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The Cooperation Framework

Photo: © UN Photo/Martine Perret

United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework

The United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (formerly named United Nations Development Assistance Framework) is the most important instrument for planning and implementation of the UN development activities at country level. This is in line with Member States' call for a UN development reform to boost coordination to support countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

Given the ambition of the Agenda's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the urgency of its timeline, this represents a significant shift. The Cooperation Framework guides the entire programme cycle, driving planning, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of collective UN support for achieving the 2030 Agenda. The Cooperation Framework—an agreement between the UN and the host government—determines and reflects the UN development system’s contributions in the country and shapes the configuration of UN assets required inside and outside the country.  

The new Cooperation Frameworks are rooted in four key objectives. 

  1. They must clearly articulate the United Nation’s collective response to help countries address national priorities and gaps in their pathway towards meeting the SDGs. The Cooperation Framework is a vehicle for supporting economic transformation, offering options to reframe economic policies and practices around sustainability for inclusive, diversified and job-intensive economic transformation that advances the rights and well-being of all citizens, strengthen economies and protects the planet. 
  2. The Cooperation Framework must embody the spirit of partnerships that are at the core of the 2030 Agenda. That means partnerships with host governments—but also partnerships with all stakeholder—civil society, academia, parliaments, the private sector, bilateral partners—to leverage strengths and drive transformative change. 
  3. The Cooperation Frameworks must help turn our collective promise to leave no one behind into tangible action for people on the ground, especially those furthest behind. UN country teams will need, more than ever, to move beyond national averages to look at more specific data, with a strengthened focus on inclusion and tackling inequalities. 
  4. The Cooperation Framework must provide UN country teams with the tools to tailor responses to a Member State’s specific needs and realities, ensuring that all entities, whether present on the ground or not, can effectively support national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. 

"We know that achieving the 2030 Agenda for everyone, everywhere is humanity’s best chance of ensuring the progressive realization of human rights and a future of peace and prosperity for all. The new UN Cooperation Frameworks offer a tremendous opportunity to scale up implementation of the 2030 Agenda and demonstrate concrete results on the ground." 

  - Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group

The Cooperation Framework guides the entire programme cycle, driving planning, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of collective UN support for achieving the 2030 Agenda.