The UN Resident Coordinator Office
The UN Resident Coordinator (RC) system brings together all UN entities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness and support coordination and coherence of the UN system. The system focuses on leveraging leadership, policy, programmatic and diverse practical expertise across UN development entities working together towards the common goal of improving the relevance and impact of the UN’s contribution to a country’s development results.
In Bangladesh, the UN Country team and the Government signed the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022-2026 to support the country in overcoming the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and addressing key development priorities and challenges to the achievement of the objectives of the country’s 8th Five Year Plan leading to the achievement of its sustainable development goals and the Perspective Plan for 2041. The UNSDCF is a concise, public framework that provides strategic vision to the UN system, contributes to all-of society engagement and an enabling environment for sustainable development, and frames the contribution and role of the UN system within Bangladesh’s overall sustainable development.
The UN Resident Coordinator
The UN Resident Coordinator is the highest-ranking representative of the UN Development System at the country level. RCs lead UN Country Teams and coordinate UN support to countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda.
The Resident Coordinator is the designated representative of – and reports to – the UN Secretary-General.
The key duties and responsibilities of Resident Coordinators include:
- Representing the United Nations at the highest levels of state and, together with the relevant agency representatives, fostering engagement with the government, civil society, bilateral and multilateral partners, academia and the private sector, in order for the UN development system to help address the country’s needs, priorities and challenges to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
- Coordinating operational activities for development of the UN in support of the country’s efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda;
- Promoting and advocating for the fundamental values, standards and principles of the UN Charter, including respect for and protection of human rights and gender equality and advocacy on the SDG commitment to leave no one behind in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and reaching the furthest behind first;
- Leading the UN country team (UNCT) in consultations with the host Government to define and agree on the UN’s strategic response to the government’s priorities;
- Leading and supporting the UNCT in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reporting on the UN Cooperation Framework, in full consultation with the government, and through engagement with diverse partners;
- Advocating for and supporting the work of UNCT members, including Non-Resident Agencies (NRAs), in reaching their agency-specific goals;
- Leading and coordinating the response efforts of United Nations and relevant humanitarian actors in cases where international humanitarian assistance is required and a separate Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) or lead agency is not designated;
- Facilitating the integration of the UNCT’s work with UN peacekeeping or political missions in conflict and post-conflict settings, so as to fully contribute to building resilience, prevention and peace, and to transition planning and management;
- Managing and providing strategic guidance and oversight to the Resident Coordinator Office.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh
Gwyn Lewis is the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh.
Ms. Lewis brings more than 20 years of experience in international development, peacebuilding, and humanitarian affairs to the position. Prior to her assignment in Bangladesh, Ms. Lewis served as Director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Affairs in the West Bank from 2019; leading a 4,000 strong team in providing essential services and humanitarian aid to more than 850,000 Palestine refugees in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Before being assigned to Jerusalem, she was the Deputy Director for Programs for UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon. Prior to working with UNRWA, Ms. Lewis worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) where she managed the Global Clusters Coordination section in UNICEF’s Emergency Division. She joined UNICEF from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2012, where she focused on humanitarian policy and supporting FAO country offices. Ms. Lewis has worked with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, building UN and NGO partnerships, and supporting the roll out of the humanitarian reform agenda. Ms. Lewis has also worked for both OCHA and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the occupied Palestinian territory, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and various NGOs in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Albania.
Fluent in English and French, she holds a master’s degree in International Relations and European Studies from the University of Kent, Canterbury, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Economics from San Francisco State University.