The Ambassador of Norway to Sri Lanka and Maldives, H.E. Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther and UNDP Sri Lanka Country Director Mr. Jorn Sorensen signed the partnership agreement amounting to NOK 12.6 million (USD 1.5 million).
Under the partnership, UNDP aims to strengthen select policymaking and oversight structures to perform core functions for improved accountability and inclusivity, provide marginalized and vulnerable communities increased and equitable access to justice, including demand-driven legal protection and gender sensitive services. It also aims to strengthen the capacity of national and sub-national level institutions to deliver equitable, accountable and effective services.
Through the implementation of this project, UNDP expects by 2022, people in Sri Lanka, especially the marginalized and vulnerable, benefit from more rights-based, accountable, inclusive and effective public institutions, to enhance trust amongst communities and towards the State.
Commenting on the project, Norwegian Ambassador H. E. Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther said, “Norway is pleased to support UNDP’s Flagship Portfolio on SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions project, particularly because United Nations is globally accepted to promote human rights and Sustainable Development Goals.”
He further stated that effective public institutions are crucial to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and to provide access to justice for all. “At present when Sri Lanka is going through difficult times, some of the positive developments that we see in the country are due to the work done in the past to strengthen institutions. Therefore, as development partners, it is crucial that we continue to support the work that UN does to promote peace, justice and strong institutions.”
Also speaking about this project, UNDP Sri Lanka Country Director Jorn Sorensen stated, “the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda is a call to action, and requires us all coming together to work towards a common goal of sustainable development. As such, UNDP is pleased to be extending our collaboration with the Government of Norway – a longstanding partner of UNDP - to ensure a sustainable Sri Lanka.”