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New UNDAF program for Belarus to be developed in 2014

MINSK, 25 October (BelTA) – A new United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) program for Belarus will be developed in 2014, UN/UNDP Resident Coordinator in Belarus Sanaka Samarasinha said at a solemn meeting in Minsk on 24 October to mark United Nations Day, BelTA has learnt.

Development of the post-2015 development agenda, following the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, is highly relevant today. Belarus played a huge role in working out the global development agenda beyond 2015. National consultations in 88 countries, including Belarus, and the UN’s MY world global survey, which covered almost 1.5 million people, acted a great part in this worldwide discussion. Consultations in Belarus showed that many people of the country prioritize quality education and healthcare; involvement of vulnerable categories of the population in the social life and expansion of their rights and capabilities; decent work and stable income; environmental sustainability; gender equality; transparent government institutions; preservation of the Belarusian culture, values and traditions.

All of us, the government, the civil society, the business sector, donors, the international community and the United Nations, work together on the whole bunch of issues ranging from ecological problems and mitigation of the Chernobyl consequences to the fight against non-infectious diseases, HIV and TB; from migration and refugee issues to combating human trafficking and domestic violence; from supporting economic growth and cooperation with SMEs to expansion of the capabilities of vulnerable groups such as women, children and elderly persons. This partnership for the sake of social and economic development has produced great results. Belarus is currently ranked 50th among 186 countries in the UNDP human development index ranking,” Sanaka Samarasinha noted.

According to the UN representative in Belarus, next year, when a new UNDAF program for Belarus will be developed, the parties should continue addressing traditional issues. "We should seek innovative ways of assisting the development of a constructive public-private partnership to strengthen economy, improve infrastructure and enhance the quality of the main services. We should manage risks and make the use of every opportunity emerging in the removal of boundaries and demographic changes as a result of migration and ageing of the population. We should make the education of the youth meet the requirements of the labor market in Belarus and other countries. We should put our efforts in healthcare and other social services in order to make them efficient and accessible. We should do more to protect biodiversity, mitigate the consequences of the climate change, reduce the risk of natural calamities, enhance energy efficiency, promote the development of the green economy,” he added.

Economy Minister Nikolai Snopkov noted that Belarus is close to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. “The global social and economic situation as well as the situation in the region and the country assumes huge efforts from the government to preserve the current growth and create conditions for sustainable growth in the future,” he said. Nikolai Snopkov expressed confidence in further cooperation.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus Elena Kupchina also expressed hope for continuation of fruitful cooperation with the UN in all areas of activity for the benefit of the Belarusian people and for the sake of strengthening peace and security.