Strategic cooperation framework validated by stakeholders

A new United Nations Sustainable Cooperation Framework outlines strategic areas of joint cooperation.

On September 18, 2020 the United Nations in Georgia and stakeholders have unanimously validated the United Nations Sustainable Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for 2021-2025.

Organised jointly by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator and the Georgia’s Government Administration, the validation workshop on the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Georgia brought together representatives of the Georgian Government, Parliament, development partners, IFIs, civil society and academia, to validate the draft Cooperation Framework and its alignment with Georgia’s national priorities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Natia Mezvrishvili, the Head of Administration of the Government of Georgia, expressed appreciation to all partners, especially to the UN family, who worked on the new Cooperation Framework. “The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed socio-economic challenges,” said Natia Mezvrishvili. ”Therefore it is very important that this document was resolved to end the common threat of the COVID19 pandemic and help “build forward better”.

Opening the virtual validation workshop, UN Resident Coordinator Sabine Machl thanked the Government of Georgia and all other partners for their continued support to UN’s work and for giving their time and feedback to this strategic document of the UN system.

“This framework of our partnership between the United Nations and Georgia refers to the gigantic work that has led to many successes and shows what has been done right,” said Sabine Machl, UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia. “It also identifies areas where we want to continue our joint work towards improvements. One red thread running through the entire document is the need to put the principle of ‘Leaving No One Behind’ into practice and to make a real difference in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people.”

Head of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, Marine Chitashvili highlighted the one overarching priority of enhancing wellbeing, human capabilities and social equality of the Cooperation Framework and how the UN will contribute to Georgia’s development process over the next five years. She noted that a distinctive feature of the Cooperation Framework is its vivid focus on the development of comprehensive partnerships. Particular attention will be paid to building partnerships with civil society and the private sector, whose innovative potential will be useful to achieve the objectives of the Cooperation Framework.

The new Cooperation Framework is a vehicle to support sustainable development in the social and economic areas to make a difference in the lives of Georgians, especially the marginalized and the poor, fostering environmental resilience and good governance as well as inclusive and sustainable long-term development. It also represents the reinvigorated ambition of the UN System to achieve greater coordination and Deliver as One.

After the presentation, three agencies (UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF) also presented their Country Programme Documents (CPDs) that are directly derived from this Cooperation Framework. 

UNICEF Deputy Representative, Amy Clancy, stated that the overall goal of the UNICEF Country Programme (2021 -2025) is to support the Government in meeting its commitments to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of children, as stipulated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Sustainable Development Goals.  She noted that despite Georgia’s continued commitment in key child rights areas, demonstrated by its progressive legislative and policy initiatives, significant disparities persist. Therefore, the focus will be on addressing key barriers and bottlenecks to ensure that all children in Georgia, particularly the most disadvantaged, have their rights fulfilled and have improved opportunities and support to develop to their full potential.  

Presenting the new UNPFA country programme document for 2021-2025, UNFPA Head, Lela Bakradze outlined key areas for joint work with the government of Georgia and the civil society partners, including improvement of the quality of sexual and reproductive health services for all, especially for those left behind, to reduce preventable maternal deaths; tackling gender-discriminatory social norms, gender-based violence and harmful practices; empowering youth and boosting innovative solutions for increased awareness and better access to information and services, especially for vulnerable and marginalized groups, and increasing availability of reliable population data and analysis for improved understanding and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals to address inequalities.

UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton stated that  UNDP’s new Country Programme has four priority areas, all of which have expanded to support “building forward better” in the COVID-19 pandemic context: Good governance and sealing a new social contract; Sustainable economy and social protection that uproots inequalities; Environmental resilience and rebalancing nature, climate and economy; and Crisis prevention and recovery, aimed at enhancing human security and building bridges across conflict divides. In addition, UNDP will next month open an “accelerator lab” in Georgia – one of 90 globally – to promote digital solutions to development challenges.

Participants appreciated the consultative process in the lead up to formulating the Framework and found the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) comprehensive and well-aligned to national development goals.