24 OCTOBER, MANILA — The United Nations and the Philippine Government have signed today in the presence of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a landmark document that outlines the UN’s plan to support the country on its sustainable development path and accelerate local progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The UN Philippines Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework is the UN’s blueprint for action from 2024 to 2028, which will mobilize the global knowledge, capacities, and resources from 23 UN entities supporting the country in addressing its major national priorities.
The new framework sets the stage for the UN’s shift from traditional development assistance to transformative strategic partnerships for policy and capacity development, knowledge generation and financial resources-leveraging by playing a strong development-enabling role.
“The new cooperation instrument is based on the principle that the magnitude and complexity of today’s development challenges require collective and integrated responses. For such reason, the UN is mobilizing the best of its capabilities to effectively support the Philippines in its noble aspiration to become an upper middle-income country,” said UN Philippines Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Gustavo González.
Key priorities of the partnership
Co-created with the Philippine Government, the Framework identifies three key priorities and outcomes, as well as the activities that need to be done to make this vision of a better future for the Philippines a reality.
First of these priorities is human capital development to ensure that by 2028 Philippines population are more resilient to crises brought about by economic downturns, climate disasters, and public health risks. With such goal, the UN will work with an expanded range of partners to enhance good governance, accountability and human rights, maintain a healthy environment and improve the quality of and access to social services such as healthcare, education, and social protection. In this context, sustaining peacebuilding investments in the Bangsamoro region and other parts of the country will be critical for SDGs acceleration.
The second priority underscored in the CF is sustainable and inclusive economic development and innovation, with the goal that by 2028, all people benefit from a more integrated, innovative, inclusive, and sustainable economy that generates decent work and livelihood opportunities.
Finally, the third key priority is climate action for environmental sustainability and disaster resilience. By investing in a just transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient development and cultivating a culture of sustainability in the management of natural resources and biodiversity, the UN and its partners hope to bolster current efforts to protect and preserve the country’s rich natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations.
On sustainable urban development and climate resilience
UN-Habitat Philippines will be one of the 23 UN entities that will work together towards this critical shift from traditional development assistance to transformative strategic partnerships for policy and capacity development, knowledge generation, and financial resources leveraging.
Currently, UN-Habitat contributes to the country’s resilience building and sustainable urban development engaging with national government agencies such as the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Climate Change Commission.
Among its current projects, UN-Habitat also works with local government units under the Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change in the Philippines (SHIELD), a program supported by the Australian Government that aims to accelerate resilience-building efforts at the local level by collaborating with multiple stakeholders to unlock financing opportunities and implement risk-informed resilience actions. Under SHIELD, UN-Habitat takes the lead in working with provinces to prepare risk and resilience-informed plans, allowing LGUs to structure better investment programs and access financing that strengthen disaster and climate resilience.
UN-Habitat has also recently launched “Huy-anan Nan Badjao sa Surigao”, a project geared for the rehabilitation of the Badjao community affected by Typhoon Rai in 2021. Also tagged as Supporting Blue-Green Recovery, Strengthening Resilience, and Promoting Sustainable Growth in Philippine Cities and Communities through Nature-Based Solutions and Circular Economy, the project is funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
As UN-Habitat works with all the UN agencies in the country, the Framework will be crucial in matching the scope of the challenges the Philippines faces. It also reflects the UN Country Team’s renewed and revitalized solidarity and commitment to a vision of a future where no one is left behind.