
A joint initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), EU and UNDP - the Development Minerals Programme - helps foster the sustainable and inclusive development of the small-scale mineral resources industry in ACP countries.
Working with the UN-team in Brussels
The UNDP Brussels office has a dual role - we are also the United Nations office in Brussels. Our Director is the UN Secretary-General's representative of the United Nations towards the EU and the Belgian authorities.
In practice this means that our office supports and coordinates joint activities of the whole UN-family in Brussels, where we work together, under one flag. One of the goals of the UN-team in Brussels is to influence EU policy in relevant areas. Another goal is to raise the visibility of the UN and its work, thereby promoting political support for the UN. By working as One UN, we can have a greater influence, together, we can achieve more. Learn more about the UN Working As One.