United Nations Development Programme “UNDP” is the United Nations’ global development
network which operates in 177 countries. UNDP is an executive board within the General
Assembly and it is based in New York.
Before UNDP’s foundation in 1966, the idea of UN promoting “higher standards of living, full
employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development” started with
the Charter of the United Nations in 1945. With the merger of Expanded Programme of
Technical Assistance, a body established to support development, and the UN Special Fund, a
fund to support development projects worldwide, UNDP is born. UNDP started to operate
under four geographic regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin
America and the Caribbean.
After gaining experience with regional projects, UNDP started its first global project “Global
One”, which was launched to support a research center in Mexico that works on how to develop
maize high in protein. Global projects like this led to even bigger projects which supports
female empowerment in development process, democracy and entrepreneurs who have
development projects. As a next step, UNDP started to publish Human Development Reports
to raise awareness and change people’s look toward development.
In 2000, UNDP approved a set of goals to get achieved by the year 2015. These 8 goals were
called Millennium Development Goals “MDGs” and were set to meet the needs of the
increased population in the world.
After 15 years with the success and lessons learned from the implementation of the MDGs, 189
Member States of the United Nations agreed upon a new set of goals. These goals were called
Sustainable Development Goals “SDGs” and these goals recognize the need to balance
economic growth, social growth, and environmental protection in promoting sustainable
development. On 1 January 2016, the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development officially came into force and they will continue guide UNDP policy and funding
for the next 15 years. According to UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner “The Agenda offers a
unique opportunity to put the whole world on a more prosperous and sustainable development
path. In many ways, it reflects what UNDP was created for.”
Today, there is an obligation to promote sustainable development which falls under the duties
of UN. Basically UNDP, as the UN’s development arm, supports to the implementation of the
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNDP has a key role to play in supporting
countries to make this agenda, this vision a reality by 2030. To achieve this, UNDP puts
societies on track with sustainable development.

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