UNDP Celebrates 50 years in Frontline Development
Freetown, March 2 2016 – Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Kaifala Marrah has described the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a “dependable development arm” of the UN family during events in New York to celebrate 50 years of UNDP at the heart of international development.
Last week, UNDP celebrated its 50th anniversary with ministers from across the world meeting in New York on 24th February 2016 to chart a course for the future of global development. Alongside other colleagues, Dr. Marrah was involved in high-level debates on how to translate ambitious global commitments – from financing development, eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, addressing climate change and building peace – into concrete action and results.
Dr. Marrah, speaking both as Minister of Finance and Chair of the g7+ countries in fragile countries highlighted “The transformational role played by the UNDP since 1966, to eradicate global poverty, diseases and illiteracy, among a range of other problems, has been an admirable course aimed at preventing violent conflicts and building peace in the world.”
He added that despite widespread poverty, illiteracy and other human deprivations in many countries
“We should be grateful to the UNDP to have diligently worked to help combat these human deprivations since 1966. Certainly, global problems could have been worse today had it not been the existence of the UN, with the UNDP as one of its dependable development arms.”
The UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark said for fifty years UNDP has been working on the frontlines of development, advocating for change and connecting countries to the knowledge, experience, and resources they need to help people build better lives.
“The world has changed immeasurably in that time and UNDP has changed with it. But the core mission of UNDP is more relevant than ever – that is, to support countries to eradicate poverty in a way which simultaneously reduces inequality and exclusion, while protecting the planet on which we all depend.” Ms Clark said
She furthered that Agenda 2030-the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders last September, provide the framework for the next phase of UNDP’s work and the broader UN development system must work effectively with countries to advance this big, new, more complex, and transformational sustainable development agenda.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon said at the Ministerial meeting that UNDP has helped to combat poverty and to rebuild countries affected by crisis, through its global presence and programmatic reach.
“UNDP also plays the key coordinating role in the UN development system. This role will become even more important as we support national efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. As we look to fulfil the great promise of the 2030 Agenda, I thank the UNDP family, past and present, for raising standards of living and advancing human well-being across the world.” Mr. Ban said.
UNDP has had presence in Sierra Leone since 1977 and has been a key partner with the government and people at all levels of society to help build a robust and resilient country that can withstand crisis, and drive sustained growth that improves the quality of life of every Sierra Leonean.
UNDP has been the government’s primary development partner- played a frontline role in the Ebola Response and as also in the forefront in Ebola Recovery strategy formulation.
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