Senior officials of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) met with UNESCO representatives to map out a crucial path for the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2024-28 (UNSDCF).

The meeting, held at the CDC headquarters in Phnom Penh on August 8, has set the direction for this vital collaboration.

Representing Cambodia was Chheang Yanara, Government Delegate attached to the Prime Minister and secretary-general of the CDC’s Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board (CRDB). The UNESCO delegation was led by chief representative Sardar Umar Alam, who also serves as the acting UN system coordinator.

During the discussion, Umar Alam briefed the Cambodian representatives on the latest developments in the cooperation framework for 2024-28. He explained that the initial draft has been completed and submitted to the Cambodian government for review. Meanwhile, the Regional Quality Assurance team is commenting on the submitted draft.

All relevant parties are to review the final draft, which is scheduled for completion in September. The framework will then be signed in October, and submitted to the executive board for approval in November. Implementation is targeted for early 2024.

Regarding the issues discussed, Yanara expressed high regard for the first draft of the cooperation framework. He provided some additional insights at the conclusion of the draft.

UNESCO then extended thanks to the CDC’s rehabilitation and development committee, acknowledging their close collaboration.

Yang Kim Eng, president of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, reflected on the significance of the UNSDCF for the next five years. He highlighted the framework’s emphasis on human resources, economics, the environment and social transformation.

“In this regard, I see that we cannot break away from global trends because we need to learn from each other in order for Cambodia to increase its knowledge, gain expertise and experience from around the world, because the UN will help mediate any shortcomings,” he said.

He further stressed the importance of alignment between government strategy and the framework, especially careful implementation, financial planning and full public participation.

The UNSDCF 2024-28 was launched at a workshop in November 2022. It has been continuously refined through consultations between the UN, development partners and the government.

The focus is on four pillars: human resource development, economic sector, environment and social transformation, all of which align with national priorities.