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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Qatar to open UNDP office to bolster development projects

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Qatar has signed an agreement with the United Nations to establish a new office for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Doha. 

A United Nations Development Programme office will soon be opened in the Qatari capital, authorities confirmed, after an agreement between the two entities.
Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations (UN) Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani signed the agreement on behalf of Qatar with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner.

The Doha-based office is part of efforts to increase the effectiveness of government-funded development programmes.

The new office will also focus on strengthening cooperation between the UNDP and the Qatari government to promote global sustainable development goals.

The UNDP works in some 170 countries and territories and works to eradicate poverty, and the reduce inequalities and exclusion.

“We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results,” the UNDP explains.

Read also: Qatar ramps up efforts with new UN humanitarian office

The move is the second such an agreement between the UN and Qatar in under a month.

Last week, Qatar announced it would open the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in its capital, as authorities ramp up reform efforts in the Gulf state.

The Doha-based OCHA office aims to support the UN mission to coordinate global humanitarian action and field operations around the world through partnerships with national and international actors.

Read also: Powerhouses: The women taking centre stage in shaping Qatar today

It will also establish effective and principled humanitarian action, defend humanitarian rights, raise awareness, and facilitate sustainable solutions.

In recent years, Qatar has emphasised its goals to remain heavily involved in humanitarian crises, continuously contributing with financial and medical aid to countries such as Palestine, Syria, Sudan, and Myanmar.

Doha has also participated and facilitated numerous mediation efforts with other countries to help resolve conflict – the most recent of which is the Afghan peace process as well as the US-Iran nuclear deal.

In 2018, Qatar opened an International Labour Organisation office in Doha to implement a comprehensive program to ensure the rights of labourers in Qatar, stepping up its commitments to address global concerns.

Last year, Qatar announced major historic labour reforms that introduced a new minimum wage for workers, dismantled the controversial ‘kafala system,’ and abolished the ‘No Objection Certificate,’ which allows workers to change jobs without needed the permission of their former employers.

In an exclusive interview with Doha News the former head of the ILO office in Qatar said the reforms need to be praised.

“Qatari authorities need to be recognised for the difficult decisions that they’ve made, for the laws they have adopted and for their ambitious labour reform agenda,” Houtan Homayounpour said.

“Having said that, it is also a fact that the picture is not a rosy picture. There are challenges that still remain, so we look forward to continue to work with the Qatari authorities and our partners,” he added.


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