Egypt and UN sign new Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework

Aya Salah , Habiba Hamdy , Wednesday 10 May 2023

Egypt signed on Tuesday a new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework Agreement (UNSDCF 2023-2027) with the United Nations to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in his celebratory speech for the signing of the United Nat
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in his celebratory speech for the signing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2023-2027


The signing ceremony was attended by Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly; UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt Elena Panova; and representatives from development organizations, specialized UN agencies, ministers, and officials.

During the ceremony, PM Madbouly asserted that the signing is a culmination of Egypt’s and the UN’s developmental relations over the years, highlighting Egypt’s role as one of the founders of the organization in 1945.

For her part, Panova said "I am happy to report that we mobilized the UN system to come on board. Twenty-six UN entities based in Egypt have jointly worked on this Cooperation Framework and will sign it today. We will see seven additional UN agencies – that have not participated in the last Framework – joining other agencies under this year’s agreement.”

In 2018, Egypt had signed a five-year partnership agreement (2018-2022) with the UN under the United Nations Partnership Development Framework (UNPDF).

The UNPDF was fully aligned with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   

Panova stressed that the UN General Assembly Resolution has identified the Cooperation Framework as the most critical instrument for planning and implementing UN development activities at the country level."

The Framework unpacks the three dimensions of Sustainable Development, including the social, economic, and environmental dimensions. It includes a dedicated outcome area on the empowerment of women and girls and a new priority area on transparency, good governance, and the rule of law. 

Egypt has begun implementing an “economic reform programme with the support of its development partners,” Madbouly affirmed, citing Egypt’s programme’s alignment with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as UN affiliated national strategies.

The reform programme included several social protection measures targeting groups that are most in need, Madbouly said, citing the expansion of Egypt’s cash transfer programme “Takaful and Karama” (Solidarity and Dignity) which already provides support to millions of families.    

The government has also increased pensions and wages; adopted tax exemption for low-income citizens; and provided various forms of support for basic goods and services, the prime minister added.

Furthermore, Madbouly asserted that Egypt is “aware of the challenges that still exist,” stressing the unprecedented shocks received by the Egyptian and global economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian Crisis.

In response to these shocks, he said, the government took swift and decisive measures to stimulate economic activity as well as strengthen social protection programmes.

Madbouly emphasized the importance of the African continent, highlighting that it comprises 71 percent of the world's least developed countries, which requires more collaborative international efforts and multilateral projects to strengthen its private sector, human capital, and infrastructure.

For her part, Panova said "We sign this Cooperation Framework at a crucial moment for Africa, and for Egypt."

She noted that the African continent, particularly Egypt, is currently experiencing a series of interrelated crises that jeopardize hard-won development gains for both present and future generations.

The United Nations Sustainable Group website states that the UNSDCF “represents the UN development system’s collective offer to support countries in addressing key Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) priorities and gaps. It begins and ends with an analysis of the national development landscape and SDG priorities, including through the lens of the imperative to leave no one behind.”

According to the UNSDCF document, the framework also “provides guidance to UN Country Teams (UNCTs) as they plan, finance, deliver and evaluate their support to countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), typically over a five-year cycle.”   

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