The new Cooperation Framework ensures a continued work in partnership towards a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive society, supporting all people in BiH to live longer, healthier and more prosperous and secure lives, while helping reach the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda2030 at the same time.
The UN in BiH delivered 442.27 million USD in the past 6 years, across rule of law and human security, sustainable and equitable development and employment, social inclusion with education, social protection, child protection and health, and the empowerment of women. The new Cooperation Framework is a renewed commitment to continue working together with citizens and communities to build a society in which no one is left behind; to protect and promote human rights, advance gender equality and women's empowerment and deepen resilience.
The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH, Zoran Tegeltija, reminded that this is not the first time that such a document was signed; BiH had signed such frameworks twice before, and the implementation of the last one was extended for a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
"The difference between the previous ones and this document is the pandemic impact, because BiH has faced a complex situation and the fight for people's health is still going on, but also for the preservation of the economy. The document, which was signed today, was endorsed by the Republika Srpska, the Federation of BiH, the Brčko District, also the business community and the non-governmental sector. We have a good document that will provide the basis for development and instruments for measuring and achieving our goals," said the Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
Chairman Tegeltija also pointed out that the document is dedicated to the realization of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, the EU accession process, the joint socio-economic reforms 2019-2022, regional cooperation and a better life for the citizens of BiH.
The authorities in BiH and the UN are already working together on supporting the ongoing transformation of the economy and society toward sustainable growth and inclusive prosperity with renewed efforts to give young women and men reasons to stay and to create a more prosperous future for BiH.
“The new Cooperation Framework reinforces the United Nations commitment to strengthen partnership with the people and authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It will guide our efforts to accelerate sustainable development across the country from 2021 - 2025. Together, we’ll focus on shared priorities such as lasting prosperity for the people of BiH, 21st-century skills for everyone, reimagined education, improving health services, people-centered governance, strengthening social cohesion between communities and ensuring that those who are most vulnerable are not left behind. These goals were mutually developed based on rigorous analysis and consultations with people and partners across Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Cooperation Framework is also timely, as it provides a roadmap through which the United Nations can strengthen efforts to mobilize support for a greener, fairer, and more inclusive recovery from the COVID19 pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” said dr. Ingrid Macdonald, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in BiH.
Some of the United Nations partners and champions of sustainable development from Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the official ceremony.
Ms. Emina Zolota from the joint IT Girls initiative shared her journey, starting in 2018: “Ever since, I have only grown thanks to various activities and competitions, as well as mentoring support which I constantly receive and which means a lot to me. Not only is my technical knowledge growing, but so am I as a person. The “Go Green” app that I developed thanks to this support is now used in 14 municipalities in BiH. Just like I was inspired by IT girls, I also want to be an inspiration to someone else. In the future, I want to be a real IT girl who will help girls and young women to enter and fall in love with the IT world in which there are no limits.”
Young innovator and scientist Dženan Kovačićcommented on the connection between sustainable development and the pandemic, and highlighted the fact that this connection is especially visible when it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina: "Sustainable development goals did not arise just like that, but were developed by Nobel laureates, scientists, eminent thinkers keeping in mind the survival and development of the human species in the next 50 years or more. Sustainable development leaders are not the people who see just two meters ahead, rather they are those who see hundreds of years in advance and everything they do – they do it for the benefit of human civilization."
Petar Ćorluka, President of the Violeta Company board, shared the lessons from the sustainable business path that Violeta is taking: “I think it is an honor and pleasure to be responsible in all spheres of life and work, which Violeta shows. We employ 550 women and 550 men, and this is not just a form, but it is our practice. Women are equally valuable, responsible and systematic, and in particular in management positions. As an employer, my goal is to support and practice as much humanity as possible in development and working conditions, but also in the development of products that will be less polluting and are in line with the goals of sustainable development. I want all entrepreneurs to invest as much effort not only in the development of their products, but in reaching the sustainable development goals."
Video messages from representatives of the UN agencies, funds and programms working in Bosnia and Herzegovina, broadcasted during the event, reaffirmed what sustainable development means to their work and what the focus will be in the next five years. The message sent from the signing ceremony emphasizes the importance of involving all levels of authorities in BiH and creating partnerships across civil society, private sector and academia.
Event was organized in compliance with COVID-19 safety measures and was broadcasted live from the BiH Parliamentary Assembly Building to a large online audience - UN agencies representatives in BiH, media and media association representatives, NGOs representatives, academia and students; the full stream can be found at the UN BiH official Facebook page.