UNFPA CO celebrated the signature of the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP)in a luncheon ceremony on 23rdApril. About 50 participants, including local high officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Statistical Center of Iran (SCI), Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME), Iran Red Crescent Society (IRCS) and Tehran University (TU) were present at this ceremony.
In his opening remarks Dr. M. Hulki Uz thanked UNFPA’s implementing partners for their efforts in the successful development of the Country Programme (CP) and the CPAP. He stated that the process has taken almost one and half years and announced that UNFPA is the first UN agency who has succeeded to sign its CPAP with the Government of the I.R. of Iran. Dr. Uz thanked Mr. Seadat, Director of International Specialized Agencies and Dr. Ershadi, expert in the office of International Economic Specialized Agencies of MFA for their full cooperation and support. He added that this is the joint programme of UNFPA and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
He further stated that this is the last UNFPA event with the presence of H.E. Ambassador Mahmoud Barimani, Director General of the International Economic Specialized Agencies in MFA, since he has been assigned to a new post. He wished Ambassador Barimani the best of luck in his new assignment and on his future path. Dr. Uz further mentioned that this luncheon is being hosted by the chairs of the Steering Committee of the 5thUNFPA CP, and thus is being co-hosted by Mr. Seadat, on behalf of the MFA.
H.E. Ambassador Barimani thanked UNFPA and all participants for their hard work and their tremendous efforts in finalizing the new UNFPA CP. He mentioned that the long period and participatory procedure proves the ownership of both sides. He appreciated and thanked Dr. Uz for his continuous support and efforts in this procedure and bid farewell to all participants as he was leaving his post for the new assignment. He continued that he would be ready for any kind of collaboration wherever possible.
Mr. Barimani further stated that he is happy that the CP has been approved by the Executive Board and that both sides have succeeded to sign the CPAP during the past few days. He once again reiterated that the UN is present in Iran to assist the Government in achieving its goals and that he is happy that the new CP and CPAPhas been designed, based on the priorities of the country’s 5thNational Development Plan. Mr. Barimani once again emphasized on the national ownership of the CP and added that the UNFPA CPAP is a valid evidence and good example of an excellent and constructive collaboration. He also pointed to the fact that Iran can share its successful experiences with other countries. He congratulated Dr. Uz and Mr. Seadat for this achievement and mentioned that from now on the challenge will be to successfully implement the CP. In the end he added: “I have no doubt that the CP is in the good and strong hands of Dr. Uz and our partners and it will be successful”.
In his remarks Dr. Adel Azar, the Head of the SCI, expressed his happiness that the 2011 Census has been successfully concluded. He said that with UNFPA support, the SCI has shared its knowledge and experience of the enumeration process with experts from other countries, such as India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. He expressed his satisfaction about the fruitful collaboration of SCI with UNFPA and continued that during the census process, in collaboration with UNFPA, the 70millionth person’s enumeration was celebrated and received a good coverage in the media. Dr. Adel-Azar continued to say that under the leadership and management of Dr. Uz, the collaboration between UNFPA and SCI has witnessed an important change. He further said: “My experience during the past two years of close collaboration with UNFPA is evidence to his excellent management and I congratulate him for this matter.”
Dr. Adel-Azar continued to say that the perspective for the five year joint programme is based on evidence based statistics and that he hopes to benefit from the collaboration with UNFPA in this regard. He mentioned that surveys and evaluations also show that Iran is in strong in the areas of statistics and pilot studies. He announced that SCI is ready to share its knowledge and experience with all countries in the region, especially with the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states free of charge. Dr. Adel-Azar said that the SCI has received a letter of appreciation from ECOSTATS for its successes in data gathering methods. He expressed his hope that UNFPA can assist the SCI to share this information and knowledge with other countries.
Mr. Seadat congratulated all partners for their participation in designing and finalizing the new CP and CPAP. He also said that he is confident that the CP will be implemented successfully. Mr. Seadat continued to say that I.R. of Iran is among the few countries that has reviewed the CP word by word, in order to ensure that it meets the needs and priorities of the country. He re-iterated that all parties feelan ownership of this programme and MFA would spare every effort to implement the planned activities to the best of its abilities.
He once more thanked Dr. Uz for his excellent leadership and said that he is confidentthat this achievement would not have materialized without the collaboration of UNFPA and the government partners.
At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Adel Azar, Head of SCI and Dr. Uz signed the Letter of Understanding as a symbolic start of the new CP.