Ashgabat, 2 March 2012 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Turkmenistan have agreed on a new format of partnership signaling that the Government of Turkmenistan will be actively financing its own development programmes jointly implemented with UNDP.
Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov and UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Narine Sahakyan signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Conference hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan to mark the 20th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s membership in the United Nations.
The signing of this MOU, which opens a new page in the productive cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNDP, is a result of the ongoing dialogue on increasing national ownership of development results based on the existing national priorities.
Under the MOU, the Government and UNDP will establish a Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and Development and the Ministry of Finance of Turkmenistan and UNDP. The SAB will be regularly reviewing the areas of cooperation between UNDP and the Government, taking into account requests from governmental bodies for UNDP support and conduct annual assessment of the results of cooperation.
The Government will sponsor the projects prioritized by the Board and enter into cost-sharing arrangements with UNDP. Such cooperation modality also envisages involvement of the private sector in the programme of cooperation and development initiatives that may lead to the establishment of a Trust Fund in the future.
To implement specific activities in the areas of cooperation identified by the MOU, UNDP and the Turkmen Government or designated Government agency shall sign project documents and determine the budget and funding sources.
“Given our fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation and the ongoing demand for UNDP services – as a global network of knowledge and expertise and a neutral and impartial partner – it is important to define a new relationship between UNDP and the Government,” said Narine Sahakyan, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Turkmenistan.
This new strategic relationship will not see UNDP as a grant provider, but as a strategic and trusted partner of Turkmenistan, a source of impartial information and expertise, a provider of high quality advice in its niche areas, a supporter with flexible response mechanisms and with proven record of accountability”.
In Turkmenistan, UNDP provides policy advice to the Government, taking into account the national development priorities, and facilitates access to the international best practices and knowledge, skills and resources to implement national policies and development strategies. UNDP’s work in Turkmenistan is structured around the areas of cooperation identified in the new Country Programme Action Plan for 2010-2015.
[UNDP Turkmenistan press release]