National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan joined the signing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2024-2028, a joint strategic planning and partnership framework between the UN and the Philippines that supports the country’s medium- and long-term development goals as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 and the AmBisyon Natin 2040.
In the presence of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., NEDA Secretary Balisacan signed the framework together with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique A. Manalo and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Mr. Gustavo Gonzales.
“Our new cooperation framework covers the period of 2024 to 2028, which coincides with the timeline of this administration. As it is oriented to support the Philippine government policies and priorities embodied in the 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda, the Philippine Development Plan, and AmBisyon Natin 2040, it enjoins UN agencies in the government’s determined pursuit of the highest aspirations of our people,” said President Marcos Jr., who delivered the keynote message at the ceremonial signing.
The UNSDCF 2024-2028 is a fundamental tool that provides a unified and strategic approach for UN development initiatives carried out by all UN entities at the country level. The Framework supports the country’s aspirations to become an upper middle-income economy as it adheres to its commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“With the UNSDCF, the UN and the Philippine government now have a common blueprint for guiding programs and projects critical to achieving the country’s development goals. This Framework can contribute to our country’s progress toward addressing issues such as food insecurity, inequality, climate change, the digital divide, and, most importantly, poverty,” said Balisacan.
Following a consultative process involving the Philippine Cabinet, civil society organizations, private sector representatives, and the UN, the UNSDCF has identified three strategic priorities in the Philippines for the period of 2024 to 2028. These are: (i) human capital development, inclusion, and resilience building; (ii) sustainable economic development, decent work, and innovation; and (iii) climate action, environmental sustainability, and disaster resilience.
The UNSDCF also highlighted challenges and opportunities for the country. Challenges include the gaps in social protection and income inequality, while opportunities include the country’s demographic transition; the implementation of measures such as the Public Service Act and the Ease of Doing Business Act; and creation of an enabling environment for innovation as outlined in the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document (NIASD) 2023-2032.
As the country’s chief socioeconomic planner, Secretary Balisacan shall serve as the co-chair of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) overseeing the implementation of the UNSDCF, alongside DFA Secretary Manalo and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Gonzales. The JSC will be responsible for providing the strategic support, review, and guidance of the Cooperation Framework.