The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, and the UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia, Niels Scott, signed on 20 November 2015 in Tbilisi the United Nations Partnership for Sustainable Development. UNESCO contributed to shaping this document that outlines the strategic directions of the United Nations activities in the country over the upcoming five-year period, 2016-2020.
With a budget of around US$ 156 million, the United Nations (UN) Partnership Framework summarizes a collective strategic response of the UN system to national development challenges over 2016-2020 and is structured around 5 focus areas: democratic governance; jobs, livelihood and social protection; education; health; and, human security and community resilience.
“The partnership framework is entirely centred on the Sustainable Development Goals which were recently endorsed by the UN General Assembly in New York,” - underscored Niels Scott. The new programme of cooperation between Georgia and the United Nations is the result of in-depth consultations with the Government, the UN agencies, donors, civil society and other partners.
The UN Country Team (UNCT) agency heads - including UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHCR, FAO, ILO, OHCHR, WHO, UN Women, UNODC, IAEA, UNEP, UNECE and UNESCO - officially signed the partnership framework in the spirit of ‘Delivering as One’. From 2014 to 2015, UNESCO had provided inputs to the development of the Partnership Framework under the coordination of its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), and geared by UNCT in Georgia.
Specifically, UNESCO’s action in the field of democratic governance will focus on supporting the development of Science Technology Innovation (STI) strategies and enhance capacities of research and scientific institutions to be gender responsive and gender transformative. In the areas of environment protection, sustainable management of natural resources and disaster risk reduction, UNESCO offered to provide policy advice, technical assistance and capacity development to strengthen the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, with the primary aim to update instruments that enforce national environmental policy implementation - including fulfilling obligations under international agreements; and, secondly, to develop innovation policies and practices for environmentally sound and energy efficient technologies and cleaner production.
"The United Nations - through its funds, programmes and agencies - renews its commitment with the Georgian people, to contribute to sustainable development - to strengthen the rule of law, the protection of human rights and democratic values, to help in building a modern economy and to reinforce social justice", - added Niels Scott. Being a UN family member brings lots of benefits to Georgia,” said Irakli Garibashvili at the ceremony. “We highly appreciate your recommendations and we are grateful for your continuous support.”
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Georgia is one of the 11 countries + Kosovo* in Europe and Central Asia that rolled-out the United National Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) in 2014. In addition to reviewing and helping improve the overall quality and usability of the various documents, the UNESCO Regional Bureau directly contributed to the development of UN programmes in Georgia, Serbia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo* in 2014 and to Albania and Montenegro in 2015.
(* as defined by the UN Security Council Resolution 1244)