"Equal opportunity & access are critical to #LeaveNoOneBehind," says Christophe Bahuet Deputy Regional Director, UNDP Asia and the pacific during his recent visit to india

Christophe Bahuet, Deputy Regional Director, UNDP Asia and the Pacific and Director, Bangkok Regional Hub was on a five-day mission to New Delhi, India from December 11-15. During his visit, he participated in ministerial meetings, engaged with different UN Agencies and UNDP partners, launched a compendium documenting inspirational stories of Safai Saathis (waste managers), and joined a policy dialogue on the recently launched Regional Human Development Report 2024.

Christophe Bahuet met Mr. Suman Bery, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog, to reaffirm UNDP’s commitment to fast-tracking the achievement of the SDGs and strengthening its strategic partnership with the Government of India.

UNDP partners with NITI Aayog on key initiatives, including the National Multidimensional Poverty Index & SDG Localization.

The Deputy Director met Mr. Abhay Bakre, Director-General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), and appreciated BEE's support to UNDP's programmes.

They exchanged ideas on emerging areas like India's Cooling Action Plan & Carbon Markets.

In a meeting with Dr. Saurabh Garg, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE), Mr. Bahuet reaffirmed UNDP's commitment to supporting the welfare of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities.

In a meeting with Ms. Geetu Joshi, Advisor, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, they expressed appreciation for UNDP’s support for G20 Presidency and discussed ways to further strengthen the partnership on sustainable finance.

Mr. Bahuet met Mr. Srinivas Gotru, Joint Secretary (UN), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. They explored avenues of India-UNDP partnership on South-South cooperation.

At a policy dialogue on UNDP's recently launched Regional Human Development Report (RHDR) 2024, Mr. Bahuet presented the complex challenges and opportunities highlighted in the report and what they mean for India – as well as India’s role in the region.

The panel discussion brought together high-level panelists, including Dr. Shamika Ravi, Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, Yamini Aiyar, President of the Centre for Policy Research, Pinaki Chakraborty from the Institute of Development Studies, and Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director-General at RIS, who moderated the session.

During his presentation, Mr. Bahuet highlighted that "Human development concepts are well developed but poorly mainstreamed." He also stressed the need for new policy choices that revisit overall growth strategies.

Christophe Bahuet joined the launch of the Utthaan compendium, which showcases inspirational stories of India's waste collectors, Safai Saathis.

'Project Utthaan' is a first-of-its-kind programme by Hindustan Unilever and UNDP together with the Government of India to enhance the social inclusion of Safai Saathis.

Mr. Bahuet was joined by Dr. Saurabh Garg, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ms. Roopa Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and Mr. Prashanth Venkatesh, Marketing Director, Brand Unilever, & India Sustainability Head, Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Safai saathis from across India joined the launch event in New Delhi.

The Deputy Regional Director interacted with UNDP’s #PartnersAtCore for a dialogue on Climate Reporting and Just Transition in India, organised at the outset of COP28, and highlighted UNDP’s climate initiatives.

In a discussion with Mr. Franck Viault, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to India, Mr. Bahuet acknowledged the continued support from the EU for UNDP's initiatives in SDG Acceleration and explored potential areas for collaboration.

To strengthen ties with Norway in India, the Deputy Regional Director also met Ms. Martine Aamdal Bottheim, Charge d’affaires a.i., to discuss and leverage potential areas of cooperation and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

He also witnessed the demonstration of eVIN, CoWIN, and U-WIN pilot at an Urban Primary Health Centre in Delhi, where he interacted with healthcare workers on managing the world's largest immunization programme, and ensuring equitable access to healthcare services at the last mile.

Watch the highlights of this visit here.

He met Shombi Sharp, Resident Coordinator of UN in India, to discuss the role of the United Nations in India and UNDP's contributions to advance India's national and global priorities, esp south-south cooperation.

At UNFPA, he met Andrea Wojnar, Resident Representative, UNFPA India, to discuss potential collaboration on health, gender, and youth empowerment.

At UN Women India, he interacted with Susan Ferguson, Country Representative, he highlighted the importance of inter-agency collaboration on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Mr. Bahuet concluded his India visit with a staff meeting where he interacted with colleagues from UNDP and felicitated long serving employees.

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