Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son held a three-day visit in Albania in February 2023.
The Regional Director of the UN Development Cooperation Office, Gwi-Yeop Son conducted a three day visit in Albania, to meet with the government authorities, private sector, civic society organizations, international bodies, and the UN Country Team in Albania. The Regional Director also visited some of the projects that have been implemented by different agencies as UN Joint Programmes in Albania.
To commence the line of meetings, the Regional Director met with the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ogerta Manastirliu, to discuss the key role of the Ministry to help in delivering on the priorities of the Government of Albania-United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022-2026 on health, including the COVID-19 response, education, social protection, and gender equality.
Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son met with the Deputy Minister Ms. Megi Fino and Secretary General of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs Mr Gazmend Turdiu. The Ministry's critical role in ensuring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) acceleration was highlighted and praised, as was Albania's active role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
A fruitful and informing discussion was held with Albania's Ombudsperson on human rights accomplishments and obstacles in the country within the framework of the Secretary General’s Call to Action for Human Right.
In a meeting with some of the development partners of UN Albania, the Regional Director underscored the importance of their efforts and contribution for the work of UN towards attainment of SDGs in the country.
The acceleration of SDGs is of key importance to Albania's integration in the European Union (EU). In a meeting with the European Union Ambassador, Ms. Christiane Hohmann, Ms. Son praised the fruitful cooperation between the UN and EU, and thanked the Ambassador for the support that the EU continues to provide towards our work.
As partnerships with the private sector are essential for achieving the SDGs, the Regional Director had a productive discussion with several Albanian companies committed to the Global Compact and the Women Empowerment Principles. The representatives of the private sector expressed their willingness to move forward with the acceleration of the SDGs.
Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son expressed appreciation for the work and dedication of the civic society organizations during a meeting with their representatives, recognizing that their contributions are crucial to achieving the SDGs.
Furthermore, the Regional Director met with the UN Country Team in Albania to discuss the progress for the implementation of the UNSDCF 2022-26. The discussion revolved around the thematic areas including gender, disability, youth, communications and advocacy. Also, the significance of overall joint coordination for impactful results was highlighted during the meeting.
Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son visited various United Nations projects while in the country, including a kindergarten and middle school rebuilt by EU4Schools, which is funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP. She also visited the Center for Children with Disabilities, where 25 children receive services such as individual and group therapy, as well as life skills training. This center was established by UNDP as part of the UN Albania joint program "Leave No One Behind", which is funded by the Swiss government.
Another significant moment was the Regional Director's visit to two cultural heritage sites that have recently undergone renovations as part of the EU4Culture project, which is funded by the EU and implemented by UNOPS Albania. To learn more about the background of these Albanian cultural heritage sites, she visited the National Historical Museum and the National Puppet Theatre.
To conclude her visit in Albania, Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son visited Pogradec to join an activity of our #UN4YOUth project supported by UN Peacebuilding. She applauded the commitment of the youth for cooperation, countering hate speech and promoting inclusion.