This morning the signing of the Second United Nations Development Assistance framework for Belize took place at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The first signing took place in July of 2006. The UNDAF which seeks to provide funding and programs for United Nations resident agencies was signed by Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington and United Nations Resident Coordinator in the United Nations Development Program representative to Belize Roberto Gariele Valent. During his remarks Elrington said Cabinet perused the second UNDAF, approved its contents without reservations and gave its unanimous consent for him to sign it.

Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs “It is on occasions like these that I personally am happily reminded that Belize is not an isolated entity but rather an integral part of a global community that is experiencing rapid and fundamental changes. Changes which in the main, happily, are conducing to the enhancement of the security and standard of living of people all over the world including that of our own people here in Belize. But these changes are also laying bare that reality that the ability of Governments acting on their own and using their own resources to provide for the security and wellbeing of their citizens id rapidly waning.”

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Roberto Gariele Valent said during his remarks that there will be an investment of thirty four point six million dollars in the UNDAF which is almost triple the indicative figure of the last one which was twelve point four million. He said this is done in the context of an economic crisis that may loom for the next three years. He also spoke about the areas to be covered by this UNDAF.

Roberto Gariele Valent - United Nations Resident Coordinator “In this specific case, we are moving into the hard venture of facilitating national aid coordination efforts by providing you Minister, and through you, to the Government and the country, a coordinated platform for UN response to the challenges of the country. As it was, and I will not get into the details, it was already reminded that there are four key areas that are being focused on. The advancement of human rights with equity, equality and non discrimination, very much at the core and the center of Horizon 2030 and your strategies and plans; promoting economic and social wellbeing, citizen security and justice, the whole issue of rule of law, access to justice. Citizen security is an important element, promoting environmental and natural resource management. This is a country that is blessed by a global asset which is nature and we re-commit through this UNDAF to keep working in this respect but also to promote disaster reduction and climate change mainstreaming into national polices and strategies. Finally promoting democratic governance, very wide words and you have a lot inside there and we have been working a lot with you in regards to these four areas.”

The United Nations heads of agencies namely PAHO/WHO,UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF also signed the agreement.