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Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Ib Petersen, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN, on Agenda item 2: UNDP Strategic Plan, at 2nd regular session of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board, 5 September 2017 in New York

12.10.2017  01:02

(Check against delivery)

Mr President, thank you for giving me the floor; and thank you Mr Administrator, for a good and informative statement. Denmark highly appreciates the efforts of UNDP and its staff all over the world. We recognize the leadership role performed by UNDP in promoting global development – often in fragile contexts and operating under difficult circumstances.

As Denmark stressed at this year’s Annual Session, we are pleased that UNDP has been a vehicle for achieving good results within areas that are of high priority to Denmark. This includes efforts within crisis prevention and early recovery; and democratic governance as a vehicle for human rights for all.

Denmark welcomes the preliminary outline and information provided so far on UNDP’s vision and plan of action for the next Strategic Plan. For Denmark, it is important that the new plan will provide a clear and focused strategic direction and narrative for the work of UNDP. In conformity with UNDP’s comparative advantages, the plan needs to set priorities for the organisation, based on where UNDP adds value for those most in need.

Mr President,
In order to realize the 2030 Agenda, we need the entire UN-system to pursue effective cross-pillar cooperation. While awaiting future decisions on wider UN reform, all UN agencies should - where possible and mandated to do so - initiate measures that will maximise both individual and joint results through greater organisational effectiveness. It requires strong leadership emphasising the importance of transparency, accountability and efficiency. With you, Mr Administrator, Denmark is encouraged and confident that UNDP will deliver visible results in this respect.

Allow me, Mr President, to touch briefly on a couple of issues that are important for UNDP’s new Strategic Plan and in their own right:

Promotion of human rights, democracy, good governance and rule of law are key priorities for Denmark in our development cooperation. They are also at the heart of UNDP’s mandate and should be central to the Strategic Plan both normatively and operationally. They are fully integrated components of the 2030 Agenda and a pre-condition for achieving the SDG’s.

In this context, we must have a strong focus on youth, who are valuable agents of change. But it is equally important to recognize the rights and the special role of women – also as agents of change and active participants, and not just as receivers of development assistance. UNDP should therefore ensure effective gender mainstreaming in the plan.

Mr President,
Denmark notes UNDP’s intention to strengthen integrated UN-approaches at country-level by establishing so-called SDG Support Platforms. Not pre-empting any decision on the future design of the RC-function, Denmark would like to stress that greater UN coherence at country-level is crucial, if we are to realize the SDGs. If the proposed SDG platforms are to be established, it will be important to ensure a clear and logic link to the UN Development Assistance Frameworks, so that we avoid overlaps and duplication.

Going forward, it will be key to clearly define UNDP’s role at country level. In our view, UNDP should continue to play an important role in the joint efforts of the UN-system at country-level, no matter the outcome on the future of the RC-system. This holds particular relevance in LDCs and fragile contexts, which should continue to be a central focus for UNDP’s geographical orientation.

The promise of ”leaving no one behind” requires that UNDP and other actors work much more closely together to address the needs of the most vulnerable. We all know that fragile and conflict-affected states are the ones furthest away from reaching the SDGs. By 2030 it is estimated that 62% of poor people will live in fragile countries.

The need for integrating the three pillars of the UN has therefore never been more urgent in order to bridge the humanitarian-development-peace divide. UNDP must do its part in making the UN-family deliver on the pledge to provide collective outcomes – the pledge to implementing the new way of working by addressing vulnerability and building resilience and self-reliance. The next plan must take this into account.

Mr President,
Allow me to end by touching upon reform and innovation. It is upon all funds and programmes to contribute actively to the realisation of the Secretary General’s reform agenda. The changing financial climate also calls for UN agencies to find new ways of working, new ways of working together and to apply new and innovative approaches.

That is why innovation is a priority for Denmark and why we are providing funding for the innovation efforts of UNDP. Through innovation, we can develop solutions that can reach more people in a more effective manner, at less cost and with better end-results.

For that reason, Denmark hopes that UNDP will dedicate specific attention to innovation in the new Strategic Plan in order to accelerate UNDP’s pursuit of operating as a results-based, innovative organisation.

Thank you, Mr. President.