Port Vila, Vanuatu - A Pacific UN Team recently met with the Government of Vanuatu and development partners in an effort to gauge how effectively they could work together in accelerating the pace of progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Mid-way between the Millennium Declaration adopted in September 2000 and the deadline of 2015 to reach the MDGs, Vanuatu has not made overall satisfactory progress towards the goals.

This process termed the MDG Initiative or MDGI seeks to determine Government’s priorities towards reaching the 2015 MDG target and estimate the cost to address constraints they are currently facing.

The team led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), included the United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF), UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, (UNIFEM) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) - in an effort to coordinate support and resources towards the achievement of the MDGs.

The Mission sought to clarify the scope of the MDGI with the Vanuatu Government to ensure understanding of the process, time frame and commitment of national stakeholders who will be engaged throughout the process as well as roles of UN agencies and partners.

The Mission also ensured that development partners were aware of the UN initiative in order to identify areas where synergies and complementarity with ongoing initiatives and processes could be maximized so as to avoid parallel processes.

The Mission proposed a three year project to Government which will focus on the evaluation of MDG processes, support to update Vanuatu’s first National MDG Report in line with the global review of MDG+10 in 2010, support for a financing strategy to implement interventions identified in the needs assessment/ costing exercise and support for the development of a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework for Government to evaluate the effectiveness of policy implementation in line with the Prioritized Action Agenda (PAA).

UN support will align with government national and sectoral development plan and budget processes.

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