Statement by the Nordic Countries at the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Office for Project Services Special Session 2017, 28 November 2017, New York.
Mr. President, Mr. Administrator, ladies and gentlemen,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Finland.
Two years after the adoption of the transformative and people-centered 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we will today approve UNDP’s Strategic plan and integrated budget for the coming four years. We are pleased that the spirit of the 2030 Agenda permeates the Strategic plan.
The Nordic countries congratulate UNDP and its entire staff for the adoption of a forward-looking plan that sets out a clear vision for UNDP’s expected outcomes and results. We stand ready to support theimplementation of the plan.
It is central to the Secretary General’s prevention agenda to ensure that the UN has the capacity to build and sustain peace across the continuum, from prevention, conflict resolution and peacekeeping to peacebuilding and long-term development.
UNDP’s unique and broad mandate and experience in institution-building give the organization a central role as a platform for collaborative and integrated efforts, bridging the divides between the humanitarian system, the development system and the peace and security architecture. UNDP must do its part in ensuring that the UN as a whole delivers collective outcomes, implementing the new way of working by addressing vulnerability and building resilience and self-reliance.
UNDP must have the capacity, expertise and knowledge to support the governments of programme countries and the Resident Coordinator Offices to allow for more agile, adaptive and politically informed programming that addresses root causes of conflict.
Civic space is shrinking in many countries and economic development is not always accompanied with progress as regards democracy and human rights. Promotion of human rights, democracy, good governance and rule of law are key priorities for the Nordic countries.
They are also at the heart of UNDP’s mandate, which is why all UNDP’s work must be firmly anchored in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments that emphasize the responsibility of all states to respect, protect and promote human rights.
The 2030 Agenda and the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ require a human rights based approach, and UNDP’s work must be resolutely anchored in this agenda.
Rule of law is essential for sustainable peace and long-term development. SDG16 clearly establishes the importance of the rule of law to achieve poverty reduction, stability, and social cohesion. UNDP should be at the center of UN’s development support to non-discriminatory, inclusive and accountable governance functions in accordance with SDG 16.
The 2030 Agenda cannot successfully be achieved unless there is gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. We urge UNDP to ensure that gender equality is adequately mainstreamed across all programming areas, and that it systematically includes men and boys. We look forward to receiving an updated gender equality strategy to guide UNDP’s work in this respect.
UNDP is a key partner for transformative climate and environment action and support to resilience, and has a key role in helping countries implement the Paris Agreement. UNDP’s expertise in building institutional capacity and convening stakeholders across different sectors provides value to efforts in these fields. The strategic plan provides a good basis for a more effective link-up of sustainability issues to UNDP´s development agenda.
We look forward to learning more about the new UNDP business model in due course. We need a UNDP that promotes a learning culture for sustainable results through a more focused and strategic portfolio with fewer, more transformative programs.
The Nordic countries are fully committed to supporting UNDP and the wider UN system in the effort of equipping the UN with the necessary tools to better respond to the needs of the people, especially those furthest behind. UNDP is a major building block in the Secretary General's reform agenda and we ask the agency to be open for change, constructive and collaborative. We need a strong, efficient and reform-oriented UNDP, both in its leading role within the UN development system and as a partner in development.
Sufficient, flexible and predictable funding must underpin the realization of the new strategic plan and is crucial for UNDPs long-term development work. UNDP must strengthen its incentives to provide funding to regular resources, including through increased visibility for traditional and new core donors, as well as better communication of results. A crucial element in this are improved strategic funding dialogues that can provide for a better understanding of the financial situation of UNDP and enable the agency to better match resources to results. The changing financial landscape also calls for UNDP, along with other UN agencies, to seek new ways of working together and to apply new and innovative approaches to ensure that development solutions reach more people in a more effective manner, at less cost and with better results.