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SA signs the UN Sustainable Development Co-operation Framework

Minister in Presidency Mondli Gungubele. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Minister in Presidency Mondli Gungubele. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Apr 19, 2022

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Johannesburg - The South African government, together with the UN in South Africa, signed the UN Sustainable Development Co-operation Framework (UNSDCF) on Tuesday in Pretoria.

During the signing ceremony, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said the occasion signifies yet another milestone in the great partnership between the two institutions.

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"Not for the benefit of any, but for the betterment of the lives of South Africans. As government, we are grateful for the support we have received from the UN agencies throughout the years," he said.

Gungubele said this enhances the co-operation and commitment of the UN in continuing to support South Africa’s developmental agenda. He explained this as a way to show the realisation of the call made by member states after adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, that the UN Development System needed to reform in order to achieve the sustainable development agenda.

“The call was to reposition the UN with a stronger focus on a better-defined collective identity as a trusted, reliable, cohesive, accountable and effective partner to countries in delivering the 2030 agenda,” he added.

The minister added that the UNSDCF for 2020-2025 is a vital instrument to drive the principles of UN reform at a national level.

“It is also a partnership and accountability framework, not just with the government but with the broader society,” he said. “What gives me more comfort is that the framework end product is aligned with the country's long-term National Development Plan 2030 and the Medium-Term Strategic Framework 2019-2024,” he said.

Gungubele also highlighted the four broad pillars and strategic-level priority areas of co-operation for the SA-UN partnership: inclusive, just, and sustainable economic growth; human capital and social transformation; effective, efficient, and transformative governance; and climate resilience and sustainably managed natural resources.

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He said the implementation of the framework will be done through Joint Work Plans agreed with government ministries and agencies and executed with a range of implementing partners.

Ayodele Odusola of the UNSDC said with the Co-operation Framework, the UN in South Africa brings together the expertise and resources of about 20 UN entities to advance the national implementation of the SDGs.

"In keeping with the principle of ‘Delivering as One’, the co-operation framework represents the entirety of the UN’s activities in South Africa to guarantee coherent and results-focused programming. The ambition of the co-operation framework, informed by the broader UN reforms, necessitated a significant shift in how the UN will conduct its work over the programming cycle, " e said.

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Meanwhile, according to Gungubele, the guiding principles of the reform included:

* Reinforcing national ownership and leadership.

* Having a whole of society approach based on partnerships to deliver on the agenda.

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* Ensuring country-contextual responses, rather than a “one size fits all” approach.

* Making country-level delivery for all the litmus tests for success.

* Delivering coherently through strengthened and accountable leadership.

* Strengthening accountability to guide the UN development system’s support for implementing the 2030 agenda.

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