Outcomes of the 10-year review of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme
The tenth anniversary of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between UNDP and the EU, jointly signed in 2004, was observed on 3 February 2014. On this occasion, Helen Clark (UNDP Administrator) and Andris Piebalgs (EU Commissioner for Development) met in New York to review the status of the partnership and identify potential areas for future UNDP-EU collaboration.
In Brussels, Rebeca Grynspan (UNDP Associate Administrator) and Fernando Frutuoso de Melo (Director General for Development Cooperation) launched the first-ever 10-year report on the partnership between the UNDP and the EU, at a joint meeting of the Development and Foreign Affairs Committees of the European Parliament on 19 February 2014.
The 10-year report presents the context, rationale and added value of the UNDP-EU partnership. It also takes stock of what the partnership has been able to achieve in the last decade (2004-2013), and discusses the opportunities and challenges for the partnership in the future, framed in the context of a changing world.
In parallel to the report launch, a series of bilateral meetings are being held between the UNDP and DEVCO thematic units to discuss on-going challenges and identify potential new areas of cooperation.
The main pillars of our cooperation - democratic governance, conflict prevention and post conflict recovery, will continue to be the basis of our partnership, with human rights and gender playing a relevant role as cross-cutting issues.
The two institutions have a vibrant advocacy, knowledge sharing, and policy collaboration on critical issues pertaining to the international development agenda, such as the post-2015 agenda and the global partnership for effective development cooperation.
The breadth and depth of the partnership has contributed to positive development results in 115 countries. It has improved democratic governance, promoted human rights, and fought discrimination. The partnership will continue to be a vital strategy in addressing new development challenges such as overcoming vulnerabilities, preventing or recovering from conflict and natural disasters, and confronting climate change.
The EU-UNDP partnership has, for example, actively supported one in three national parliaments around the world and 53 countries with their electoral cycle, for which the UNDP/EU Joint Task Force on electoral assistance provides an important mechanism. Governance work also includes providing assistance to constitutional, administrative and institutional reform processes, as well as capacity building in the areas of legislation and accountability. This work creates more space for women to participate actively in shaping policy.
In the field of disaster risk reduction, 28 countries were helped – including Haiti, Kazakhstan, and Nepal to activate measures to be better prepared for natural disasters. In Pakistan, the UNDP-EU partnership supported about 5.5 million people to rehabilitate 4,000 villages after the 2005 earthquake and the 2010 floods. Temporary employment benefitted 1.3 million people, 40 percent of which were women.
Our cooperation also includes relevant areas for sustainable development such as environment, integrated border management, and migration and development. UNDP, with its wide experience in these areas and extensive country presence, is well placed to support developing countries in creating green and inclusive economies to ensure sustainable growth. UNDP is a leader in renewable energy solutions and has a proven record of boosting activities for local development and governance. Furthermore UNDP’s coordination role in the UN system provides a comparative advantage in our cooperation.
Against this background, UNDP Country Offices and EU Delegations are joining forces to continue to nurture our partnership in line with the national context and priorities identified by the host Government. Our cooperation should also be oriented towards emergent development issues important to sustainable development and continue to build on the successes achieved and the challenges experienced over the past decade.
Asier Segurola, UN/UNDP Office in Brussels; e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: +32-492675011