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Botswana and the United Nations have signed an agreement for an improved mechanism for the effective and efficient collaboration.

GABORONE - Botswana and the United Nations have signed an agreement for an improved mechanism for the effective and efficient collaboration. Speaking at the signing of the "One UN Programme" concept in Gaborone on Tuesday, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe, said the agreement was signed to formalise and expedite the process of a single UN in Botswana. "The presence of a UN Resident Coordinator and the just about to be completed UN Development Assistance Framework 2010-2016 are two critical ingredients to the process," he said. Mr Gaolathe said the next process would be the development of a single operational programme for the UN system in Botswana so that the delivering-as-one initiative was fulfilled. He said the new initiative, which was on trial in eight countries, save for a few more self starters, was expected to generate a number of benefits for both the government and the UN system. He said some of the positive outcomes were the greater alignment of the UN capacity to provide more strategic value-added support to the development priorities of Botswana. "Another outcome is reduced transaction costs and savings over time for both the government and the UN system with mutual support mechanisms for technical and operational functions," he said. Mr Gaolathe added that there would be greater coherence and capacity for the UN to "speak as one" for both evidence-based advocacy and in-programme communication. Another outcome expected is the greater visibility of the UN system with a higher level of involvement on non-resident UN agencies and consequently, implementing existing government programmes. Mr Gaolathe noted that for these to be realised, there would be need for the government to provide the necessary leadership in facilitating implementation of the common programme. He emphasised that the government would give full support to the process. He also indicated that by endorsing this "One UN Programme", they were by no means saying the individual UN agencies were no more but were simply saying they were going to enhance collaboration. UNICEF Deputy Representative and Programme Coordination Group Chairperson, Mr Marcus Betts, said the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), will address various issues. Among these are governance and human rights promotion, economic diversification and poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS, environment and climate change as well as the child, youth and women empowerment. He said the UNDAF was geared towards the implementation of National Development Plan 10. BOPA