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  • Tuesday, 09 May 2023

The speech of H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee at the signing ceremony of the Egypt - United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, in the Presence of H.E. Prime Minister of Egypt H.E. Dr. Mostafa Madbouly

● The  Egypt - United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) launches a new phase of joint cooperation to enhance development cooperation efforts.

● The UNSDCF incorporates cooperation between Egypt and the UN  for the next five years.

● Egypt has had long standing relations with the UN since its establishment, and the partnership framework represents a tool for drawing cooperation between the two sides and is consistent with all national initiatives, sectoral strategies, and presidential initiatives.

● The Ministry of International Cooperation and the United Nations are working to move towards maximizing the benefit from the new framework and building on the vital Egyptian role in supporting South-South development.

H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and co-chair of the Steering Committee of the  UNSDCF between Egypt and the United Nations, said that the signing of the new partnership framework for 2023-2027 ushers in a new strategic phase in joint cooperation relations with one of the largest and most important international organizations, the United Nations. The Minister expressed appreciation to H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, for his honor and presence at the event, which represents the second celebration during the same week within the framework of launching development cooperation strategies.

This came during H.E.’s speech at the launch and signing ceremony of the 2023 - 2027 UNSDCF, in the presence of H.E. the Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly and the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt  Elena Panova, as well as Ministers of Planning and Economic Development, Environment, Petro, Mineral Resources, Civil Aviation, Manpower, Immigration, Water Resources and Irrigation, Supply and Internal Trade, Youth and Sports, Transport, Local Development, Trade and Industry, Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, Public Business Sector, and Health and Population, as well as representatives of UN agencies and programmes, members of the House of Representatives and Senate, the private sector, international institutions and civil society.

Al-Mashat stated that with this signature, Egypt will have finalized preparing and formulating new development cooperation strategies with all multilateral development partners, and establishing an integrated framework of international cooperation and development financing for the next five years, in a way that meets national goals, priorities and needs of Egyptian citizens.

H.E. pointed out that what “we are witnessing today is not isolated from reality and its challenges, and we have all seen documentation of realistic models through on-ground projects and programs that are being implemented and supported  by all relevant parties.” H.E. added that, “in implementation of the national plans entrusted to it, we’re keen to enhance opportunities to benefit from international partnerships on a general level, and from the strategic partnership between Egypt and the United Nations in particular.”

Moreover, H.E. emphasized that Egypt and the United Nations have had sustainable and long-term relations since the founding of the organization, and Egypt is also proud of development partnerships with specialized UN programs and agencies, which consolidates the principles of multilateral cooperation and solidarity among people, maintaining international peace and security, achieving social development and improving living standards and human rights, in addition to vigorously addressing development challenges such as climate change and epidemics, and ensuring that no one is left behind, which is consistent with the principles of the United Nations General Charter.

Al-Mashat pointed out the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Egypt's missions to the United Nations and Egyptian embassies abroad for their sincere efforts.

Al-Mashat reviewed developments in joint cooperation relations with the United Nations and international programs and agencies, as the United Nations began its activities in Egypt since 1948. There are currently approximately 32 United Nations agencies and programs, including regional offices and non-resident agencies. Over the years, the various frameworks of partnership and cooperation between Egypt and the UN have evolved, taking into account the developments in the global scene, the requirements of development and growth, and the interrelated  issues on the economic, social and environmental levels.

H.E. stated that a cooperation program with Egypt was launched for the period 2002-2006, followed by the launch of three frameworks for partnership with the United Nations from 2007 until the last cooperation framework for the period 2018-2022, through which the following goals were achieved: 1) Inclusive Economic Development  2 ) Social Justice, 3)Environmental Sustainability & Natural Resource Management 4) Empowerment of Women, through four working groups emanating from the Joint Steering Committee, and co-chaired by the Egyptian government and specialized UN agencies.

