In February, we celebrated UNDP’s 50th anniversary and reflected on the many successes of UNDP and on the way forward. This morning, we have listened with great interest to the update by the Administrator on how UNDP is effectively moving towards achieving the long-term ambitions in the strategic plan. At the same time, UNDP is effectively responding to emerging crises and a continuously changing global context.
Last year, UNDP played a critical role in the preparations for the 2030 Agenda, and the Administrator’s active support to the implementation of the SDGs is highly appreciated. In light of the 2030 Agenda, UNDP’s strategic plan appears more relevant than ever.
The mid-term report gives a clear picture on how UNDP is progressing as planned towards achieving all the seven outcomes. In a context of financial constraints, the progress related to gender equality results is especially encouraging. On the other hand, we also notice that progress has been somewhat slower in other core areas of UNDP’s work, such as democratic governance. It would be interesting to hear whether this is mainly due to the funding situation or whether there are other causes.
UNDP reports that the structural review has made the institutional backbone more robust. While we are getting a good picture of the change process at the headquarters and regional levels, we look forward also to getting better insight into how the changes have affected the capacities and competences of the country offices. This is particularly important in light of the challenges identified with regard to decentralized evaluations as well as financial and project management at the country level.
The emphasis on results-based management in the current strategic plan seems to work. We are encouraged to see the integrated results framework with relevant quantitative data. This provides a useful bird’s eye view on how UNDP has progressed towards its goals.
However, the high level of aggregation makes it difficult to see how the achievement of results have varied within the geographical areas. The annex with examples from countries and global programs is a useful supplement in this regard. As we are reaching the end of the strategic plan period, assessments of wider impact must be prioritized.
Protracted crises have become a key challenge confronting the international community. UNDP’s emphasis on resilience and its repeated calls for better integration of humanitarian and development efforts is highly relevant. We see this clearly in the way UNDP addresses the Syria crisis. We look forward to seeing how this model will evolve.
Norway appreciates the progress reported by UNDP on the QCPR indicators. The UN Development System cannot do everything everywhere, and the functions must be defined on the basis of the UN’s comparative advantages. Looking ahead to the next QCPR resolution, we especially hope that it becomes more strategic in terms of defining the functions of the UN Development System in different types of country contexts.
Norway has always been a strong supporter of UNDP’s work, both politically and financially. Our contributions to UNDP will remain high. However, we must also take into account the willingness of other Member States to contribute to a more equal burden sharing in providing UNDP with predictable core resources as well as other support. We are concerned by the limited progress in UNDP’s resource mobilization efforts. We encourage UNDP to take a critical look at this and present a forward-looking approach in the dialogue on financing at our September session.