Premier and Minister Hon. Andrew A. Fahie and United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary-General Mr. Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva have agreed to extend the Virgin Islands (VI)-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation (MOU) until November 2023. The MOU provides for UNDP support to the VI regarding sustainable development, COVID-19 recovery, blue economy and disaster risk reduction.
Speaking on the extension of the MOU, Premier Fahie said,
“The Virgin Islands’ partnership with UNDP has been tremendously helpful to progressing the sustainable development of the society. In the first year we benefitted from two UNDP workshops that highlighted available UNDP assistance to the VI in the event of a natural disaster; a UNDP grant was given to one of our local small businesses participating in the UNDP FUT-Tourism; and UNDP has committed to forthcoming technical assistance in the area of Blue Economy early in 2022. The relationship will go from strength to strength in the year ahead as we get closer to completing the National Sustainable Development Plan. The Government will benefit from UNDP assistance with implementation of the plan.”
In his letter to the Premier, the Assistant Secretary General who is also the UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean said,
“We believe this partnership can be instrumental to unlocking opportunities for the achievement of the SDGs and 2030 agenda, including mainstreaming the SDGs in national policies and plans, accelerating their implementation and providing technical assistance for sectoral analysis, promotion of Blue Economy and other relevant activities such as addressing socio – economic impacts of COVID – 19 and other external shocks such as natural disasters, financial crisis or pandemics.”
His representative in the Eastern Caribbean Subregion Ms. Valerie Cliff, UNDP Resident Representative, in a statement also highlighted the potential for the VI and UNDP relationship to be a model partnership between SIDS and the UN.
“The Virgin Islands are a regional champion in many areas related to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promoting resilience in the Eastern Caribbean. For UNDP, this partnership is an opportunity to unlock opportunities and mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals in national plans. We trust this collaboration can become a model for many other SIDS,” Ms. Cliff said.
The VI and UNDP originally entered into an MOU on Cooperation on 2nd November 2020.
UN Assistant Secretary-General Mr. Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva and Premier Hon. Andrew A. Fahie