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Cablegate: Maldives: Un Agencies Plan Assistance Strategy to Support

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RR RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLM #1570/01 2690334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 260334Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4327
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 9968
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 9433
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 6333
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 4378
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 001570

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/INS, IO

E.O 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON UN MV
SUBJECT: MALDIVES: UN AGENCIES PLAN ASSISTANCE STRATEGY TO SUPPORT
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

1. Summary and comment: UN agencies working in the Maldives met to
coordinate their collective assistance strategy for the next three
years. The UN planning session demonstrated close cooperation
between UN agencies and the Government of Maldives. Post's tsunami
reconstruction assistance grants to the Maldives are consistent with
the Infrastructure Development and Environment Management priority
identified by UN agencies. End summary and comment.

UN Agencies Convene in Male'
----------------------------

2. Econoff participated by invitation in the first day of a two-day
strategic planning retreat organized by the UN Resident Coordinator
in the Maldives to determine the assistance priorities of all UN
agencies active in the Maldives. The retreat was the middle step in
an iterative draft-consult-redraft process to produce a final
"Common Country Assessment" and "UN Development Assistance
Framework" to guide all UN assistance to the Maldives between 2007
and 2010.

3. Together, the CCA and UNDAF are key parts of the UN's
standardized process designed to improve coordination, reduce
overlap, and ensure that UN agencies' activities support Maldives'
national development priorities and its achievement of the UN
Millennium Development Goals. (See glossary of acronyms in para 8
for more details.)

4. The September 20-21 meeting in Male involved representatives of
UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, ILO, ESCAP, IFRC, the World Bank, the
Asian Development Bank, and other assistance agencies (see para 8
glossary of acronyms). The EU was the only other diplomatic
participant besides Embassy Colombo. Representatives of relevant
Maldives ministries participated as well.

5. For discussion in the retreat, UN staff had prepared a draft of
the Common Country Assessment identifying the main development
challenges in Maldives:

- Economic Development (especially unemployment).
- Infrastructure Development and Environment Management (energy and
transport, fresh water resources, natural disaster prevention).
- Social Development (especially education, health, and nutrition).

- Governance (especially political reform and engagement of civil
society).

According to UNDP, these four focal areas were consistent with the
areas the Maldives had identified in its proposed National
Development Plan for 2007-2010, which would soon be finalized.

6. The Common Country Assessment draft proposed four priority
programming themes for UN agencies to employ:

- Equitable Resource Allocation
- Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups
- Civil Society Empowerment
- Human Resource-Centered Governance

Comment
-------

7. The UN agencies appeared to have a close working relationship
with the Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of
External Resources (DER), which coordinates all donor assistance
programs. The Executive Director of the DER showed the importance he
attached to the UNDAF process by attending the entire planning
retreat. Post concurs with the development needs and program themes
identified by the UN agencies, and notes that State and USAID
tsunami reconstruction grants to the Maldives fit squarely with the

SIPDIS
CCA's Infrastructure Development and Environment Management
priority.

Glossary of Acronyms
--------------------

8. CCA: Common Country Assessment. "An independent assessment by the
United Nations system of the development situation and critical
issues facing a country, particularly in light of the declarations,
goals, and plans of action agreed upon at the series of global
conferences convened by the UN in the 1990s." Source:
http://www.un.or.th/Joint_Activities/ CCA___UNDAF/
cca___undaf.html

DER: Department of External Resources.

ESCAP: Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

COLOMBO 00001570 002 OF 002

IFRC: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies.

ILO: International Labor Organization.

UNDAF: UN Development Assistance Framework. "A planning framework
for the development operations of the UN system at the country
level. It identifies the common objectives, common strategies of
development assistance and a common timeframe for follow-up
activities shared by all resident UN agencies." Source:
ttp://www.un.or.th/Joint_Activities/
CCA___UNDAF/cca___undaf.html

UNDP: UN Development Program.

UNFPA: United Nations Population Fund.

UNICEF: United Nations Children's Fund.

WHO: World Health Organization.

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