One UN Newsletter - February 2015
Message from the Resident Coordinator
This year is an important one for Ethiopia. It will see the launch of the successor to the Growth and Transformation Plan I, that has seen rapid economic growth and an impressive reduction in poverty. The United Nations County Team will also be preparing its next UN Development Assistance Framework, which will run from 2016 to 2020 and which will be fully aligned with the next GTP.
We have one more year left to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Ethiopia achieved the MDG of reducing child mortality two years ahead of schedule. It has expanded access to basic social services, such as health, education, and water and sanitation. Overall, the country is on track to achieve most of the MDGs. Now, we have 12 months left to make sure that Ethiopia achieves all eight MDGs.
This year will also see the articulation of the successor to the Millennium Development Goals. The post-2015 development agenda looks set to focus on a number of development issues not captured in the MDGs, such as ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.
We know that good governance and the rule of law at the national and international levels are essential for sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger.
2015 is also critical for Ethiopia in that the country holds its fifth democratic elections. The UN working with Government and its development partners is committed to support Ethiopia conduct its coming national elections.
To this effect the UN, under the leadership of UNDP, is implementing a programme of support to the election that span on the following areas;
- Provide support to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia with logistical and technical assistance
- Support political party dialogue and engagement with the electoral process
- Support greater awareness of the electoral process through civic and voter education
- Assist improved media participation in the electoral process
- Support domestic observation of the election
- Provide support to increase youth and women participation
- Support efficiency of the electoral complaint mechanism and election security
- Strengthen national peace architecture
We are very passionate to see that this programme is successfully implemented, because we see democracy and good governance not as important ends in themselves. They are also important means to improve and secure development.
As we commence 2015 and plan ahead, it is also a time for reflection on 2014. One of the biggest challenges we faced over the past 12 months was the surge to Ethiopia of South Sudanese refugees fleeing violence back home.
Once again, I applaud Ethiopia’s open door policy and generosity to refugees. The country now hosts the largest refugee population in Africa. As the UN and a host of other NGOs and partners jointly continue to provide humanitarian assistance to refugee populations across the country,
it is my hope that more funds will be secured to allow for the continuation of appropriate support services. For its part, the United Nations County Team remains committed to working with all its partners to build a bright future for all Ethiopians.
Let us use this year to commit ourselves to ensuring that the impressive development progress we have seen over the last decade is sustained and indeed improved upon, so that Ethiopia can achieve its ambition of becoming a stable, prosperous, democratic, middle income and carbon neutral country in the next decade.