Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, 7 November – KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu has hailed the signing of a United Nations Strategic Cooperation Framework with KwaZulu-Natal Government.
“This province will ensure that KZN moves closer to achieving some Millennium Development Goals. It is most gratifying to be part of a leadership collective that is working towards creating a better life for our people.”
“In this province we are all fully aware of the fact that our performance as leaders will be assessed in relation to the progress we are making towards achievingMDGs.”
“We have taken a decision as the provincial government to focus on creating partnerships with organisations such as the United Nations to ensure that we drive socio-economic development in this province. Guided by the National Development Plan and our own Provincial Growth and Development Plan, we have made a bold statement that the next 30 will be dedicated towards fighting diseases and ensuring access to basic services such as electricity, water and sanitation for our people.”
“We are focusing on driving agrarian reform as part of our efforts aimed at ensuring food security for our people. There is a firm commitment to invest more in education because without decent education, we cannot leapfrog stages of socio-economic development.
This strategic cooperation framework we have signed will assist this province to realize our vision of being a prosperous province with a healthy, secure and skilled population, acting as a gateway to Africa and the World.
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and United Nations have agreed to initiate and strengthen join programmes focusing on the following areas:-
a) Job creation and inclusive development: UN will support the province in growing its economy to achieve shared growth including addressing issues of spatial equity and with a particular focus on targeted programming for youth employment generation and skills development;
b) Integrated services to communitiesin the areas of health and social development: UN will support the province in the promotion of a better life for all including through human and community development;
c) Strengthen the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and provincial response to climate change, and support for an integrated food security and rural livelihoods;
d) Governance, strengthening of public service capabilities, and Monitoring and Evaluation and knowledge sharing to drive scaling up of service delivery
“I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the KwaZulu-Natal and express my appreciation to the UN for the commitment to supporting our efforts.”
“KwaZulu-Natal has become a model of good governance having turned the tide against many challenges. The number of AIDS-related deaths is declining. Since we took office in 2009 we have stabilized HIV prevalence in our Province from 39.5% to 37.4%.”
“We have also reduced TB incidence for new cases and we are accelerating the campaign against TB to ensure that we meet our target of 716 per 100 000 in 2015.
“We want to decrease by 80% behaviours that put men and women at risk of HIV, AIDS, Sexual Transmitted Infections and TB (HAST) through implementation of focussed programmes targeting men and women aged 15-49 years by 2016.”
Clearly, we are positive that through this partnership we will be able to make an impact and ensure that the people of this province live a prosperous life.”
Issued by the Office of the Premier
Resident Coordinator’s remarks at Signature of Strategic Cooperation Framework
1. We are already substantially engaged with our counterparts in KZN. From today, we will be engaged not as separate UN agencies and engaged in separate initiatives. Instead we will be engaged as one coordinated whole. This will help organize what we offer within the context of provincial priorities. And as you have heard, it is the premier himself who has asked for this because it is how South Africa as a whole has asked to interact with the representatives and people across the country.
2. What does this mean in practice? It means that all of the assets of WHO, of UNICEF, and of the rest of the United Nations country team will be available to the province from one address, so to speak. These are technical rather than financial assets. This is because the UN development system isn’t a donor and does not bring large amounts of financial resources. What it does do is bring experience and knowledge from across the world because we have a preceding at global, regional, national and local levels in more than 170 countries. It means that we are available to help support the priorities of KZN by drawing on the knowledge and good practices from across the global south, and elsewhere.
3. The premier has set the bar at a high level and is right to do so. Poverty reduction remains his and our shared overall priority. We also agree that HIV and aids remains a scourge that we can do more to address. We shall also address the following together: (a) job creation and inclusive development, (b) integrated services to communities, (c) strengthening the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and climate change, and (d) governance, strengthening public service capabilities, monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge sharing. These priorities will drive the joint Programme and the conversation between KZN and the United Nations in South Africa.
4. Finally, I want to say that this joint Programme will mean a new way of working. We will need to structure ourselves better. We will need to spend time learning how to work with each other in innovative ways. But these are good things to ponder. The United Nations belongs to us all: the people in this room and those learning about this occasion through the media. I can only see positive progress as we evolve our partnership under the leadership of the premier and look forward to it deepening starting with the first year of the Programme.