Bold Change: Repositioning UN to better support Zim achieve SDGs

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16 February 2018, Vumba - The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Zimbabwe in its annual strategic planning meeting held under a theme “Bold Changes” from 14-16 February 2018 in Vumba noted that the UN System delivered USD 409 million in development grant (representing over 62% of total Official Development Assistance - ODA) in 2017.

Speaking at the meeting, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Bishow Parajuli said, “despite the economic, social and political challenges in the country over the past 12 months, Zimbabwe is ahead of the curve in many ways.” For example, on SDG implementation, Zimbabwe was one of 43 countries globally who voluntarily participated on a SDGs progress review in 2017 in New York and has established the National Development Cooperation Forum for SDGs with forums including Youth4SDGs, Media4SDGs, CSOs4SDGs, and MPs4SDGs.

The meeting also reflected on the United Nations Secretary General’s report which calls for repositioning of the UN development system to deliver the 2030 Agenda: a promise for dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet.

Speaking of priorities for 2018, the UN Resident Coordinator noted the focus will be to support Zimbabwe in the ongoing efforts to “turn-around the economy; conduct free, fair and credible elections; and improve the protection of human rights including continued advocacy for the adoption and ratification of remaining treaty bodies, implementation of the accepted 151 UPR recommendations and providing capacity building to Chapter 12 bodies.”

To increase funds for development in Zimbabwe, the meeting noted that the UN will support the Government in its pronounced re-engagement in trade and economic diplomacy, champion good governance and human rights and to adequality prepare to engage the private sector in anticipation of increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow and economic growth to direct them for social investment under the UN Global Compact. In addition, efforts are ongoing to enhance joint UN resource mobilization and create new partnerships including through facilitating South-South cooperation and Private-Public partnerships, including Business4SDGs.  

The UNCT also urged the need to scale-up social protection, poverty reduction and gender equality to enable citizens, particularly those left behind the furthest, to participate meaningfully in democratic, peace and governance processes; to access social services such as quality health, education, food and nutrition, water and sanitation, and build resilience to reduce recurrent shocks.