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.

Our Goal

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 Millennium 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 European Regions, but also with the 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.

Our role

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, crisis prevention and recovery, environment and energy, and poverty eradication. 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 is 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.

Results that we have achieved with the support of the UNDP-EU partnership are described under thematic areas in the Our Work section, in Our Stories, and also in the annual UN-EU partnership reports.

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 UNWOMEN in the area of migration and development. The first phase of the initiative (2008-2012) was implemented in 16 countries. The second phase started in December 2012.

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's ART-initiative, 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.

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.

Leadership

Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group.

Read more on our Global website
UNDP Brussels leadership
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The Director of UNDP's Representation Office in Brussels is Ms. Barbara Pesce-Monteiro. She is also the UN Secretary-General's representative towards the EU and the Belgian authorities.

UNDP Brussels Deputy Director for Programme & Operations
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Pierre Harzé is the Deputy Director for Programme and Operations at the UNDP Brussels office.

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