Watch highlights from UNDP's 50th-anniversary Ministerial Meeting on 24 February 2016 in New York, where more than 160 Ministers, Heads of Government and other senior officials from around the world commemorated UNDP's first half-century, and charted a course for the future of global development.


In 2016, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) celebrates its 50th anniversary.

UNDP came into being in 1966 as a merger of two predecessors: the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, and the United Nations Special Fund.

Today, fifty years later, UNDP is as relevant as ever: leading the UN development system in nearly 170 countries and territories and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.

To mark the occasion, UNDP hosted a Ministerial Meeting on 24 February 2016. Ministers from all UN Member States were invited.

Download the background paper (PDF)


The Ministerial Meeting was an occasion for Member States to celebrate UNDP’s past, and chart a course for the future of global development.

Participating Ministers shared their vision for how UNDP, over the coming decades, can best contribute to countries’ efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The Ministerial Meeting looked ahead to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Ministers were given a platform for sharing with peers their vision for the successful implementation of Agenda 2030, and their views on UNDP’s role as a partner in achieving the SDGs.

Ministers participated in high-level debates on how to translate the ambitious global commitments into action and results. The agenda included both plenary and smaller thematic sessions on the following themes:

  • Eradicating poverty – leaving no one behind: How to put in place specific measures that lead to inclusive growth and eradicate poverty in all its dimensions?
    session outline (PDF)
  • Protecting planet, sustaining development: How to balance economic growth and improved livelihoods with the responsibility to protect the environment?
    session outline (PDF)
  • Preventing violent conflict, building peaceful societies: How to ensure governance, peace and security are durable and benefit all parts of society?
    session outline (PDF)
  • Managing risk, building resilience: How to identify risks and take appropriate action to prepare for disasters and adapt to climate change?
    session outline (PDF)
  • Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: A discussion on financing for the SDGs building on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda
    session outline (PDF)

Download full meeting agenda (PDF)

Download the annotated agenda (PDF)


The event generated a shared understanding of the greatest challenges and opportunities in carrying out Agenda 2030, and of UNDP’s role as a partner in implementing the SDGs. UNDP will use the conclusions and recommendations that emerged from the discussions to guide its future work.

Download the Summary Report (PDF)


Ministers from UN Member States, including Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Planning, Development and Finance, participated in the meeting.

The event was hosted by the UNDP Administrator. The UN Secretary-General took part in the event.

Download List of Participants (PDF)



The Ministerial Meeting took place on 24 February 2016, in the UN General Assembly Hall, in New York.


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Photo of Neven Mimica
I am delighted to wish the United Nations Development Programme a happy 50th birthday! We have cooperated closely since the signature of our Strategic Partnership Agreement, 12 years ago, in the areas of governance, conflict prevention, post conflict reconstruction, gender and human rights, to name just a few. Our special partnership is a force for promoting peace, development and human rights and it has helped millions of people in over 100 countries. I look forward to continuing our cooperation for many more years to come. Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, European Union

I think that this ministerial conference is extremely important for the international community to work with UNDP because it’s UNDP that coordinates the actions of the UN system on the ground. Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, Prime Minister, Senegal
Photo of Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne

Photo of Imad Fakhoury
There is a consensus globally that UNDP has been an instrumental partner at the development level. This is why we see all these delegations from around the world participating to celebrate this 50th milestone, and to also emphasise UNDP’s leadership as we move to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan

The biggest challenge is how to implement strategies and this is how UNDP can help a lot and bring added value by bringing a participative approach, to include women, youth, NGOs, civil society and others. Mbaraka Bouaida, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Morocco
Photo of Mbaraka Bouaida

Photo of Baroness Verma
UNDP can help maintain an international commitment and momentum through strong, clear communications that will galvanise global action, and in doing so we will look to UNDP to show leadership, and to work through all partners to keep them focused on implementation. Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, UK

My expectation of UNDP is that it helps us build internal capacities for formulating and evaluating bankable projects on the basis of which we can secure funding. Patrick A. Chinamasa, Minister of finance and International Development, Zimbabwe
Photo of Patrick A. Chinamasa

Photo of Zhanar Aizhanova
Most of our countries, within the course of the last 20 years, have graduated from low-income to middle-income countries. What we lack is the expertise on how to overcome and address the middle income trap, and how to create jobs, diversify economies and add values. That is where we believe that UNDP with its impartiality and flexibility will be able to help us. Zhanar Aizhanova, Minister for Economic Integration, Kazakhstan