UN Assistant-Secretary-General Haoliang Xu said that the UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) would support the Sri Lankan Government to achieve peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable development with a special focus on “leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first”.
He stated this during the signing of the UNSDF for 2018-2022 in Colombo on Thursday (03).
Issuing a media release, UN Sri Lanka explained that the agreement pegged UN assistance to Sri Lanka’s long term development priorities.
They stated that the UNSDF provided the overarching framework for the work of the United Nations in Sri Lanka in line with the national priorities of the Public Investment Programme, ‘Maithri Palanayak, Sthaavara Ratak’: A Compassionate Governance, A Stable Country; the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The agreement was signed by M. I. M. Rafeek, Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and Una McCauley, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. The signing was conducted in the presence of Dr. Harsha De Silva, Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs and Haoliang Xu, UN ASG, UNDP Regional Director and chair of the Regional UN Development Group. along with representatives of the UN Country Team.
Elaborating on the UNSDF, Dr. Harsha De Silva, Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs had reportedly said: “We are extremely pleased that the UN will be investing over USD 300 million for the development of Sri Lanka over the next 5 years. The 4 strategic areas of the framework; improved data, innovative public institutions, social security and resilience to climate change and disaster and especially evidence based policy planning are extremely important for the development of Sri Lanka.”
The release proceeded to state that the UN Country Team in Sri Lanka had worked in collaboration with the Government, and in consultation with civil society and development partners, to ensure that the framework was grounded in the realities of the country.
“The UNSDF serves as a common strategy in four strategic areas of focus; towards improved data, knowledge management and evidence based policy; strengthened, innovative public institutions and engagement towards a lasting peace; social security and socio economic resilience; and enhancing resilience to climate change and disasters and strengthening environmental management,” the release said.
The UNSDF reportedly aims to guide the collaborative work of UN agencies for 2018 – 2022. and support national efforts to reduce disparities and make a positive difference in the lives of all people.