GIS – October 27, 2014: ‘The ideals of the United Nations (UN) are timeless and if implemented in totality in a reformed structure that is equipped to deal with modern day realities and paradoxes, the UN stands in the supreme position to ensure peace and security in the world, primarily because the UN is driven by the will of its Member States’, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr Arvin Boolell, said on 24 October 2014 in Port Louis.
The Minister was delivering the keynote address to mark UN Day and the 45th Anniversary of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Mauritius. The ceremony was held in the Lunch Room of the National Assembly. A commemorative booklet was also launched online in the presence of the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Mauritius, Mr Simon Springett.
In his address, Minister Boolell stressed that there have been many spectacular achievements since the establishment of the UN. ‘People live longer. We all enjoy a better quality of life. Diseases like malaria, polio, dengue fever and others that used to plague us have been brought under control and a few of them eradicated; infant mortality rates have gone down with better health care systems. Inter-state rivalries have considerably diminished and more and more of us live at peace, under democratic rule of law and parliamentary democracies’, he pointed out.
As regards UNDP’s presence in Mauritius, the Minister said that this attests to the firm commitment and dedication to advancing the UN agenda. Through a genuine partnership and in the most transparent manner, said Dr Boolell, Mauritius has cemented its relationship with the UNDP to attain its national strategic goals and development objectives. Indeed, the relationship of the UNDP with the Government of Mauritius is an umbilical one, accompanying the country in its economic and development journey since 1969, he added.
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.
The United Nations Development Programme is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.
The collaboration between Mauritius and the United Nations System started in 1969 with the opening of the UNDP. The UNDP continues to strengthen the capacity of the Government and civil society to achieve continued growth and sustainable development. UNDP supports and supplement the national efforts at solving most important problems of the economic development and to promote the social progress and to better the standard of life.
Currently, its assistance on budgetary governance and Programme-Based Budgeting (PBB) is of great value in the allocation of public resources in line with Government’s priorities.
Another project of national interest, of which the UNDP is a key stakeholder, is the 10-year National Plan commonly known as the Economic and Social Transformation Plan (ESTP). The ESTP sets out the road map to the future of Mauritius and provides the physical infrastructure and human resources to support progress and development at an accelerated pace in a sustainable and equitable manner. It also aims at lifting Mauritius to a high-income economy with a Gross National Income (GNI) of USD 12,000 per capita by the year 2022. This project also benefits from expertise from the Coordinator of the Pole on Public Finance and Development Strategies from the UNDP Africa Regional Centre.
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