Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation, in collaboration with United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and United Nations agencies in Egypt, held a webinar to accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.
The event is part of a series of webinars organized in West Asia and North Africa by UNDESA to build the capacity of national stakeholders involved in policy-making and accelerate progress towards achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
During the webinar, Al-Mashat underscored the value of Egypt’s partnership with the United Nations, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which underlined the importance of enhancing global collaboration and effective partnerships among all sectors and stakeholders to scale up impact and achieve development priorities.
In light of warnings by the United Nations that global efforts to combat the virus risk overlooking the SDGs, Al-Mashat stated that Egypt’s purpose-driven development agenda ensures that it attaches sustainable development strings to its COVID-19 recovery plan – ensuring tangible results through an ODA SDG mapping exercise for a cooperation portfolio that amounts to $25bn.
To inspire and support collaboration among all stakeholders, the Ministry of International Cooperation launched the “Global Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation” multi- stakeholder platform in April 2020, which resulted in effective development cooperation with several stakeholders for various projects during the pandemic.
Examples of these projects include ‘Kemama’ that is implemented in partnership with the UNDP and El Nidaa Foundation, which promotes engagement of Egyptian women from Upper Egypt to produce medical face masks instead of ready-made garment production; helping them stay safe as well as empowering them economically.
Streamlining efforts under one umbrella, the Ministry also launched the Global Partnerships Narrative that aims to include local populations in Egypt’s development narrative through powerful storytelling, mobilize audiences towards the SDGs and shift local and global mindsets on the impact of development.
For his part, Richard Dictus, UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt, highlighted that there are lessons to be learned from Egypt’s experience in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that Egypt was best able to address the health impacts of COVID-19 while mitigating the impacts on the economy.
“Through integrating those lessons learned, there is opportunity for Egypt to build back better and come back stronger and more competitive after the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.
Amson Sibanda, Chief of the National Strategies and Capacity Building Branch at UNDESA, stated that this webinar represents the continuation of a successful partnership between Egypt and the United Nations, as well as the strong leadership commitment towards achieving the SDGs.
The series of webinars will be followed by workshops in Cairo to occur in the first half of 2021, and which will aim to bring together governmental and development representatives to focus on planning methodologies that can be used in short-term and long-term response strategies.
The Ministry of International Cooperation supervises the implementation of the Development Partnership Framework with the United Nations (UNPDF), and chairs the Steering Committee for the framework with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt, focusing on (1) comprehensive economic development (2) social justice (3) environmental sustainability, and (4) empowering women.