“2010 is a critical year for the United Nations in Guinea-Bissau”, the SRSG says

3 Feb 2010

“2010 is a critical year for the United Nations in Guinea-Bissau”, the SRSG says

2 February 2010 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Integrated Office for Peacebuilding in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) considers "2010 a critical year for the United Nations in Guinea-Bissau", calling for a UN common strategy to address the country's political stability, security and development and human rights issues.

"2010 is a critical year for Guinea-Bissau and for the United Nations family in this country. We have a window of opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of ordinary Bissau Guineans and to try to deepen the political stability and security of the country", Mr. Joseph Mutaboba said at the opening ceremony of three-day joint UNIOGBIS and UNCT strategic planning retreat, today in Bissau.

The SRSG also considered that the UN work in Guinea-Bissau should be guided by the following five main principles: national ownership; building on existing analysis and good practices; being practical and focus on achieving results; being open to change and avoiding business as usual; and a beginning of a planning process and a new way of doing business.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Giuseppina Mazza, also considered 2010 as "crucial for Guinea-Bissau" with the launch of a new Poverty Reduction Strategy Program (PRSP) and many other reforms. "This year (...) will help establish a cycle of stability, economic growth and human development. The UN will back these priorities in particular the implementation of the PRSP and the measures aimed at consolidating important partnerships", Ms. Mazza said.

Guinea-Bissau Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Mr. Lassana Turé, diplomats and representatives of Guinea-Bissau institutions attended the opening ceremony.

The aim of the joint strategic planning retreat is to articulate a common vision and agree on shared priorities for the UN system in Guinea Bissau. Discussions on the elaboration of the integrated strategic framework in the country called UNDAF+ are one of the main topics of the meeting.

Approximately 19 UN agencies, offices and departments representatives are taking part in the retreat: DPA, DOCO, DSS, FAO, WHO, WFP, PNUD, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNIFEM, UNESCO, UNODC, UNOPS, UNHCR, UNCDF e UNIOGBIS, IMF, World Bank and Peace Consolidation support office.