SECRETARY OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT REPRESENTING HONOURABLE SECRETARY GENERAL AND
HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE
GOVERNOR OF NORTH BANK
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HERE PRESENT
REPRESENTATIVES OF CSO AND PRINATE SECTOR
HEADS OF UN AGENCIES AND UN COLLEAGUES
FRIENDS FROM THE MEDIA,
DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
It is an honour to welcome you to the first Annual Reviews of the current United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) cycle. As you may recall, the UNDAF (2017-2021), was signed with the Government of the Republic of The Gambia in October 2016. The election in December of the same year and the events that followed however meant that the implementation got to a slow and uncertain start in 2017.
The change of focus and priorities of the incoming government in 2017 warranted the revision of the draft National Development Plan; urgent emerging governance issues requiring immediate attention also diverted us from some of the activities that we had jointly agreed on during Joint Work Planning in 2016. I am pleased to inform you that despite these challenges, we managed to get back on track and we will be sharing with you some of what we have accomplished to date.
With respect to the emergent issues, we are supporting the government in its reform agenda in laying strong foundation for a stable democracy – these include the Security Sector Reform process, transitional justice, collaborative leadership and the revision and rewriting of the national Development Plan (NDP). Together with other development partners (notably the European Union, World Bank, IMF and the African Development Bank), we are supporting the government in engagement on the NDP and to organize a donors’ conference early next year to mobilize resources and support for the implementation of the Plan.
The annual review exercise as already mentioned, is both an accountability and efficiency enhancing mechanism. It will give us insight into how we are delivering on our work, opportunities to assess efficiencies and devise ways of improving for better impact. Thus, to make this review effective, you must openly share our views, and most importantly, actively participate in this meeting.
The annual review this year is challenged by the fact that we did not prepare a structured annual work plan activities from the beginning of the year for reasons already mentioned. In addition, the late and uncertain start also meant that the quarterly reviews that should have conducted were not held owing partly to incomplete constitution of the UNDAF Implementation Structure. We hope we will overcome these challenges and do better in 2018. Along this line, we have started discussing with the government on streamlining the Implementation Structures across UNDAF and NDP.
In conclusion, the ongoing UN reforms emphasize the need to work together to ensure no one is left behind. By extension, there will be need for UN partners in government, NGO and private sector to also work more closely together in order to increase our impact. We therefore call on you to always cooperate when called on to participate in joint work. To keep us all abreast with the reforms, we intend to intensify our sensitisation of UNDAF, SDGs and related plans.
May I take this opportunity to thank you all for joining us in this review exercise, and urge you to discuss issues that will be emerging with all seriousness as the conclusions and recommendations that you will be reaching will determine whether we do better in the future or not.