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Statement delivered by Denmark at Annual Session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board, Item 2: Annual Report of the Administrator, 6 June 2018 in New York

08.06.2018  14:30

(Check against delivery)

Thank you, Mr. President, for giving Denmark the floor. I also extend my appreciation to the UNDP Administrator, Achim, for your very informative statement.

Mr. President, this Annual Session of the Executive Board takes place against the backdrop of last week’s adoption of the resolution on the reform of the UN Development System. The ambition of the change we have now adopted for the system, matches the ambition of the 2030 Agenda we adopted almost three years ago. We therefore need to start implementation. The clock is ticking.

At this annual session, let me start by commending UNDP – its leadership and dedicated staff – for the results achieved over the past four years, as outlined in the annual report and presented by the Administrator.

We note with appreciation that UNDP has managed to present its highest delivery rate on record, which is remarkable, not least considering the often challenging and complex development contexts that UNDP is working in. In particular, Denmark therefore takes note of UNDP’s achievements in support of improving livelihoods, in strengthening governance and participation in democratic processes, as well as in building resilience and assisting countries to recover from crises and conflict. These efforts are crucial on our common path towards 2030. 
As we progress with the implementation of UNDP’s Strategic Plan for 2018 – 2021, Denmark looks forward to engage in translating the Plan into action through people and processes. We encourage UNDP to ensure a focus on its comparative advantages within its comprehensive mandate, hereby delivering on its six signature solutions in alignment with the UNDS reform, using a collaborative, coherent, responsive, effective and efficient approach.

Mr. President, allow me to address a number of issues that deserves particular attention in the implementation of the Strategic plan:

First, the involvement of youth as valuable agents of change in working towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This key constituency will need a dedicated focus in order to leverage its potential vis-á-vis the 2030 Agenda.

Second, the rights and special role of women in sustainable development. Denmark expects UNDP to help bridge institutional divides and support collective outcomes that benefit women and girls, not least in fragile and conflict-affected settings. We appreciate UNDP’s efforts to address gender as an implicit goal and its special efforts to ensure gender-related perspectives in its crisis response.

Third, effective operationalization of the New Way of Working and addressing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus as a multi-stakeholder agenda. Building resilience and ensuring effective recovery from crisis and conflict require strong partnerships and collaboration that go beyond the UN family, in particular with the Bretton Woods-institutions. We see a strong potential for UNDP taking a lead role in operationalizing these partnerships at the country level, through its integrator role and its new country support platforms.

Fourth, Denmark appreciates the strong focus on innovation in the Strategic Plan, and the dedication of the Administrator in having innovation at the heart of UNDP’s future approach to development. In light of our strong support to UNDP’s work on innovation through our dedicated funding, Denmark looks forward to see this further developed in the implementation of the new Strategic Plan, and as a way to bring new knowledge, concepts and ways of working to the table.

Mr. President, as referenced in my introduction, allow me to end with a few remarks on the repositioning of the UN Development System.

At the adoption last week, the Secretary General stressed that the resolution ushers in the most ambitious and comprehensive transformation of the UN Development System in decades. He further emphasized that the aim of the reform is to put in place the mechanisms to make a real difference in the lives of people. I could not agree more.

The decisions we have taken as Member States are bold and require collective work and collective support from all sides, if the reforms are to deliver on their full potential. We all align ourselves with the Agenda – now we must all align ourselves with the system that is supposed to support its realization.

Denmark therefore expects all parts of the UN Development System to do their part in implementing the reforms, loyally and in close and constructive cooperation with their sister organizations. Only in that way can the system provide the best possible support for Member States in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

UNDP will play a key role in this endeavor, not least in ensuring a smooth transition to the reinvigorated RC-system, as we embark on the crucial implementation phase. UNDP’s unique role will also be vital when it comes to implementing the provisions of the new resolution related to common business operations, common back offices and ensuring greater efficiencies, synergies and coherence.

We have full confidence in UNDP to do its part. Denmark stands ready to support UNDP in its transition to its new role within the UN development system and to engage in the process, as we move ahead.

Mr. President, in closing, allow me to reiterate Denmark’s continued commitment to UNDP’s important work in ensuring that no one is left behind in our common pursuit of realizing the SDG’s by 2030. I extend Denmark’s warmest appreciation to UNDP’s staff around the World.

Thank you, Mr. President.