United Nations in Albania implements UN Secretary General’s Global reform to accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals

Wednesday, 9 January, 2019

On January 1st, 2019, the reform of the United Nations Development system went into effect worldwide.  The reform is guided by resolution 72/279 (May 2018), which mandates the UN development system to strengthen its capabilities and coordination systems to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the resolution, it was decided to create a dedicated, impartial, and empowered coordination function for the UN development system, in part by separating the functions of the UN Resident Coordinator, to be directly linked with the UN Secretariat in New York, from those of the UNDP Resident Representative. The resolution also envisions more efficient business operations and inter-operability, continuously improving coordination, whole-of-UN accountability to Government and partners, increased use of pooled funding mechanisms and increased attention to regional links to sustainable development, among other measures.

Albania, as a Delivering-as-One pilot country since 2007 is already implementing many of the pillars that the reform now seeks to emulate around the world.  Examples include the establishment of the UN Common House on Rruga Kavaje, the use of pooled funding and joint programmes, the production of a single, annual report [latest 2017 report] and comprehensive joint work plans.

Reflecting the commitment of the UN to rapid execution of resolution 72/279, Limya Eltayeb has been nominated as UNDP Resident Representative ad interim effective December 1st, 2018.  The complete list of UN Country Team members can be found here.

The Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development (PoCSD) 2017-2021 guides all the UN's work in Albania. (It is the same as what the UN generically refers to as the UN Development Assistance Framework, or UNDAF).  The overall Programme is governed by the Government of Albania-UN Joint Executive Committee.

The Programme of Cooperation is composed of four Outcomes.  Two-year rolling workplans are established for each Outcome, signed by the respective UN agencies and government partners.  The 2018-2019 joint workplans are online – Governance and Rule of Law; Social Cohesion; Economic Growth, Labour and Agriculture; Environment and Climate Change

These workplans indicate all the UN entities providing assistance. The responsible UN entities for leading each Outcome are as follows: 

Outcome 1: Governance and Rule of Law UNDP, UNHCR
Outcome 2: Social Cohesion and Social Protection UNICEF, WHO
Outcome 3: Employment and rural development FAO, UN Women
Outcome 4: Environmental protection FAO, UNDP

In the coming months, UN Outcome Chairs will be reaching out to Governmental, international and national partners to "roll" the workplans over towards 2019-2020.  This will be a participatory process, enabling the UN to fine-tune their assistance to support Government's priorities towards their National Strategy for Development and Integration, EU integration and the Sustainable Development Goals. 
Outcome Group meetings, will be integrated into Albania's coordination structure, as confirmed in the Council of Minister's Decree of October 2018 that outlines the Integrated Policy Management Groups, Sector Steering Committees and Thematic Working Groups. 
Accelerating progress on the achievement of SDGs remains a priority in UN’s work. In 2019, UN Albania under guidance of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on SDGs will continue to provide support in partnership with Government, Parliament, civil society, private sector and development partners.

The SDG Accelerator Fund for Albania serves as an engine to finance actions that will accelerate Albania's achievement of its commitments to the Agenda 2030 and SDGs in line with EU integration Agenda. UN recognizes the contribution of 32 million Krone (approx. $3.5 million) from Sweden, in November 2018, to advance work on Preventing Violence against Women, supported by UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women.This adds to the important contribution of 8 million CHF from Switzerland (approx. $8.6 million) in 2017 for Social Inclusion. The SDG Acceleration Fund was also used recently as a vehicle to enable the UN to jointly provide technical assistance to HIV and TB programming supported by the Global Fund.

The Government continues with its planning for an annual contribution to the Fund for the remaining period of the Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development. The Government and the UN are encouraging development partners to match funding, in particular for priorities as identified by the SDG analysis undertaken earlier this year: Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Albania. Additional funding could be used, for example, to finance technical assistance for:

  • MAPS Accelerator Inclusive green economy—with strong focus on energy, decent work, competitiveness, innovation, and resilience
    • Inclusive employability, self-employment/ employment start-ups, integration support of Roma and Egyptians minorities, and People with Disabilities
    • Expansion of skills and opportunities for rural women, in particular linked to tourism and the '100 villages' programme
  • MAPS Accelerator Governance, human rights, and the rule of law
    • Strengthened Gender Equality machinery in line with the EU Gender Equality acquis and global norms to achieve sustainable empowerment of women
    • Human rights: institution-building capacity for the independent Ombudsperson's office (including Commissioner on Child Rights) and NGO support for access to justice (legal aid). Government will be supported to participate in the upcoming 3rd cycle of the UniversalPeriodic Review (UPRMAPS Accelerator Investment
  • MAPS Accelerator Investment in human and social capital
    • Piloting of the new model of Primary Health Care

The UN Country Team in Albania looks forward to strengthen its partnerships with Government, civil society and international development partners, and looks forward to our continued cooperation.