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‘One UN’ Sparks Economic Progress In Cape Verde

‘One UN’ Pilot Scheme Helps Spark Economic Progress In Cape Verde

New York, Sep 22 2008 6:10PM

Cape Verde has made steady economic progress since lifting itself out of least developed country (LDC) status last year by benefiting from the coordinated support of United Nations agencies, a UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) meeting heard today.

The West African archipelago is one of eight countries participating in the One UN pilot scheme, which aims to harmonize activities in a bid to more efficiently achieve the globally agreed anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Under the scheme, the UN consolidates its presence in each country by replacing its current structures with one leader, one programme and one budget, allowing various UN agencies to play to their strengths.

The One UN programme for Cape Verde, the first UN country plan led by UNCTAD, focuses on trade and improving the country’s connections with global markets.

“Our operations are based on our research work, ad hoc missions, and specific training activities,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told the Geneva meeting, which was attended by Cape Verde’s Minister for the Economy Fatima Fialho.

“The programme for Cape Verde is the only one where trade and international issues have been specifically stressed by Government and fit directly into the national development strategy,” Mr. Supachai added.

The other participating countries in the pilot scheme are Albania, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay and Viet Nam.

The One UN country plan for Cape Verde, which was adopted in July, includes analysis and policy advice regarding the country’s graduation process from LDC status (including the management of external debt), post-accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), improving trade and boosting capacity to attract foreign investment.

Funding for the plan, which coordinates the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is anticipated to be $70 million through 2010. Financial support to back the programme was requested from donor countries at the meeting.

Ms. Fialho told the meeting that the country’s “agenda for transformation” centred on strengthening the nation’s key sectors – tourism, fish processing and marketing, business-processing outsourcing, transport and the expanding creative and cultural industries – and that the country was making rapid progress towards meeting the MDG of halving extreme poverty by 2015.

ENDS

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