On Friday 16th October 2020 the Government of Suriname and the United Nations in Suriname launched the development of a Roadmap for a Sustainable Financial System for Suriname Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the event occurred virtually with over 70 attendees representing stakeholders, from government, private sector, the banking and finance sector, international organizations, local Non-Government Organizations, Community Based Organizations, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Organizations, and UN agencies.  His Excellency, Minister Albert Ramdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation and His Excellency, Minister Silvano Tjong-Ahin, Minister of Spatial Planning and Environment, both joined the meeting and gave remarks on the importance of this initiative for Suriname.

Ms. Marina Walter, UN Resident Coordinator

Ms. Marina Walter, UN Resident Coordinator

The joint programme is funded through the UN Joint SDG Fund which has the objective to support countries to accelerate their progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A key part of this role of the UN Joint SDG Fund is catalyzing additional and innovative financing for the SDGs. This UN Suriname joint programme, a first on sustainable financing and supported by the UN Joint SDG Fund, supports the development of financing strategies and enabling frameworks for SDG investment in Suriname.

As part of the opening remarks Ms. Marina Walters UNRC for Suriname shared the following with the audience “If we are to build back better after COVID-19 we need to get the right economic social and environmental policies in place and mobilize the financing required to bring them to scale as quickly as possible. The joint SDG fund is an innovative instrument to support Suriname on this path and a critical component of the UN’s development response to accelerate the SDG implementation.”

The joint programme includes the strengthening of the capacities of the national and sub-national financing architecture on SDGs, piloting of integrated national financing frameworks, establishment of partnerships through convening networks and consortia comprised of actors from the public and private sector and the production of SDG-aligned financing strategies. The joint programme builds on, past and on-going initiatives in the country, such as on the Suriname Nationally Determined Contribution, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+),  more inclusive and gender-responsive National and sectoral Adaptation Plans and Targeted Scenario Analysis within the extractive industries and other forest related value chains. The joint programme implementation is from October 2020 to September 2022.

Dr. Margaret Jones Williams, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative

Dr. Margaret Jones Williams, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative

The participating UN agencies are UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA and FAO. The joint programme budget is 870,000.00 USD of which 662,000.00 USD is made available by the UN Joint SDG Fund and the rest is in-kind funding from the participating agencies. The UN Co-leads for implementation of the joint programme are UNEP and UNDP under overall coordination of the UN Resident Coordinator to Suriname. The UNDP is honored and appreciative to contribute to the successful implementation of the joint programme towards realization of the SDGs.   In the closing remarks, Dr. Margaret Jones Williams, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP noted that “the SDG Fund is intended to reach the vulnerable and most marginalized, and this need is ever more present with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.´ Dr. Jones Williams also stated that “The benefits of the forests are for all citizens, including persons who work the land, live on the land and benefit from the land.  All persons including indigenous and tribal people, persons with disabilities and ensuring gender integration, supporting the whole of society approach and inclusivity and in this way ensuring we Leave No One Behind.”

DMr. Vincent Sweeney, UNEP Caribbean Sub-regional Office Director

Mr. Vincent Sweeney, UNEP Caribbean Sub-regional Office Director

Mr. Vincent Sweeney, Head UNEP Caribbean Sub-regional Office,  in his closing remarks reiterated the impact of this joint project’s implementation will have on achieving several SDGs “  the true innovation and importance of what we are about to embark on: a joint project that transcends a singular vision or issue and rather encompasses new dialogues, approaches, and alliances to overcome the biggest challenges we are facing. While this Joint Programme will directly impact five of the SDGs – 5, 11, 13, 15 and 17 – the interrelated nature of the Goals means that all will be influenced by this project’s implementation. This is a commendable yet essential objective. The current health crisis – COVID - that we are all too familiar with, has quickly become a human and socio-economic crisis. It is a somber reminder of why accelerating delivery of the SDGs is of the utmost importance”.  He also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to come together with other UN agencies - UNDP, FAO and UNFPA to fulfil collective mandate to Deliver as One. “Together, our strengths will be fully utilised to deliver innovative, inclusive, and sustainable solutions”.

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