Sri Lanka and the United Nations signed the 2018 – 2022 UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) today, the agreement which pegs UN assistance to Sri Lanka’s long term development priorities.
The UNSDF provides the overarching framework for the work of the United Nations in Sri Lanka in line with the national priorities of the Maithri Palanayak, Sthaavara Ratak: A Compassionate Governance, A Stable Country, the Public Investment Programme, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The UNSDF was signed by M. I. M. Rafeek, Secretary, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and Ms. Una McCauley, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative 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.
Speaking on the Framework Haoliang Xu stated “The UNSDF will support the Government to achieve peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable development with a special focus on leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first.”
Elaborating on the UNSDF, Dr. Harsha De Silva, Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs 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 UN Country Team in Sri Lanka worked in collaboration with the Government, and in consultation with civil society and development partners, to ensure that the framework is 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 UNSDF will 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. (Colombo Gazette)