Remarks - Launch of UNDP Country Programme 2022 -2026

January 26, 2023
UNDP Resident Representative, Denise E Antonio addressing launch of country programme

UNDP Resident Representative, Denise E Antonio addressing the launch


Thursday 26 January 2023, AC Marriott Hotel


•    Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon Kamina Johnson Smith
•    Minister of Transport and Mining, the Hon Audley Shaw
•    Joining us online Minister of Social Development & Seniors of Bermuda, Hon. Tinée Furbert, 
•    His Excellency Brian Wallace   Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations
•    Senator Natalie Campbell-Rodriques 
•    Senator Angella Brown Burke
•    Permanent Secretaries 
•    UN Resident Coordinator a.i., Vincent Sweeney
•    My colleague heads of agencies of the United Nations Country Team
•    Members of the diplomatic corps
•    Deputy Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Barbara Scott 
•    Members of the media
•    Senior government and private sector officials from Jamaica, Bermuda and The Bahamas here on location and joining us online
•    Other distinguished ladies and gentlemen

Good afternoon.

Forty-seven (47) years ago on this day, 26 January 1976, Jamaica and the United Nations Development Programme signed the agreement that established UNDP’s presence in Jamaica. 

Seventeen (17) months earlier – on 12 July 1974 – the Government of The Bahamas became the first among our five partner countries and territories to formally establish an agreement with UNDP.

We are privileged to celebrate nearly 50 years of valued partnership rooted in your national development aspirations built on a shared vision for sustainable development. 

Today, we etch another milestone in this journey – A new five-year Country Programme aligned to the development plans of the countries and territories we serve, our global UNDP Strategic Plan 2022-2025, the UN Multi country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for the English and Dutch Speaking Caribbean and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Over the years and despite the increasing levels of vulnerability faced: climate change, pandemics, inequality, and the effects of the recent war in the Ukraine, these governments have made remarkable progress in achieving various levels of economic growth and development. 

We commend each of you for your continued commitment to the development of your nations. We also commend the various partners who play an integral role in advancing the development priorities, including private sector, civil society, and community-based organisations. We do recognize that during these 5 decades of partnership, so much has changed in our development landscape.

UNDP’s recently published flagship Human Development Report noted that for the first time in 32 years, more than 90 percent of countries reported a decline in their Human Development Index score in either 2020 or 2021. 

The deepening of Multidimensional Poverty is being felt by many, particularly the most vulnerable in our societies.
Of course, when we speak of multidimensional poverty, the reference to income alone is not enough to truly capture the true realities of poverty.  A person who is poor suffers multiple disadvantages at the same time – for example, poor health or malnutrition, lack of clean water or electricity, poor quality of work, little schooling and access to basic services. 

The 2022 HDR reminds us of how Uncertainty is shaping our lives and our future. 

As we expand our multilateral efforts to navigate these crises and their multiplied impact on people and planet, we at UNDP see this as an opportunity to strengthen our partnerships with the people of Jamaica, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands.

UNDP is committed to helping you strengthen your resilience to crisis and to sustain the kind of progress that improves the lives of the poor, advances equality, and ensures those traditionally excluded from development gains are no longer left behind.

UNDP’s 2022-2026 Country Programme offers a uniquely tailored approach to reduce Multidimensional poverty inspired by our global offer of six Signature Solutions. 

We intend to provide targeted and transformational, integrated interventions through four priority areas:

  • Social Resilience and Inclusion
  • Citizen Safety and security and Rule of law
  • Climate change resilience
  • Sustainable Natural Resource Management

Hon. Ministers, distinguished guests, please allow me to highlight some of the main focus of our four (4) priority areas:

To advance Social Resilience and Inclusion, UNDP will support:  
•    Expansion of broadband access 
•    Increased access to financing and private sector engagement for sustainable development 
•    Enhanced social accountability through inclusive decision-making 
•    Evidence-based policy solutions 

To address Citizen Safety and Security and Rule of Law, we will continue to support government’s efforts to:
•    Reduce the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
•    Eliminate sexual and gender-based violence 
•    Enhance access to justice for all 

To build Climate change resilience and advance a low-carbon development pathway, UNDP will provide support to:
•    Ensure governments meet national and international climate change obligations 
•    Advance innovative, nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and a greener society
•    Enhance resilience to natural disasters 

Finally, to promote Sustainable Natural Resource Management, we will support: 
•    Expansion of alternative livelihoods in the green and blue economies 
•    Strengthened institutional and governance capacities of regulatory bodies 
•    Increased research and development of homegrown appropriate solutions  

Enhancing the quality of people’s lives is at the heart of our work and we will harness South-South and Triangular cooperation, digitalization, strategic innovation and development financing to scale up development impact to make solid contributions to resilient national development. We aim to leave no one behind. 

While this may seem ambitious, we are confident that through the collective partnerships of Governments, international donor partners, civil society, private sector and citizens, together, we can. 

I cannot end without extending my sincere thanks and appreciation,
•    To the Governments of Jamaica, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos thank you for allowing us to be your partner in your development journey;
•    To our donor partners, without your financial support and assistance, we would not be able to contribute towards national priorities; 

Thank you.


UNDP is committed to helping you strengthen your resilience to crisis and to sustain the kind of progress that improves the lives of the poor, advances equality, and ensures those traditionally excluded from development gains are no longer left behind.
Denise E Antonio, UNDP Resident Representative