UNFPA Executive Board - Annual session 2022

Nordic statement in the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Annual session 2022, UNFPA Segment, June 7 2022.

The statement was delivered by Ambassador Martin Herman from Denmark's Mission to the UN.

Madam Executive Director, Madam President,

I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark.

We warmly welcome the annual report to the Executive Board, which analyses the cumulative progress made in achieving the results of UNFPA’s strategic plan 2018-2021 as well as UNFPA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As your report point to, UNFPA has indeed made substantive progress in the course of the last four years.

Just to highlight a few of the data and statistics:

- Over this period, 199,000 maternal deaths were averted.

- 22 million unsafe abortions were averted.

- And almost 570.000 girls were saved from Female Genital Mutilation.

These are only some of the impressive results that are included in your annual report. However - as impressive as they are - when we look at the data and statistics, it is clear that the world will be unable to achieve the transformative results by 2030 unless our work and progress substantially accelerates.

The Nordic countries therefore welcome the focus of UNFPA’s new Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 on accelerating the achievements of the transformative results and we look forward to supporting you in its implementation.

In this respect, we would like to draw your attention to some of the key issues for the Nordic countries in the coming years:  

With UNFPA’s mandate comes a responsibility to advance and stand guard of the human rights granted to women and girls, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights and their skills, knowledge and education, including comprehensive sexuality education. We support UNFPA’s intention to strengthen its normative work everywhere where UNFPA is present.

We welcome that UNFPA’s new Strategic Plan places particular emphasis on expanding UNFPA’s humanitarian response capacity to better safeguarding the lives and rights of women, adolescents and youth. Because we share the belief that UNFPA’s three transformative results cannot be achieved without effective humanitarian interventions. We look forward to continuing to support UNFPA’s important role to combat gender-based violence through a holistic HDP-nexus approach, including by amplifying local and national capacities through women- and girls-led ad women’s rights organizations.

We appreciate UNFPA’s prioritization of data for evidenced-based programming and monitoring in order to reach those furthest behind. In line with UN development system reform and the Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda, we also look forward to following UNFPA’s ongoing work to provide innovative solutions and partnerships with other UN actors, governments, civil society organisations, other development partners, IFIs and the private sector to achieve its objectives and the SDGs.

Madam Executive Director, Madam President,

Let me end by a small reminder to all of us about just how crucial the investment in UNFPA’s work and sexual and reproductive health and rights is.

As you have included in your report: “Every dollar invested in ending preventable maternal deaths and the unmet need for family planning by 2030 will bring economic benefits of $8.78 by 2050.”

The Nordic countries therefore wish to thank the Executive Director and UNFPA staff all over the world for their tireless and meaningful work towards achieving the three transformative results and ensuring realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.