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  • Saturday, 03 October 2020
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Ministry of International Cooperation, United Nations Establish Framework for Cooperation to Revive Multilateralism Amid COVID-19

Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, held a high level meeting with all UN agencies in Egypt, in the presence of Mr. Richard Dictus, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Office in Egypt, as well as directors of 15 UN agencies in Egypt to open a new chapter for cooperation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The high-level meeting was part of the United Nations’s celebrations of its 75th anniversary, in which the Ministry of International Cooperation participated in several international events during the past week. The meeting was attended by officials from the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Labor Organization, the World Food Program, the International Organization for Migration, UN Women, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, The United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Human Settlements Program, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Educational and Cultural Organization, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Reviving Spirit of Multilateralism Al Mashat underscored the strong cooperation efforts that took place with the United Nations and the government during the COVID-19 pandemic, referring to President Abdel Fattah's speech delivered before the United Nations General Assembly, in which he stressed the need to revive multilateral cooperation to achieve the 17 goals of sustainable development. She also referred to the ministry’s visit to Luxor in celebration of its 75th anniversary, noting that it was an “uplifting experience” and an example of how projects with development partners can be scaled up to achieve impact and inspire other countries in the region, receiving praise from the African Union. The village became a model for achieving a circular economy through providing small farmers with modern agricultural technologies and irrigation, linking small enterprises with export chains, and achieving economic empowerment of women through livestock loans. To document Egypt’s development stories, the ministry launched a film entitled "Beyond Food" with the World Food Programme to showcase how partnerships achieve real human impact and lead to agricultural and rural development in Upper Egypt. Al-Mashat added that the Ministry of International Cooperation has been working to strengthen economic diplomacy through three principles: regularly organizing multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated; adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P); and mapping ODA financing to SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners. Leaving No One Behind Amid COVID-19 Richard Dictus, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Office in Egypt, noted that “Egypt’s response to the first peak of COVID has been amongst the best in Africa and the Middle East,” due to the health, quarantine and lock down measures taken that proved to be timely. He added that the UN has been a close partner to the Government of Egypt in efforts to ensure no one was left behind in the COVID response, and that the UN engaged across strategically across medical, economic and social fields. “Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a very strong reach out to coordinate and increase dialogue. This was an extraordinary opportunity for substantive and policy dialogue through a new fashion among all development and governmental agencies,” he stated. Mr. Mengstab Haile, Representative and Country Director of the World Food Program in Egypt, noted that all UN agencies are ‘inspired’ by Egypt’s approach to cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the minister’s visit to Luxor gave communities in the villages ‘hope and encouragement’. For her part, Dr. Naima Al-Qusayr, the representative of the World Health Organization in Egypt, noted that Egypt’s response to the pandemic has been ‘far advanced’, referring to the government's efforts to conduct rapid testing and identify the most vulnerable groups to provide targeted assistance, as well as its commitment for science and research for a COVID-19 vaccine. Future Cooperation Al-Mashat pointed to the Ministry of International Cooperation's vision to strengthen partnerships with various development partners, the private sector and civil society, to ensure that multilateralism is revived amid the COVID-19 pandemic, referring to the years 2020-2021 as the years of multilateralism. She noted that she is looking forward to more cooperation with the United Nations within the strategic framework of the partnership for 2018-2022, as multilateralism is the only way to rebuild better and achieve sustainable recovery and resilience to future shocks, The Ministry of International Cooperation supervises the implementation of the Strategic Framework for Partnership with the United Nations (UNPDF), and chairs the Steering Committee for the framework with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt, focusing on (1) comprehensive economic development (2) social justice (3) sustainability emerge from it. Environmental and natural resources (4) empowering women.