Empowering people and building peaceful societies: Cooperation between the EU and UNDP in the Arab States region

Peace and stability are key to achieving the Global Goals in the Arab States, EU-UNDP report says

First report on the partnership between the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Arab States was released today in Brussels.

Entitled “ Empowering people and building peaceful societies”, the report showcases results of the many initiatives carried out by the EU and UNDP, impacting the lives of millions of people across the region.

“From constitutional change that finally recognizes the voices of women, to democratic elections, to innovative programmes that help turn the young away from the siren song of violent extremism, our joint work is at the forefront of change in the Arab world”, said Mourad Wahba, Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States, in the foreword to the report. “Together, the EU and UNDP are agents of peace and stability, relief and resilience for a region that has suffered more than most in the turbulent twenty-first century”.

The report demonstrates how UNDP and the EU are natural partners, sharing the same values and objectives for advancing peace and security, human rights and development. A guiding principle of the partnership is the joint effort to help countries eradicate poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 universal goals to achieve a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future by 2030.

“The partnership between UNDP and the European Commission in the Arab world is an excellent example of the benefits of working together. Where conflict is raging, we have worked together to uphold peace, prosperity and reconciliation, and find sustainable solutions that promote solidarity with affected populations and show our support for accountable and effective institutions”, said Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, and Christian Danielsson, Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission, in the forewords to the report.

Highlights of the EU – UNDP partnership in the Arab States:

  • We work in partnership with 14 countries to advance good governance, including at the local level, support the deepening of democracy and promote efforts to make societies more inclusive.
  • We supported the drafting, signing and dissemination of Tunisia’s new constitution, a vital step in strengthening that country’s democratic institutions; and we continue to support the people of Somalia in their mission to build a responsive and accountable State.
  • We are helping nine countries to build resilience or recover from crisis. In war-torn Syria, nine schools have been refurbished and over 10,000 jobs created to help Syrians get back on their feet. In Sudan, an estimated 66,500 people have benefitted from efforts to establish peace and prevent future conflicts. In Yemen, a cash-for-work campaign is aiming to help 42,000 vulnerable people in rural communities become more resilient while meeting immediate basic needs.
  • We support the resilience of the Palestinian People through cultural and economic activities in East Jerusalem, ‘Area C’ of the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.
  • We helped the League of Arab States Secretariat and its Member States establish early warning systems and other effective responses to impeding regional crises, conflicts and post-conflict scenarios. We support climate-modelling technology that has increased cooperation among water authorities in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel and Jordan.

The EU and UNDP are partnering in nearly 140 countries to deepen democratic governance, prevent or recover from conflict and natural disasters, build resilience and adapt to climate change.


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