UNDP and the UN System
The United Nations Country Team in Kuwait works together to support the Government of Kuwait in meeting its national development goals, which were recently summarized by the Council of Ministers in the following 'Strategic Vision of Kuwait':
"Kuwait is a financial and commercial center, attractive to investors, where the private sector is leading the economy, creating competition and promoting efficiency, under the umbrella of enabling government institutions, which accentuate values, safeguard social identity, and realize human resource development as well as balanced development, providing adequate infrastructure, modern legislation and inspiring business environment."
In line with its expertise, the United Nations Country Team in Kuwait focuses in particular on supporting Kuwait institutions on the 'human' side of the development agenda, by prioritizing activities that can make an impact not just on how much economic wealth is generated, but also on how that economic wealth is mobilized and invested to better people’s quality of life through education, healthcare, and a vibrant and diversified private sector which provides attractive and sustainable job opportunities.
The United Nations Country Team members have grown in the past year with the addition of the World Bank and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT), both of which opened resident offices in Kuwait in 2008. These newest members of the Kuwait UNCT join the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization of Migration (IOM), World food programme (WFP) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) all of which have been resident in Kuwait for many years.
The United Nations Country Team focuses on issues of common purpose where the agenda and scope of agencies' competencies coincide and where impact and development results can be greatly enhanced through common action. The two main themes for the UNCT in Kuwait in 2008 are promoting Gender Equality and promoting Fair Labour Policies and Practices. The Gender Thematic Group works together to ensure the mainstreaming of gender into the programmatic interventions and priorities of all of the agencies work in Kuwait and jointly sponsors national level advocacy and awareness raising events, such as the Family Law campaign conducted earlier in the year. In the Labour area, the UN Country Team, through the representation of the International Organization of Migration, serves as a co-secretariat of bi-monthly labour meetings.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator leads the UN Country Team and is the designated representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for development operations. In the case of Kuwait, the United Nations Resident Coordinator is also the UNDP Resident Representative.