Sima Bahous: Outcome Statement from the Meeting of Regional United Nations Development Group – Arab States/ MENA
Outcome Statement by Sima Bahous
United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Assistant Administrator and Director of,
Regional Bureau for Arab States, United Nations Development Programme
Chair of the Arab States and Middle East and North Africa Regional United Nations Development Group
Meeting of Regional United Nations Development Group – Arab States/ MENA
Amman, 2 November 2013
I want to sincerely thank all of you for the rich discussions we had, for your constructive comments on both sessions of the meeting. I am grateful for your commitment to move towards a more effective coordination mechanism to address the challenges of the Syrian Crisis and its spill-over.
If I can share with you some conclusions that we take away from the meeting, I would emphasize the following:
On the Study on the Impact of the Syrian Crisis on the neighbouring countries, we agreed to:
• Constitute a working group made of agencies willing to participate in the finalization of the study so we turn it into an R/UNDG study. (supplement the focus to consider issues of human rights, crime prevention and protection, agriculture, natural resources, and security issues); and
• Expand the scope of the study to include Iraq.
On the Resilience-based Development Response, UNDG members:
• Recognized the importance of having met with UN Resident Coordinators for Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, who shared the work of the UNCTs and the challenges they face. We underscored that it is in the field that the UNDG has the best opportunity to support convergence of the humanitarian and development approaches. Collective support for the UNCTs is paramount in this regard.
• Strongly endorsed the principles of the resilience-based development response to the Syrian crisis as a critical approach and the most suitable framework to complement ongoing humanitarian efforts and accelerate development investments in the sub-region.
• Suggested improved inclusion and development of key concepts including foundation principles such as rule of law, a human rights and gender-based approach, social cohesion and youth.
• Emphasized that the potential needs are immense and resources finite, and underscored that it is important to manage expectations while building on existing implementation and delivery capacities in alignment with country-priorities.
• Emphasized the need to promote efficiency without compromising the quality of interventions, with sustained advocacy, and while remaining seized by a sense of urgency.
• Highlighted that the resilience framework will bring in regional approaches while recognizing the specificity of country realities.
• Agreed that the draft Reliance-based Development Response document needs to better reflect the specificity of Syria, considering opportunities to do more integrated work in safe areas. The document will be further developed with the UN Resident Coordinator for Syria and team when the UNDP Sub-regional Development Coordinator visits the country.
• Requested to convene a regional working group to fine tune the content of the Resilience-based Development Response document and immediately begin national consultations in partnership with the UN Resident Coordinators across the sub-region.
• The UNDP Sub Regional Development Coordinator is requested to provide a progress report to the UNDG before December 10, 2013, with the objective of the Resilience-based Development Response document being again considered at the Kuwait meeting in January.