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ESARO Regional Director visits Swaziland

MBABANE, Swaziland - UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Dr Julitta Onabanjo, visited Swaziland on a brief mission from the 13th to the 14th August 2015. The aim of the mission was to meet with key Government officials, UNFPA Country Office staff, the UN Country Team and other development partners, to discuss current and planned cooperation in light of the upcoming presentation of Swaziland's new Country Programme Document (2016-2020), and launching of the new United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2016-2020) to the Kingdom of Swaziland.

During her mission to Swaziland, Dr Onabanjo met with the Honourable Prime Minister, Dr Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Senator Paul Dlamini and other Cabinet Ministers, including the of Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs,  Hon. David Ngcamphalala; Minister of Education and Training, Hon. Phineas Magagula and Minister of Health, Hon. Sibongile Simelane. She also met Principal Secretaries and Directors from different ministries, representatives of civil society organisations and the media.

One of the issues discussed with the Prime Minister was the new UNFPA Strategic Plan and its implications for UNFPA work in Swaziland. Dr Onabanjo reaffirmed UNFPA support to the Government of Swaziland within outlined priority areas as proposed in the 6th Government of Swaziland /UNFPA Country Programme and the soon to be adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She further noted that the UNFPA Swaziland Country Office will continue to collaborate with the Government to actively seek opportunities for additional resource mobilization to complement funding in the 6th Country Programme. She further noted her appreciation to the Prime Minister for the Government’s effective commitment and leadership in coordinating the joint UN support to the Government of Swaziland, including in developing of a new cycle of support within UN Development Assistance Framework and Country Programme Documents for the period of 2016-2020. Dr. Onabanjo further highlighted that the focus of the new Country Programme is building stronger national institutional capacity, knowledge generation, innovation, advocacy and policy dialogue.  She concluded by thanking His Majesty King Mswati III and his Government for their continuous support and collaboration with UNFPA and other UN agencies.

Other issues of cooperation discussed with the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers included ongoing legislative and policy reforms e.g. the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill 2015; the Draft National Strategy to End Violence in Swaziland and UNFPA's support to the newly-established High Level Task Team on Violence and the Multi-Sector Technical Team on Violence.  

Dr. Onabanjo also appreciated the Government’s efforts in integration of the Post-2015 development agenda into National Development Strategy and the National Population Policy, as well as the Government’s commitment and leadership towards making data available, including through conduct of 2017 Population Census and the Demographic Dividend studies.  She acknowledged the efforts of the Government in creating conducive policy environment, particularly through adoption of Health Policy, Health Sector Strategic Plan, and Integrated SRH Policy and Plan, further efforts in rolling out of integrated HIV services and the roll out of the comprehensive life skills education program in the secondary schools nationwide.