Additionally, H.E. emphasized that the projects and programs implemented by the United Nations in Egypt include all the governorates of the republic, including the Greater Cairo region, and the governorates of the Delta and Upper Egypt, with the aim of reaching the most vulnerable groups. The Minister especially thanked their excellencies Dr. Hala H. Elsaid, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Nivine El-Kabbag, Minister of Social Solidarity, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, and Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women, for their efforts during their presidency of the working groups in the past five years, as well as the members of those groups for their efforts, guidance and support for the technical groups on the ground in implementation of joint action partnership with specialized UN agencies and business partners from the relevant ministries and national authorities.

Al-Mashat continued: Following the scientific method and relevant international rules, mid-term and final evaluation activities for the strategic framework ending in 2022 were carried out, with the aim of benefiting more comprehensively during the preparation, design and implementation of the new strategic framework for the partnership, where six main recommendations were issued, as follows: Building on the results achieved, cooperation and coordination between UN agencies in order to avoid repetition of activities and projects, joint planning and implementation, strengthening partnerships with civil society and the private sector in order to achieve sustainable development goals, enhancing the sustainability of development impact through integrated projects, and promoting investments associated with sustainable development.

UNSDCF  2023-2027

With regard to the newEgypt - United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), the Minister said that the new framework represents one of the most important outputs of the United Nations development procedures, which were launched in 2017 with the aim of supporting countries in addressing national development challenges and priorities and utilizing opportunities to achieve the SDGs and UN mission to “leave no one behind”. H.E. noted that this framework is consistent with the Government of Egypt’s action plan regarding strengthening multilateral partnerships, as well as efforts to diversify the productive structure of the Egyptian economy.

It should be noted that the Ministry of International Cooperation has also mapped the official development assistance portfolio to the UN SDGs, with the aim of documenting and tracking the path of sustainable development in Egypt.

H.E. added that the design of the new UNSDCF is based on a number of criteria and standards, which includes the priorities of all participating national entities, coordination and integration between those priorities and the Government of Egypt’s work program, and integration with presidential initiatives, and the results of the assessment of the previous strategic framework, achieving the sustainable development goals of nations. and integration between the national strategies and programs of the various specialized agencies, international organizations and development institutions.

Al-Mashat stated that national consultations and coordination at the sectoral level had taken nearly two years, since the launch of the road map in May 2021, and these consultations witnessed the participation of many entities, and many workshops were held, with all relevant parties, including more than 40 national partners, 28 international partners, the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in New York, the private sector, development partners, non-governmental organizations, which play a key role in reaching all the vulnerable groups, as well as academia and think tanks.

H.E. emphasized that the new framework is consistent with the goals of many national initiatives such as the National Human Rights Strategy, the National Strategy for Sustainable Energy 2035, and the National Climate Change Strategy 2050, in addition to the consistency of the goals of the strategic framework for cooperation with the United Nations with the presidential initiative (Haya Karima), where there are nearly 400 projects by UN agencies in Haya Karima  villages to serve 1.4 million Egyptian citizens.

She went on to say that what was reviewed aims to clarify the impact of our national efforts within the framework of partnership with the United Nations, specialized agencies and development partners in the form of grants as well as through institutional support programmes, which must be strengthened to support Egypt to accelerate the pace of achieving the goals of sustainable development.

UNSDCF 2023-2027 Pillars 

Al-Mashat highlighted that the 2023 - 2027 UNSCDF includes five sets of results according to each of the following pillars: Inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic development (prosperity), Social justice and strengthening human capital (people), Environmental sustainability, natural resources management and adaptation to climate change (planet),  Good governance and the rule of law (governance), and Empowerment of women and girls (women - with National Council for Women).

H.E. emphasized the endeavor of the Ministry of International Cooperation, in cooperation with the United Nations, to move forward towards positive implementation, achieving goals and maximizing returns, and building on the Egyptian role at the regional and international levels by also transferring experiences to developing and least developed countries and supporting South-South cooperation. The activities of the "United Nations Week" are a good example of the efforts being made in this regard, in cooperation with national authorities and relevant parties.