February 26, Beijing – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People’s Republic of China jointly held an annual review of UNDP China’s Programme in 2018 and discussions on aligning priorities for 2019. The comprehensive review was the first of its kind and included more than 40 governmental officials and project managers from 15 line ministries, academies and other government entities, ranging from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), China Development Bank (CDB), among others.
The Programme review coincides with the 40th anniversary of UNDP opening its doors in China, celebrating the cooperation between the UN’s largest development agency and the Chinese government since 1979. MOFCOM, as UNDP’s window ministry to the government, has been a valued partner since the first project in China was launched on agricultural modernization in Inner Mongolia.
UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Agi Veres acknowledged the joint achievements with all government partners resulting in a very successful 2018. “Beginning many years ago, with our partners – DITEA and CICETE under MOFCOM, and now with all government departments represented here today, our historic partnership continues its work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in China.”
The 40-year cooperation mirrors China’s era of Reform and Opening Up, where UNDP China’s Programme has adapted to fit the development context in China as the country continued on its accelerated path of economic development, from an early focus on agriculture and poverty alleviation, to environmental protection, low carbon transformation and helping to share China’s experiences with other developing countries through South-South Cooperation.
Deputy Director-General of China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) Zhang Yi reaffirmed UNDP’s valuable contribution to China’s development work in the past and in present days. He also highlighted the joint priorities for UNDP-CICETE programme in 2019. “In 2019, we will enhance project management by providing capacity training for project managers, improving the management institutions and revising the project management manual. We will also continue to align with national strategies and the Country Programme Document and add touches to the ongoing projects while breaking new grounds.”
The 2018 review highlighted UNDP’s work on assisting China’s progress in sustainable development domestically, particularly in biodiversity conservation, environmental protection, low carbon technology adoption and integration, disaster management and climate change mitigation. The Programme review also outlined UNDP’s assistance in overseas projects, from post-disaster recovery efforts to engagement along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Deputy Division Director of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs (DITEA) Wang Dazhong expressed optimism regarding UNDP’s work moving forward with DITEA as its window agency in China stating, “we are testing the new models of cooperation and carrying out pilot projects regarding south-south and trilateral cooperation with great achievements, we will further enrich our cooperation under the BRI framework.”
Moving forward in 2019, UNDP with its government counterparts, will continue to work together in aligning China’s decision making with the sustainable development goals, in its transition to a low carbon economy, and in China’s engagement in development overseas.