Approximately US $95 million has been earmarked for the 18 projects selected.
As a result, UNESCO will be actively involved in the implementation of the projects in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Palestinian Territories, Senegal, Turkey and Uruguay. The full-fledged projects are presently being elaborated and will be submitted to the Steering Committee of the MDG-F on 28 January 2008 for its final approval.
In December 2006, the Government of Spain and UNDP signed a far-reaching agreement to establish a new fund to accelerate efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in selected countries, and to support UN reform efforts at the country level through a new form of United Nations inter-agency cooperation. The Spanish Government has committed 528 million euros to the Fund.
The MDG-F seeks to attract innovative, transformative joint proposals from UN Country Teams, which build upon the comparative advantage of the UN system at country level and demonstrate a truly inter-agency joint programming. It envisages funding, not only for the pursuit of MDGs, but also for projects that address cultural diversity and development.
As the only UN agency with a specific mandate in culture, UNESCO was called upon to manage the evaluation process of the project proposals for the thematic window on “Culture and Development”, and to ensure the monitoring and evaluation of the projects retained.
Last August and September, Mrs Françoise Rivière, Assistant Director-General for Culture, supervised the technical evaluations in her capacity as Convener of the Technical Sub-Committee on Culture and Development, composed of independent experts. On the basis of its recommendations, the Steering Committee, whose members include the UNDP Administrator and the Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, decided to retain 18 project proposals that most closely satisfied the Terms of Reference on Culture and Development, elaborated in cooperation with UNESCO. The projects should recognize and build on culture as a pillar for sustainable development, a question that UNESCO has been advocating for the past decade.
The MDG-F reflects the confidence of the Spanish Government in the unique value of the UN system at the country level in a number of key areas. It opens a welcome opportunity for UNESCO to play a key role within the framework of the application process of the UN reform at country level in an area of its core competences.
Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 178-2007 - Publication Date: 19-11-2007