UNDP chief pledges to support Guinea’s political transition

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Conakry - Wrapping up her three day visit to Guinea, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark reiterated UNDP’s support to the west African country’s political transition and urged the authorities to finalize plans for legislative elections.

"I welcome the efforts of the authorities and political leaders to consolidate democracy and people’s well-being," she said.

“The time has come for change in Guinea. Legislative elections must take place so that the country can finally tackle its development efforts. National reconciliation, security sector reform, reform of the institutions, measures to jump-start the economy and the provision of social services will trigger inclusive growth.”

Helen Clark met with the President of the Republic, Alpha Condé, Guinean Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana, and other senior officials.

In November 2010, Guineans headed to the polls in the country’s first democratic election since independence in 1958. The country is now expected to hold parliamentary elections and has initiated a programme to reform the security sector.

The Administrator also met the President of the National Transitional Council (NTC), a temporary body responsible for managing the transition to democracy and civilian rule until the election of a new national assembly.

UNDP has provided financial and technical support to the NTC, contributing to a national dialogue to result in agreement on the electoral register, the election date, and composition of the National Electoral Commission.

During her visit, Helen Clark visited a UNDP-funded youth employment project that is training young entrepreneurs and providing them with credit to develop modern agricultural techniques so that they may sell agricultural and animal products at the market. During this pilot phase, the programme is supporting 200 young people.

“Guinea has an enormous potential for agriculture. The vision must be to supply much of its food needs, get its food import bill down. And I know that a lot depends on young people like you, who are taking risks in borrowing money and investing in agribusiness projects. I salute you and your courage,” Helen Clark told them.

Meeting with women politicians and civil society representatives, the Administrator welcomed their efforts to promote gender equality, strengthen the rights of women and girls and foster national reconciliation.

UNDP and its partners are supporting Guinea in developing a national policy on gender equality. Since August 2011, UNDP has also been involved in a joint United Nations programme to prevent gender-based violence.

The focus of UNDP’s programme in Guinea is strengthening national institutional capacity and mechanisms to promote dialogue and social cohesion. UNDP also aims to improve human security, the rule of law, and peace.

UNDP is also working to strengthen mechanisms for natural resource management, conflict prevention and natural disaster reduction.