High-level UN delegation meets with President of Eritrea

Dec 17, 2013

His Excellency, the President of the State of Eritrea, Mr. Isaias Afewerki (left) exchanges greetings with Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Secretary General and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa. (Photo: UNDP Eritrea/Shamla Tadesse)

A high-level delegation of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) comprising Regional Directors from Eastern and Southern Africa met with His Excellency, President of the State of Eritrea, Mr Isaias Afewerki, during a three-day visit in December.

The delegation, headed by Mr. Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Secretary General, Director UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) and Chair, United Nations Development Group for Africa, comprised of  six Regional Directors from UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, ILO, IOM, and WFP.

The delegation came on the invitation of the Government and to strengthen cooperation with the Government of the State of Eritrea (GoSE) and position the UN in Eritrea as a key partner in supporting the country’s national development agenda. This follows the signing in January 2013 of the Strategic Partnership Cooperation Framework (SPCF 2013 - 2016) between the United Nations (UN) and the Government.  The Mission also meet with other Senior Government Officials including, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, National Development and Finance.

“Our meetings with the President and senior government officials at national and sub-national level were fruitful. We discussed how best the UN system can strengthen its support to the country’s sustainable development agenda,” said Mr. Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Secretary General, Director UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa and Chair, United Nations Development Group for Africa.

“As a delegation, we have given our commitment to the Government that the UN in Eritrea will ensure that it continues to produce results and create impact,” he added.

The delegation also had an opportunity to visit a number of GoSE – UN projects in health, water, food security and sustainable livelihoods in Zobas Debub and Maekel. The projects show-cased the success stories on Eritrea’s progress, particularly in meeting the health-related MDG targets and enhancing the livelihoods of the people of Eritrea through active community participation, ownership, leadership and resilience.

Building on Eritrea’s historical background, national vision for self-reliance and development path, recognizing the Government’s track record in institutionalizing accountability, transparency, integrity and prudent use of resources at national, sub-national and community levels, the delegation through meetings with GoSE, key institutions and development partners discussed possible entry points for strengthening and deepening the UN-GoSE cooperation.

The UN delegation also discussed with Government, opportunities to fast track achievement of the MDGs on poverty, education, environment as well as the participation in the post-2015 consultations.

“The visit of this delegation builds on the current momentum to strengthen the relationship between Eritrea and International Development partners,” said Christine Umutoni, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations in Eritrea.

“The UN will continue to pursue opportunities and provide support where it can to accelerate this process and facilitate greater interaction between Eritrea and the international community,” she said.

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