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Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Ib Petersen, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN, on UNDP Annual report of the Administrator, at Annual Session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board, 30 May 2017 in New York

22.06.2017  00:37

(Check against delivery)

Thank you, Mr. President, for giving Denmark the floor, and thank you Acting Administrator Gettu, for a comprehensive and informative report on the work of UNDP.

The key issue for this year’s Board is the strategic plan for the next four years of UNDP’s work. It is important that we get that right, and provide a plan that is focused, and provides a clear direction and narrative for UNDP’s work. The new plan must be aligned with the 2030 Agenda, the reform-agenda of the Secretary General, and the guidelines provided through the QCPR-resolution.

It should set priorities for UNDP, and the strategic direction for the years to come: What to do, what not to do, and how to work with other UN-agencies - based on where UNDP has its comparative advantages and adds value for those most in need.

In essence - the Strategic Plan must ensure that UNDP become a results-based, innovative, learning organisation that promotes collaboration and coordination among the members of the UN family, based on country priorities.

Allow me, Mr. President, to touch briefly on 3 issues that are important both for the new strategic plan, and in their own right:

Human rights, democracy, good governance, rule of law and gender equality are key priorities for Danish development cooperation and central to UNDP’s mandate. They are also fully integrated into the 2030 Agenda and a pre-condition for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Denmark looks forward to continue working with UNDP and other actors in applying a human-rights based approach to development – this is a crucial to ensure sustainable societies where each person is able to create a future for herself or himself and realise her or his full potential.

This is not least true for youth, who are valuable agents of change and a key part of the solution if we are to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. We need youth-led development by and with young people to be reflected in the Strategic Plan.

By the same token we must recognize the rights and the special role of women in sustainable development - as agents of change, and not just as receivers of development assistance. This is not least true in fragile contexts, which should be reflected in the new Strategic Plan.

The need for integrating the three pillars of the UN has never been more urgent in bridging the humanitarian-development-peace divide. UNDP has an important role to play in ensuring this.

UNDP must do its part in making the UN family deliver on the pledge to provide collective outcomes - the pledge to new ways of working. On the ground it is crucial to have coordinated and integrated action between all UN agencies.

The promise of ”leaving no one behind” requires that development and humanitarian actors work much more closely together to address the needs of the most vulnerable. The Strategic Plan must take this into account in order to deliver on this promise. There is still more work to be done on the Strategic Plan before we get that right.

The funds and programmes need to actively contribute to the realisation of the new UN reform agenda. The need for reform was articulated by Member States in the QCPR-resolution of December 2016, and the reform agenda is a high priority of the Secretary General. It calls for the UN organisations to find new ways of working, and new ways of working together. The changing financial climate also calls for new ways of working.

That is why innovation is a priority for Denmark and why we have provided funding for the innovation efforts of UNDP and other funds and programmes. Innovation helps us reach more people in a more effective manner, at less cost and with better results.

For that reason Denmark appreciates the importance given to innovation in the present draft Strategic Plan.

Looking beyond traditional partners would enable us to bring new knowledge, thinking, concepts and ways of working to the table. Such partners include private sector actors, civil society and academia.

We look forward to working closely with UNDP and the incoming Administrator in meeting these vital challenges.

To conclude, Mr. President, I would like to express Denmark’s warm appreciation of the work of UNDP staff around the world. You deliver results often under difficult and hazardous circumstances. I want you to know that your work is highly valued.

Thank you, Mr. President.