The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres, has completed her tour of duty in Malawi after almost four years of leading the UN System in support of efforts to achieve national development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.
Torres started her mission in January 2018 and her last day of work in Malawi is 12th November 2021.
According to a press statement signed by Development Coordination Officer Phillip Pemba, Torres has expressed gratitude for the great cooperation between the Government of Malawi and the UN System that has resulted in multiple areas of work where results are visible from food security, disaster response, COVID-19 response, climate action to elections, gender equality, girls’ education, human rights, and the governance agenda, to mention a few.
“I am delighted to see Malawi’s vision to become a middle-income country by 2063 and the robust partnerships created with the national institutions, the civil society and the Development Partners,” said Torres.
“The UN is fully engaged to ensure we leave no one behind in accelerating efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Malawi.”
She said enhancing multisectoral approaches in line with the recently launched Malawi 2063 First 10-Year Implementation Plan (MIP-1) would be essential to undertake transformative initiatives and consolidate gains on climate action, agro-industry transformation, urbanization and pushing for the digital agenda.
“In this regard, strong and dedicated investments in human capital development, particularly on women and youth empowerment, the public sector reforms, and the creation of an enabling environment to expand private sector investment, are key to success.
“With stronger determination, commitment, concerted efforts, and a whole-of-society approach, it is possible to achieve the SDGs in Malawi. It will take everyone’s contribution,” said Torres.
She also thanked Development Partners for the support they have rendered to the UN System and for their strategic engagement over the four years.
Previously, she served as the UN Senior Post Conflict Adviser and the Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Colombia, as well as the Deputy Head of Office for OCHA in the occupied Palestinian Territory. She has worked for UNDP, UNHCR and DPA in places like Rwanda, Guatemala, Somalia and New York.