The United Nations in Jordan
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan joined the United Nations on 14 December 1955. A lower-middle-income country, Jordan has welcomed various waves of refugees from neighbouring countries as the result of conflicts and regional instability.
During the last decade, the conflict in Syria has caused a mass influx of Syrian refugees into other countries throughout the region and beyond. Addressing the needs of Syrian refugees has placed growing pressure on Jordan's infrastructure and resources and has had a substantial impact on Jordanian society overall.
The UN system in Jordan strives to increase its coherence, effectiveness and efficiency to assist the people and the Government of Jordan in fulfilling their sustainable development aspirations.
As the guardian of international human rights and international norms and commitments, the UN's goal in Jordan is to make a real difference for all people, especially the most vulnerable and those at risk of being left behind. In this view, the UN System in Jordan offers high-end, value-added humanitarian and development interventions, based on international norms and standards that generate and complement national knowledge and deliver results.
The guiding framework under which the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) operates in the Kingdom is the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF). The UNCT aims to deliver as one and undertake an overarching, integrated approach for the next five years intended to "leave no one behind." It works on strengthening institutions and policies, on accelerating the SDGs achievement, while supporting the country's priorities under Jordan 2025 Vision and National Strategy and other national policies.
The UNCT intensified its cooperation with Jordan on the protection and promotion of human rights. In 2018, Jordan underwent the interactive dialogue for the third cycle UPR in November and supported the majority of the recommendations by the Member States. At the national level, the Comprehensive National Plan for Human Rights outlines the objectives for the years 2016-2025. In 2015 the Government committed to close the gender equality gap by 2030 during the Global Gender Summit held at the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2015 in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and its platform for action. This was the result of a comprehensive national consultation process for the development of the Beijing+20 national report led by the Jordanian National Commission for Women with the support of the UNCT.
Jordan stepped up to its commitment to the Agenda 2030 and presented its Voluntary National Review (VNR) in July 2017, at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York. Through its participation, Jordan aspired to strengthen national ownership of the 2030 Agenda further, build a proactive momentum around it, and accelerate its realization. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation led the multi-stakeholder process towards the VNR with the support of the United Nations Country Team in Jordan. It marked a milestone in the mainstreaming of the SDGs.
The UNCT and the Government of Jordan have agreed to a new partnership towards adopting a more sustainable approach to development, prosperity, peace and security. This partnership is embodied in the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) 2018-2022. The UNSDF commits the UNCT into increased collaboration, coherence, and efficiency, towards achieving three inter-related and inter-connected priorities, including strengthening institutions, empowering people and enhancing opportunities.
Adopted in London in 2016, the Compact marked a new agreement: opening of European markets to Jordanian goods in return for opening the legal labour market to Syrian refugees in Jordan. Expanded in Brussels in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Compact now contains over one hundred reciprocal commitments. The Jordan Compact reflects an approach agreed between Jordan and the international community, including the UN, to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis based on the principles of resilience.
The UNCT worked closely with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC) and other partners to develop the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) to strengthen the humanitarian and development spheres while championing the SDGs. Importantly, the prioritisation of vulnerability rather than status as the basis upon which assistance levels are decided was key in adopting a new response. This approach was adopted to respond and mitigate the effects of the Syria crisis on the country. As such, the plan is updated on a rolling basis, based on comprehensive vulnerability assessments.
Since 2019, the UNCT started working with the Government to establish a comprehensive vulnerability assessment framework that provides standardized characterizations of the most vulnerable groups, regardless of nationality or status, with a view to applying a more equitable approach to assistance provided to beneficiaries of social services in the medium term. The assessment is estimated to be issued in early 2022.