Government of Iraq & UN in Iraq Convenes UNSDCF 2020-2024 first Joint Steering Committee Meeting
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28 May 2023 - The first Joint Steering Committee (JSC) meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2020-2024 (UNSDCF) took place today at the Ministry of Planning. Chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning, the meeting brought together more than 30 UN and senior government officials to discuss the progress of the UNSDCF and foster close collaboration for the remaining two years of UNSDCF, as well as for the development of the roadmap for the next programming cycle.
The UNSDCF aligns with Iraq's national priorities, and the establishment of the JSC as the overarching governing body dedicated to implementing the UNSDCF in Iraq was a significant outcome of the meeting. During the session, participants endorsed the 2022 Annual Results Report, outcome of the mid-term review of the Cooperation Framework and agreed on the appointment of government co-chairs to join the five Priority Working Groups. Meetings participants also noted the funding gap for implementing the remaining activities of the Cooperation Framework and agreed to collaborate to mobilize resources including from the government.
Highlighting the vital partnership between the Government and the UN System, the Minister of Planning acknowledged the significant contributions of the UN in terms of policy support, technical expertise, and resources to advance national development priorities. He stressed the importance of enhancing government ownership and designing a clear strategic cooperation framework that incorporates inputs from key stakeholders, ensuring alignment with national strategic priorities.
Echoing this sentiment, the UN Resident Coordinator emphasized that "The JSC serves as the high-level accountability forum between the UN and the Government of Iraq for the Cooperation Framework. It plays a pivotal role in providing strategic direction, oversight, and coordination for the UN's programmatic and operational interventions in Iraq's development sector." In his closing remarks, he underscored the Committee's commitment to monitoring the progress made in implementing the Cooperation Framework, which aims to propel Iraq's development trajectory. He emphasized the critical role of government engagement and leadership in aligning national priorities with the Cooperation Framework, as well as in regularly monitoring its implementation and results.
The JSC meeting marked a significant milestone in Iraq's pursuit of sustainable development, demonstrating the commitment of both the Government and the UN System to work collaboratively for the betterment of the country. Through ongoing collaboration and effective implementation of the UNSDCF, Iraq aims to achieve its developmental goals and propel itself toward a prosperous future.