UNDP and France sign a new agreement to strengthen support to local governments, through the mobilization of French territorial expertise

November 13, 2023

UNDP Madagascar and French Normandy region in Antananarivo

Paris - November 14, 2023. In the presence of Ms. Ulrika Modéer, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Delegation for the External Action of Local Authorities (DAECT) of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and UNDP have signed a new partnership agreement to mobilize the skills and expertise of French local authorities (cities, departments, regions) to support the local-level implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the world.

This new cooperation between UNDP and the DAECT is a testament to both institutions’ recognition of the importance of “local-to-local” exchanges to make progress towards the SDGs. This collaboration also paves the way for new knowledge exchanges to address local development challenges including around decentralization and territorial governance, access to basic services to leave no-one behind, water and waste management, ecological transition, and adaptation to climate change, among others. The new partnership will:

- strengthen the articulation between the international solidarity initiatives of French local authorities and existing multilateral development programmes, in the countries where UNDP is present (170 countries and territories);
- pool together the capacities and resources of UNDP and French decentralized cooperation actors to increase development impact and better meet the needs of local actors in partner countries.

This innovative cooperation is an opportunity for French local authorities to take part in larger projects that go beyond their traditional approach of “decentralized cooperation” and to forge new partnerships with the United Nations. It also provides a concrete opportunity to join forces with UNDP in order to facilitate the sharing of expertise and know-how of French local governments in several key areas linked to sustainable development. With this significant milestone, the French government reaffirms its commitment to accelerating the implementation and the localization of the SDGs through locally-led efforts” said Jean-Paul Guihaumé, Delegate for the external action of local authorities at the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Through this new agreement, French local authorities will be able, on the one hand, to jointly implement projects with local UNDP country offices, and on the other hand, to provide their expertise via short-term missions supporting existing local governance and local development projects implemented by UNDP.

We warmly thank France for its support. Achieving the SDGs requires a strong involvement of local stakeholders and local governments are in the frontline to design innovative policies to address new development challenges. This win-win partnership with the French DAECT and French local governments makes it possible to rapidly mobilize expertise, foster new knowledge exchanges between peers, and increase our overall impact on the ground,” explained Agi Veres, Director of the UNDP Representative Office in Geneva that is managing the institutional collaboration with France.

Pilot collaboration projects have already been carried out in Moldova (to support municipalies and communities hosting Ukrainian refugees) and in Madagascar (with the French Normandy region sharing its expertise in integrated local economic planning with the Malagasy Atsinanana region).

For more information:

-    UNDP: Alexis Laffittan, Partnerships Manager, Geneva Representation Office: alexis.laffittan@undp.org
-    DAECT: Secretariat.DGM-AECT@diplomatie.gouv.fr

ABOUT UNDP: UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

Ambassador Jean-Paul Guihaumé with UNDP Geneva Director Agi Veres. Paris France 2023

UNDP Geneva

Left to right: Ambassador Jean-Paul Guihaumé. UNDP Geneva Director Agi Veres, ASG Ulrika Modéer, Director of BERA.

UNDP Geneva