New York, United States of America and Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 26 April 2021 – The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a Joint Action Plan to strengthen cooperation in IsDB member countries.
Both documents were virtually signed by United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Executive Director of UNITAR, Mr. Nikhil Seth, and IsDB President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, on 26 April 2021.
The collaboration will enhance national capacities and scale up community level action to screen, detect, and improve care for non-communicable disease (NCD) patients, accelerating IsDB member countries’ progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 3.4: reducing premature mortalities due to NCDs by one-third by 2030.
“We are very pleased to sign this MoU and Joint Action Plan with the Islamic Development Bank, which will kickstart a number of strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening capacities in IsDB member countries and contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through a well-rounded approach,” said Mr. Nikhil Seth during the signing ceremony
On the occasion, Dr. Hajjar stated: “This collaboration with UNITAR also entails the use of geospatial information technologies and development of early warning systems in our member countries in line with IsDB's Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2025, which promotes climate resilience. We stand ready to support this partnership which aims to enable both institutions to promote knowledge sharing, and develop joint programs.”
Through implementation of the Joint Action Plan, IsDB member countries will benefit from innovative financing solutions, sustainable progress, and improved access to quality, affordable NCD supplies with a particular focus on common cancers affecting women.
IsDB member countries will also benefit from capacity development in disaster risk reduction and the use of geospatial and climate information for improved decision-making. This will include the provision of rapid mapping services, including rapid satellite imagery analysis, to improve situational awareness and support relief and response efforts and recovery efforts in an emergency context. The collaboration will also support the development of new and improved flood and drought early warning systems to improve climate resilience in IsDB member states.
Furthermore, IsDB’s effectiveness in its development-based interactions with member countries will be enhanced through the provision of training on core diplomatic skills such as negotiation, leadership in crisis and conference diplomacy, among others.
IsDB and UNITAR will also cooperate in the field of chemical and waste management, with a focus on improved classification and labelling of chemicals, enhanced waste management systems, and more accurate registries of emissions and releases.