Brussels, 19 February 2018 - Cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has a major role to play in fulfilling the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and ending poverty, protecting the planet, and building prosperity for all, concluded the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Development between both institutions, opened by Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, and Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.
The dialogue focused on the current EU and UNDP priorities and the collective actions needed to support countries in delivering on the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, from building resilience, reducing inequalities, enhancing peace and security, addressing climate change and supporting private sector development to combating all forms of discrimination, and preventing violence and violent extremism.
EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica said: "Our collective challenges - ending poverty, inequality and the unsustainable exploitation of our planet - can only be addressed through collective solutions. Just when they are most at threat, global partnerships and solidarity are needed more than ever. The European Union remains a steadfast supporter of effective multilateralism, with a strong United Nations at its core, and with the UNDP as a valued and reliable partner in development."
Africa’s development priorities and challenges were a key focus of the policy dialogue, stressing the need to scale up efforts to address the growing inequalities, improve governance, invest in youth education and employment, and enhance peace and security. The EU and UNDP discussed the implementation of the EU’s External Investment Plan (EIP), which will contribute to advancing the SDGs in Africa and the EU Neighborhood, by boosting public and private investments to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth.
As two of the world’s largest providers of electoral assistance, the EU and UNDP supported 185 elections, of which 100 in Africa. The photo exhibition "The Power of Democracy," showcasing the EU-UNDP work to strengthen the national capacities to carry out credible and peaceful elections around the world, will be presented in Place de l’Albertine in Brussels during February 20 - March 3, 2018.
The EU and UNDP discussed how they can more effectively prevent and respond to crises, disasters and complex emergencies. The two organizations are working closely together in many conflict-affected countries to build resilience of people and communities and support them to build back better by restoring public infrastructure, providing access to basic services and creating jobs. For example, the EU and UNDP partnership has helped 1.8 million displaced men, women and children in Iraq to return home, while in Northern Nigeria it is helping to restore key infrastructure and basic services, and revive local economy in 20 conflict-affected communities.
The EU and UNDP are currently supporting over 30 countries to implement their national climate plans, also known as Nationally Determined Contributions. The dialogue discussed how the EU and UNDP can support countries to fulfill their commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change, highlighting energy as a key area to help reduce the CO2 emissions and improve people’s well-being.
“Together with the European Union, we are making a difference to people’s lives, with millions of people around the world having better access to justice and public services, enjoying the right to vote and receiving support to recover from crisis,” said Achim Steiner. “We can achieve much more when we work together with partners and I look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the EU.”
The EU and UNDP are currently working together in nearly 140 countries on 217 projects to enhance democratic governance and the rule of law, build resilience and recover from crisis and disasters, and adapt to climate change.