Aug 04, 2017 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's Government and the United Nations have signed the 2018 – 2022 United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF), which pledges to invest US 300 million dollars over the next five years. The agreement pegs UN assistance to Sri Lanka’s long term development priorities. “We are extremely pleased that the UN will be investing over US 300 million dollars for the development of Sri Lanka over the next five years," Harsha De Silva, deputy minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs said speaking at the occasion. "The four strategic areas of the framework are improved data, innovative public institutions, social security and resilience to climate change and disaster and especially evidence based policy planning are extremely important for the development of Sri Lanka.” The UN Country Team in Sri Lanka worked in collaboration with the Government, and in consultation with civil society and development partners, to ensure that the framework is grounded in the realities of the country. The UNSDF will guide the collaborative work of UN agencies for 2018 – 2022 and support national efforts to reduce disparities and make a positive difference in the lives of all people. UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director and chair of the Regional UN Development Group Haoliang Xu said that the UNSDF will support the Government to achieve peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable development with a special focus on leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first. The UNSDF provides the overarching framework for the work of the United Nations in Sri Lanka in line with the national priorities of the Maithri Palanayak, Sthaavara Ratak: A Compassionate Governance, a Stable Country, the Public Investment Programme, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. The agreement was signed by M. I. M. Rafeek, secretary, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and Una McCauley, UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative.