I am honored to hold this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and my own country Norway.
I would like to start by expressing our sincere appreciation to H.E. Mr. Petersen, as outgoing President of the Board, and the other members of the Bureau. In particular, we commend your skillful guidance through the strategic plan process and the important steps you have taken towards improved working methods for this Board. Furthermore, we would like to thank Mr Steiner for his statement and continued engagement.
We also wish to use this occasion to welcome the Ambassador of Mauritius, H.E. Mr. Kanjuul, as the incoming President of the board. We look forward to a close and constructive relationship. Mr. President,
The new Strategic Plan envisions UNDP as the backbone of the integrated UN response to the 2030 Agenda at the country level, giving context specific policy advice on issues at the heart of the SDGs; democratic governance, conflict prevention and human rights – leaving no one behind, promoting gender equality, closing the energy gap by supporting an enabling environment, and safeguarding our ecosystems and biodiversity. The regional and country programs presented to the Board show that UNDP is moving in the right direction.
With the new strategic plan in place, UNDP is embarking on a period of transformation. Many strategic choices will have to be made during the period leading up to the mid-term review; and change must go hand in hand with the efforts to reform the UN Development System, under the leadership of the Secretary General. We look forward to engaging together with the Administrator and UNDP staff in providing UNDP with a solid and sustainable business model, as anticipated in the Strategic Plan.
We welcome the Secretary General’s report on the repositioning of the United Nations Development System, and we commend UNDP’s constructive engagement. UNDP’s unique mandate, and its extensive country presence and experience in institution building, makes the organization an important link between the peace and security architecture and the development system.
We note that the reform proposal anticipates a re-positioning of UNDP. We look forward to discussing the new possible role of UNDP, including vis-à-vis the Resident Coordinator, the potential implications, and how this will be addressed in the working plan for engagement with the Board.
New funding structures, better reflecting actual costs and incentivizing flexibility and predictability, will have to back-up the new business model. The choices made in the coming years must lead to a sustainable inflow of flexible funding that allows UNDP to deliver efficiently on the Strategic Plan.
The proposal to be presented in September, on how to improve the structured funding dialogues, is an opportunity to establish a forum for increased commitment to funding the integrated budget. We also expect an ambitious report on cost-recovery in June and encourage UNDP and its sister agencies to ensure cost-recovery rates better reflect actual costs and to use them as a tool to improve the quality of funding.
This Board has repeatedly encouraged Member States to make contributions more predictable and sustainable in order for UNDP to deliver on its mandate. On funding, the Nordic countries are proud of our long-lasting financial support to UNDP, and I am pleased to reaffirm that we will continue to be strong supporters of UNDP. We reiterate our call for other countries in a position to do so to ensure that the funding needed for realizing the vision of the new Strategic Plan and the 2030 Agenda will be provided.