A Strategic Prioritisation Retreat (SPR) to discuss the development of a Strategic Partnership Framework (SPF) for the period spanning 2019-2023, opened this morning at Le Méridien Hotel, in Pointe aux Piments.

The three-day SPR is organised by the Office of United Nations Resident Coordinator, in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office through the Economic Development Board. Around 60 participants comprising senior level and technical staff representatives from Government, and other key stakeholders including, bilateral and multilateral organisations, civil society, academia, research institutions and private sector, are attending. The Retreat is being facilitated by a team of four experts.

In her address the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine N. Umutoni, recalled that the UN has about 17 Agencies that work in Mauritius adding that the present Retreat will allow both sides to elaborate a UN/Government Partnership Framework. It is a coordinated approach over our work as the UN supporting the national vision of the country, she said.

According to Ms Umutoni the UN is working together with the Government in this Retreat to identify the priorities are aligned with the national Vision, national strategy, Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs), African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the SAMOA Pathway so as to map out what could be the priorities for the next five years for the UN and Mauritius.

The priorities would depend on the discussions during the Retreat, she said. This is due to the fact that the national agenda of Mauritius englobes various goals which the country wants to achieve such as improving its blue economy, digitalisation of the economy, dealing with its own vulnerabilities of climate shock, expanding markets, improving labour market, working on maritime security-related issues, and ensuring youth engagement.

For his part the Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Om Kumar Dabidin,rejoicedthat the longstanding collaboration between the Government of Mauritius and the United Nations has been instrumental in assisting our developing nation to achieve its international developmental goals set forth.

According to him, Government, through its National Vision, endeavours to accelerate inclusive economic growth, development and transformation of the economy from an Upper Middle Income status to an inclusive high-income country status. On that score four principal areas of actions have been identified to enable realisation of an inclusive high-income status. These are: addressing unemployment; alleviating, if not eradicating, poverty; opening up our country and new air access policies; and, sustainable development and innovations.

Indeed, there is a pressing need for Government to strengthen its institutional capacity to encourage planning, coordination and monitoring and evaluation at all levels, he added.

Strategic Prioritisation Retreat

The aim is to have a mutual understanding of the development context in Mauritius including trends, key opportunities and challenges. The objectives are to: develop a strategy to effectively position the UN system’s contribution in support of Government’s efforts to achieve the SDGs targets; and, identify strategic priorities and outcomes for Mauritius/UN SPF, in line with national development priorities as outlined in Government planning documents.

Strategic Partnership Framework

The Framework will be formulated through a participatory consultative process involving the Government of Mauritius and UN agencies and various partners. As one of the key steps in this consultation, the Retreat is being organised.

The SPF 2019-2023 signifies a collective, coherent and integrated response by the UN’s System aligned with Mauritius’s national development priorities to ensure greater efforts for coordination to achieve the SDGs.

Mauritius is an upper-middle country aspiring to become a high-middle economy, and the SPF calls on Government and the UN system, in partnership with various players including the private sector, foundations and academia, civil society and communities, to increase commitment to support the country achieve its vision.

The last UN Development Assistance Framework for Mauritius ended in 2003. Since then there has been only sectoral arrangements with the UNDP. Government emphasised the importance to have an overarching UN/Mauritius Strategic Partnership Framework 2019-2023.

Source: Government of Mauritius