Addressing development challenges across the Mediterranean region

15 May 2009

Malaga announces 300,000 Euro Contribution; Local Government Support to Complement Spain’s Ongoing Commitments to Achieving the Millennium Development Goals


Photo: UNDP/Geneva
Cécile Molinier, Director of UNDP's Geneva Office,
and Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga,
sign an MOU to promote and support the expansion of new information technologies in the Mediterranean region.
Geneva/Malaga  – The United Nations Development Programme and the Municipality of Malaga today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the development efforts of local and regional governments in the Mediterranean region through the innovative application of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

ISI@MED (the Information Society Initiative for the Mediterranean) is the result of an initial partnership between the UNDP office in Geneva, the World Bank office in Marseille and an extensive consultation process with different partners, including the City of Malaga. The initiative is part of UNDP’s work in the practice areas of Democratic Local Governance and Poverty Reduction. Its main strategic objective is to strengthen and bolster development efforts in the Mediterranean Region through the effective and efficient use of ICTs.

Speaking at a signing ceremony in the port city, Francisco de la Torre, the mayor of Malaga, announced a 300,000 euro contribution to the fund and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNDP to strengthen coordination and cooperation between his government, UNDP and regional governments in the Mediterranean Basin.  “We have an historical relationship with the entire Mediterranean Basin that goes back for millennia,” said de la Torre.  “It is only natural that we would be a dedicated partner in this very important initiative to ensure that all of us benefit equally from the information age.”

Cecile Molinier, director of UNDP’s liaison office in Geneva, said the MOU with the City of Malaga is a major milestone in efforts to reduce the digital divide between the haves and the have-nots in the Mediterranean region. “It also is an excellent example of what our Secretary General calls international solidarity through a new multilateralism,” she said. “Development efforts are fruitless unless they involve and engage all sectors of society, and each individual.  ICTs offer this opportunity.” 

The new partnership is supported by the Fondo Andaluz de Municipios para la solidaridad internacional (FAMSI), a network of Andalucian municipalities to support international cooperation, and operates within the institutional framework between UNDP and the Spanish Development agency, AECID (Agencia Española de cooperación internacional para el desarrollo). The signing ceremony coincided with an ISI@MED workshop that involved local, regional and civil society representatives from across Spain, to explore ways to partner with UNDP and to support the initiative.

Launched in January 2009 and managed from UNDP’s Geneva office, ISI@MED is being implemented in two phases (2009-2011 and 2011-2013). Its three service lines address local economic development; modernization of public services and improvement of strategic planning capacity; and the empowerment and employment of youth. ISI@MED fits into UNDP’s new approach regarding the integration of all stakeholders into a new multilateralism.

ISI@MED is an integrated part of UNDP’s Hub for Innovative Partnerships, based in Geneva, and is aligned with the ART programme, an international development assistance initiative that supports national and local governments to better coordinate and implement their national decentralization policies.  ART works to facilitate cooperation, especially at the sub-national level, amongst the many organizations and entities involved in supporting national human development processes, namely the national government, regional and local communities, civil society, academia, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.  “We see the effective application of ICT as a very efficient tool to achieve an equitable and coherent social and economic local development,” said Molinier.

Contact Information

For more information please visit www.undp.org/geneva

Contacts:

Adam Rogers, Senior Communications Advisor, UNDP, adam.rogers@undp.org; +41 22 917 85 41

Arturo Rodriguez, Manager of International Programmes, Municipality of Malaga, +34 629 505 467