The United Nations in Maldives held an initial consultation meeting with the Government of Maldives on the new United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) roll-out process, endorsing the UNDAF road map with the timeline as proposed.
During the meeting held on April 28, 2014, senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives from UN Maldives discussed many areas of importance in the UNDAF preparation. These include; the post 2015 agenda, using ICPD and other international events such as the SIDs Conference as reference points, alignment of processes between UNDAF and development of agency country programme documents (CPD), and changes in agency mandates and strategic focus.
Foreign Secretary Dr. Ali Naseer highlighted Maldives’ development achievements over the years and noted that although there are challenges ahead Maldives is now in a position to stand on its own. He noted environmental vulnerability, transition to democracy and inequalities as some of the challenges and said that some of these could derail the progress Maldives have made over the past years. He also highlighted the demographic challenges facing Maldives including a large youth population and a substantive ageing population, which will have challenges for policy and services.
Resident Coordinator a.i. Dr. Akjemal Magtymova made a presentation about the UNDAF roll-out process, providing a brief background on the United Nation’s changing role globally and its past work in the Maldives. The presentation focused on key principles of the UNDAF, coordination mechanisms and timeline and processes for the UNDAF roll-out. The presentation also highlighted some of the key achievements of the current UNDAF as reported in the Mid-Term Review.
During the discussion on the presentation, Dr. Magtymova noted that Maldives’ graduation to a Middle Income Country (MIC) changed terms of engagement for the country with UN and other donors. She highlighted the emphasis this places on cost-sharing and co-funding activities by Government. However, she also noted that the ground realities are very different, and that although Maldives is a MIC there are many indicators that show otherwise. She noted the need to balance between the provision of up-stream support and down-stream support in this working environment.
Participants also discussed the modalities of future cost-sharing. Representatives from UNOPS, UNFA and UNDP also joined the discussion of the roll-out.