Remarks by Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Permanent Representative of Pakistan, at the Annual Session of UNDP Executive Board (26 May 2009, New York)

Thank you, Mr. President

At the outset we would join other delegations in thanking you Mr. President for your able stewardship of the Executive Board.

  1. We warmly welcome Ms. Helen Clarke and congratulate her on her appointment as administrator UNDP. We wish her well in the new assignment. We do hope that under her leadership UNDP would make a real difference in the lives of poor people around the world. Pakistan delegation looks forward to a productive engagement with UNDP.
  2. We align our remarks with the statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Sudan, on behalf of the Group of 77&China.

Mr. President

  1. The world is facing daunting economic challenges. The international financial crisis has crept into our real economy. The growing prices of essential commodities have already affected millions of households. The gains of MDGs are reversing in many developing countries.
  2. In the context of the current financial crisis and reforms of the international financial system, allow me to say that the Bretton Woods is the most inequitable and unjust system of distribution which has perpetuated inequalities amongst countries. Whilst we debate the systemic challenges that the crisis has posed, we should not lose sight of the “the bottom billion”, the world’s poorest poor, living on less than a dollar day, who are bearing the brunt of the crisis. Millions of others are being pushed to abject poverty every day. The most vulnerable amongst them are the children and women.
  3. We are confident that under the dynamic leadership of Ms. Helen Clarke UNDP would rise to these challenges, and the Organization would be able to deliver on its core functions of poverty eradication and socio-economic development.

Mr. President,

  1. Pakistan delegation would take this opportunity to bring to the Board’s attention the sufferings of dislocated people in Swat and appeal to UNDP to come forward and provide assistance to the affected people.
  2. The Government of Pakistan has taken on the challenge posed by the Taliban insurgency in Swat and the bordering areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Over 2 million people have been rendered homeless. The dislocated people are faced with severe shortage of food and medicine, increased threat of spread of disease and hardship in summer. Farmers in the affected areas mostly women were preparing for a bumper harvest when they had to flee their homes from the affected areas. They face hardship while their crops spoil in the unattended fields. North West Frontier Province is Pakistan’s second largest source of fruit and vegetables after Punjab province, and is a key wheat producing area.
  3. Pakistan greatly values the assistance that the UNDP would provide to us in dealing with this difficult situation. We would request the UNDP and other UN agencies to take a closer look at the situation and rise to the occasion.

I thank you, Mr. President