United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the United Nations Charter and a day that we take to reflect on the contribution of our organization and its staff to the development and wellbeing of the people of Belize.
This year, 2013, we are proud of the renewed partnership of the United Nations and its agencies, funds and programs, highlighted by the launch of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2013 – 2016 that was signed with the Government of Belize in 2012. The priority areas for our continued support are:
•Human rights with equity, equality and non-discrimination
•Economic and social well-being, citizen security and justice
•Environmental and natural resource management, disaster risk reduction and climate change
Within the framework of the UNDAF, UN agencies have partnered with the Belize City Council and RESTORE Belize in “Strengthening the Resilience of Southside Belize City to Enhance Citizen Security and Development”. This partnership is key in ensuring a sustained effort at improving the lives of Belize City residents within Southside communities.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have provided Belize with a sound basis on which to measure and track its development progress. The eight (8) basic human development goals continue to serve as a platform on which poverty reduction and sustainable human development strategies remain aligned. From 2007, to present, the Government of Belize has been particularly deliberate in its strategies to make positive strides toward MDG achievement.
The UN acknowledges the Government’s efforts at placing the MDGs as the centerpiece of its development planning efforts to achieve national goals. Key achievements have been manifested in the areas of education, health, and the environment. The overarching goal of eradication of extreme poverty and hunger remains a target as we push towards 2015 and beyond to realize a Belize with greater opportunities for all.
From a national health standpoint, the UN continues to support initiatives aimed at reducing the burden of diseases; strengthening health services and systems based on primary health care; addressing health across the life cycle; and strengthening the response for environmental protection and sustainability, including disaster mitigation. These activities support the work of the Government linked to the health-related MDG goals 4, 5, 6 and 7 and other health targets.
Belize, is recognized for continuing to be at the forefront of the sustainable development agenda and for engaging in and contributing to the international discourse on post 2015 Agenda, post RIO, UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COPs), and in preparing for the upcoming Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference in 2014.
The UN welcomes the Government of Belize efforts to engage in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, scheduled to be held in Geneva 28 and 30 October 2013. The UN welcomes the recent national gender policy and encourages the implementation of actions that support the fulfillment of women’s rights.
The UN applauds the Government on its efforts to amend the criminal code to protect children in Belize against sexual crime and exploitation. The UN encourages the Government to promote the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the ILO Convention 169 to ensure the protection of indigenous peoples rights.
The UN remains committed to supporting a constructive dialogue between Guatemala and Belize. The Secretary-General believes that this process is in line with the objective of pacific settlement of disputes enshrined in the United Nations Charter and merits international support.
On this United Nations Day we reiterate the commitment of the resident and non-resident agencies and staff to the UN’s continued engagement in Belize, with Government, civil society, NGOs and other development partners working in the country.