Statement of the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Nathalie Ndongo-Seh, at the Domestication of the UNSDCF 2021-2025 and the Formulation of Joint Workplans for UNSDCF Implementation on Monday, 16th November 2020

The workshops mark a significant step in the journey towards ensuring ‘a prosperous, just and resilient Kingdom of Eswatini, where no one is left behind.’

Principal and Under-Secretaries,

Officials from the Government,

Directors and Technical Personnel,

UN Heads of Agencies and staff,

Distinguished partners,

CEOs and Captains of Industry,

Representatives from the private sector and youth,

Ladies and gentlemen,


A very good morning to you all. It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to today’s Domestication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2021-2025 and the Formulation of Joint Workplans for 2021-2022. Today marks yet another significant step in our journey towards ensuring ‘a prosperous, just and resilient Kingdom of Eswatini, where no one is left behind.’

As we know, UNSDCF 2021-2025 has replaced the Eswatini United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) of 2016-2020. Thus, following the momentous signing of the UNSDCF 2021-2025, between the Government and United Nations in Eswatini, on 22nd October 2020, we gather today with a sense of national pride.

The Kingdom of Eswatini is amongst the first of 10 African countries to develop a UNSDCF, transitioning to the aspirations of the World Leaders, as reflected in the Reform of the UN Development System. This is a wonderful and commendable achievement.

The Reform of the UN Development System implemented by the UN Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, acts as a new pathway to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and in turn, Agenda 2030. It is therefore paramount that we embrace this unique opportunity to recover better from COVID-19 and ensure the protection of our most vulnerable communities.

The Framework was developed under strenuous and difficult circumstances, as we continue to battle against the COVID-19 pandemic; yet,  it represents an inclusive promise to the people of Eswatini and the planet, acting as a strategic instrument in the implementation of the National Development Plan, His Majesty’s Vision 2022, Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063. 

Over the coming two weeks, we will move into the next phase of the Cooperation Framework with the formulation of Joint Workplans and the development of a Funding Framework (FF). This phase is critical in the facilitation of resource mobilization for Eswatini development agenda and the effective implementation of the UNSDCF, starting in January 2021.

Together, in today’s workshop, we hope to create a common understanding of the Framework, notably its key strategic areas, outcomes, outputs, implementation mechanisms, partner roles and accountabilities. We will we provide important guidance on the identification and the articulation of joint programmes, activities and interventions for 2021-2022. This exercise will test our realistic ambition, commitment and determination for our effective and accountable implementation of the UNSDCF for the next two years.

This year, the United Nations is marking its 75th anniversary by seeking to listen to the voices of the world’s most vulnerable people, as we recover from the pandemic. In all these dialogues, participants underscored the importance of partnerships and on-going engagement with all partners, including at grassroots level.

Our commitment to the Cooperation Framework and thus, the joint planning sessions, must be built on a shared understanding of responsibilities and accountabilities. Responding effectively to the unprecedented crisis and building back better require closer collaboration and enhanced partnership between the UN, the Government of Eswatini, development partners, academia, the private sector, civil society and other key stakeholders. There is no doubt that, going forward, partnerships and multi-stakeholder engagement, as well as dialogue and greater understanding will continue to be essential.

Your participation in the workshop is indicative of your belief in the collective vision represented in the UNSDCF. On behalf of the United Nations Development System in Eswatini, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Government and all partners and in particular, to the Right Honourable Prime Minister, Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini for his commendable leadership and deep commitment to the people of our beautiful nation. Our thanks and appreciation are also directed at the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Hon. Dr Thambo Gina and his team for the excellent collaboration and support that the UN family continues to enjoy in the discharge of its mandate in Eswatini.

It goes without saying that the development of the UNSDCF would not have been possible without the hard work of each of us and our technical personnel. At this stage, it gives me great pleasure to introduce and welcome Ms. Annette Ittiq, the Consultant who developed the UNSDCF and  who will facilitate our half-day workshops, with the first week’s workshops consisting of the today’s plenary session,  followed by this week formulation of Joint Workplans and next week validation sessions at the cluster level.

I look forward to witnessing fruitful deliberations on programmes, activities and interventions which are realistic, ambitious and reflective of the development goals for Eswatini.

I thank you.

Speech by
Nathalie Ndongo-Seh
Resident Coordinator
Nathalie Ndongo-Seh
UN entities involved in this initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Organization for Migration
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Food Programme
World Health Organization