UN-HABITAT joined 19 other agencies of the United Nations in a new 2013-2017 United Nations Development Action Framework (UNDAF) for India signed 24 November.
Apart from UN-HABITAT, other 19 UN agencies have signed the document: APCTT, FAO, IFAD, ILO,UNAIDS,UNDP,UNEP,UNESCAP,UNESCO,UNFPA, UNHCR, UNIC, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNODC,UNOPS, UN Women, WFP and WHO.
Dr. Joan Clos has expressed his gratitude to the Government of India and the UN system in India for supporting UN-HABITAT to be part of the UNDAF 2013-2017.
“For UN-HABITAT is really important to be part of the UNDAF 2013-2017 due to the urban challenges that the most of the countries are going to face in the next years and we will work to work together to focus in urban planning and design as a solution to improve cities”.
The signing of the document is the culmination of the formulation of the UNDAF – an eight month long exercise co-led by the Planning Commission and the United Nations, in partnership with the ministries of the Government of India, international development partners, civil society and other key development partners.
UNDAF 2013-2017 is the third development framework between the Government of India and the United Nations in India. UN-HABITAT is also a partner with all other UN agencies in the current UNDAF that will be concluding in December 2012.
At the signing ceremony, Dr. Pronab Sen, Principal Adviser, who led the formulation process on behalf of the Planning Commission, said: “This UNDAF document, which is the third of its kind, represents the evolution that has taken place in development cooperation between India and the UN System.”
Ms. Sudha Pillai, Member Secretary, Planning Commission said, “the document articulates the right values and intentions, and it would be desirable to ensure that all actions of the UN System were measured against the intention of the document through annual reviews.”
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Patrice Coeur-Bizot, India said that UNDAF 2013-2017 recognizes India’s increasing global role and reflects the evolving partnership between the UN and the Government of India.
Ms. Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, who represented UN-HABITAT at the signing ceremony stressed “the relevance of the urban perspective in the UNDAF 2013-2017” in comparison with the past frameworks.
The UNDAF 2013-2017 is harmonized with the XII Plan objectives of faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth, and will work towards the achievement of the following six development outcomes: inclusive growth, food and nutrition security, gender equality, equitable access to quality basic services, governance and sustainable development.
The new UNDAF will focus the efforts of the United Nations in nine states of India, namely: Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The selection of these states is based on the analysis of key statistical indicators related to poverty, inequality, human development, literacy and gender with disaggregation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In addition, the United Nations system will also consider selected programme interventions in the northeast, including HIV/AIDS, Human Development Index/Child Development Index, human and child rights.
UN-HABITAT will contribute to various outcomes of inclusive growth, gender equality, governance, sustainable development and basic services. The agency will also promote a strategy for creating suitable financing mechanisms to promote access of poor communities to finance for shelter and livelihood. It would further help create and strengthen urban poor community structures for urban planning and implementation of projects.
The new UNDAF focuses on joint work in areas where the United Nations has a collective comparative advantage in adding value to national development efforts. A key aspect of the new UNDAF implementation will be annual progress reviews that will be jointly undertaken by the Government of India and the United Nations system entities.