Press Release

First Joint Steering Committee meeting of the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021-2025 of the United Nations and the Government of Serbia

14 June 2022

The Minister of EU Integration, Jadranka Joksimovic, together with the UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Serbia Francoise Jacob, facilitated the first Joint Steering Committee on the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework of the United Nations and the national institutions for 2021-2025.

Photo: © UN Serbia



The first meeting of the Joint National Steering Committee (JNSC) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021-2025 (UNSDCF), was held on 14 June 2022. The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of EU Integration Ms. Jadranka Joksimović, UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Francoise Jacob, and Minister Counselor and Head of UN Department Ms. Marina Ivanovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.   

Minister of EU Integration Ms. Joksimović, highlighted the importance of the first JNSC meeting, which represents a new five-year cycle of multi-enhanced partnership to accelerate green and digital transformation. The complexity of the global situation, especially in the European continent, and geopolitical and climate-related crises including - energy, food, and security- show the importance of working in synergy, using common values, for the achievement of SDGs.

Head of UN Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms. Marina Ivanovic highlighted the great importance of the United Nations and cooperation with the UN Team in the country in a very sensitive global moment of polarization in the international forums. The UN organization is very important for sustaining the Serbia territorial integrity and sovereignty. In that sense Serbia expects full compliance with the UNSCR 1244 on all occasions, thus defending not only Serbia’s own national interests, but also international law and key principles from the UN Charter.

On behalf of the UN Country team, UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Francoise Jacob expressed appreciation to the government co-chairs for their remarks and support to the UN. The UNSDCF was developed in extensive consultations with the line Ministries in the previous period. It includes contributions of 20 UN resident and non-resident agencies, and its strategic framework has three strategic priorities: (i) Green transformation (ii) Human capital (health, education, social protection, demographic resilience), and (iii) Rule of law, governance, human rights and gender equality. The overall budget of UNSDCF for five years is approximately 363 million EUR, with half of the amount already secured and funded. The Joint National Steering Committee is the highest governance body providing direction and oversight as well as mutual accountability towards the achievement of the cooperation framework’s outcomes and objectives.

The UN Resident Coordinator noted that the meeting is the first of its kind after several years of absence and as such it is considered mostly informative, with the purpose to encourage full engagement in the coming meetings to discuss Joint Work Plans and adjustments, if necessary. UN will continue to contribute to the donor coordination mechanisms of MEI through the sector working groups. It will continue to engage with all other stakeholders, civil society, bilateral donors, and development banks. UNSDCF is strongly oriented toward the achievement of the SDGs, for which only seven years remain. The recent Global Sustainable Development report ranked Serbia as 35 out of 164 evaluated countries highlighting Serbia’s good progress in reducing poverty and inequalities, improving the quality of education, gender equality, health, and decent jobs. However, much more remains to be done on the green agenda, and it is to be appreciated Minister’s highlights on Government’s priorities in the area.  

The United Nations keeps transparency and accountability at the heart of its actions. A report with main results achieved from UN Serbia in 2021, alongside other documents is shared with JNSC members. On behalf of the UNCT, the UNRC expressed her full commitment to deliver on the results as planned in the Cooperation framework. 

Presentations were held by UN Co-Chairs of the three Results Groups, on the main UNSDCF priorities: 

1. Green, Sustainable and Inclusive Economy (presented by FAO National Coordinator Mr. Alex Mentov)

2. Wellbeing, Social Equity and Human Capital (presented by UNICEF Representative in Serbia Ms. Deyana Kostadinova)

3. Rule of Law, Human Rights and Gender Equality (presented by UNHCR Deputy Representative, Ms. Stefanie Krause) 

Further to the presentations, members of the JNSC continued with discussions that focused on the i) capacities needed to accelerate the green transformation and key social reforms, ii) positioning of the UN and convergence of the EU accession agenda with agenda 2030, iii) the need to shape transformative visions in the areas of health, education, food systems, and demographics.


In her closing remarks, the UNRC noted the following (i) UN reform process urges UN agencies to converge and work closer together. JNSC is one of the platforms to support this convergence, paired with the important inter-ministerial work and approach to development (e.g. on food systems); ii) encouraged the renewed direction to the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on SDGs and Agenda 2030 (iii) encouraged increased visibility and importance of communication for the UN on the vision of the green future and transformations, both at the system level and individual transformation.



First Joint Steering Committee meeting of the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021-2025 of the United Nations and the Government of Serbia

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