The Role of the United Nations in Sierra Leone

The primary role of the collective United Nations system in Sierra Leone is to support the country on its path to sustainable development.  In particular, the United Nations system, which in turn benefits from the generous funding and other support from international partners, supports the implementation of Sierra Leone’s Medium-term National Development Plan and its efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals  as well as other internationally agreed goals and treaties.

The 22 United Nations agencies, funds and programmes active in Sierra Leone provide policy advice, capacity development, technical cooperation, programme support in a large number of substantive areas and economic sectors.  All support is aligned to national priorities and is carried out in partnership and coordination with the Government, donors, civil society, non-governmental organizations and private sector entities, as well as with local communities and others who benefit from United Nations support. Underlying the work of the United Nations in Sierra Leone as elsewhere are the values enshrined within the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In partnership with the Government and the people of Sierra Leone, the United Nations is working to reduce poverty and inequality in the country and to ensure that all Sierra Leoneans, especially the most vulnerable, can live peaceful, healthy and fruitful lives in which women and men, girls and boys can realize their hopes and aspirations.

UN Sierra Leone Joint Vision

The United Nations strives to be a leading force in a peaceful Sierra Leone, contributing to sustainable and inclusive human and economic development, where everybody is able to shape and control their lives and help develop their communities.

It works to support Sierra Leone’s Medium-term National Development Plan (2019–2023) through social and economic development, using an equitable, sustainable and people-centered approach, in support of the United Nations Charter. The Transitional Joint Vision, an Integrated Strategic Framework (ISF) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) as of 2020, inform the work of the UN in support of the National Development Plan.

The UN is committed to the UN reform process, and upholds the resolutions set forward in United Nations world conferences. It promotes the implementation of its plans of action through its programmes and activities in Sierra Leone.

The UN believes in the principles of mutual respect, equality and participation for sound social, economic and political development and is dedicated to collaborating and cooperating with national and international counterparts in response to the challenges facing Sierra Leone.

The United Nations has a vision of a Sierra Leone where:

  • By 2023, Sierra Leone benefits from more productive, commercialized and sustainable agriculture, improved food and nutrition security, and increased resilience to climate change and other shocks.
  • By 2023, people in Sierra Leone benefit from more gender and youth responsive institutions that are innovative, accountable, and transparent at all levels and can better advance respect for human rights and the rule of law, equity, peaceful coexistence, and the protection of boys and girls, women and men including those with disabilities.
  • By 2023, the population of Sierra Leone, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable, will benefit from increased and more equitable access to and utilization of quality education, health care, energy and WASH services, including during emergencies.
  • By 2023, the most vulnerable, particularly women, youth, adolescents and children (especially girls), and persons with disabilities, are empowered and benefit from increased social and economic opportunities.

Key Values and Principles

In accordance with the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the UN adopts the values and principles below in its work as the United Nations in Sierra Leone (as quoted from General Assembly Resolution 55/2 of 8 September 2000):

“We consider certain fundamental values to be essential to international relations in the twenty-first century. These include:

Freedom. Men and women have the right to live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression or injustice. Democratic and participatory governance based on the will of the people best assures these rights.

Equality. No individual and no nation must be denied the opportunity to benefit from development. The equal rights and opportunities of women and men must be assured.

Solidarity. Global challenges must be managed in a way that distributes the costs and burdens fairly in accordance with basic principles of equity and social justice. Those who suffer or who benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most.

Tolerance. Human beings must respect one another, in all their diversity of belief, culture and language. Differences within and between societies should be neither feared nor repressed, but cherished as a precious asset of humanity. A culture of peace and dialogue among all civilizations should be actively promoted.