Statement by Mr. Raza Bashir Tarar, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan at the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Annual Session 2011, New York, 13 June 2011

Madam President,

I thank H.E. Ms. Helen Clark for her statement. In achieving her vision of making ďUNDP a solution-oriented, knowledge-based organisationĒ she will find Pakistan a keen partner.

UNDP is an important development partner of Pakistan. We attach immense importance to its work in Pakistan. We are thankful to the United Nations and all of our partners for their assistance during the unprecedented floods in our country last summer.

We highly value the solidarity expressed by the UNDP Administrator with the people and government of Pakistan through her visit to Pakistan in February this year. We look forward to follow-up on the extensive exchange of views between the Government of Pakistan and UNDP.

Madam President,

We are thankful to the Administrator for the detailed Annual Report and Midterm Review of the UNDP Strategic Plan. The Report as well as its appendix contain a wealth of information. We have read with interest the UNDP achievements, lessons learnt and proposed way forward on all four focus areas namely poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery and environment and sustainable development. We note with appreciation the UNDP contribution to national development efforts.

On the way forward we expect the following to continue guiding the UNDP work:

Madam President,

We support the UNDP resolve to focus on unfulfilled Millennium Development Goals, strengthening its efforts in promoting womenís economic empowerment, income and employment generation and social protection as well as strengthening poverty-environment nexus. Pakistan regrets that despite efforts, the world is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We would like to underline the importance of UNDP playing its role in making globalisation process beneficial for all developing countries and helping them in ensuring that international trade and investment regimes are consistent with and supportive of their development efforts.

The role of UNDP in capacity development, institutional as well as human, is well recognised in programme countries. At this yearís first regular session, we examined the evaluation of UNDP contribution in this regard. We would like to see UNDP capacity building programmes help developing countries reach a stage where they can do things for themselves, or do things better, without the United Nations having to keep on providing capacity building assistance.

We have noted with concern the inability to meet the projected resource targets during the first three years of the Strategic Plan. Albeit pragmatic, it is unfortunate that the UNDP projections for the remaining period are less than ambitious. UNDP needs multiyear, core and stable funding arrangement. Donors, therefore, must fulfil their commitments. It is all the more imperative since developing countries are suffering the impacts of global financial and economic crises, coupled with high food and fuel prices.

Madam President,

Last week, we carefully listened to the Administratorís views on disclosure of information. Like the UNDP as well as bilateral, multilateral and institutional donors, we fully support transparency. We, also, are keenly interested in knowing how development partners like the UNDP are executing and implementing projects in our countries in support of our development efforts. Additionally, we want such information to be available to those who wish to improve their contribution to our development endeavours.

Having said that, we urge prudence. In our view, the following are important for a decision on this issue: a) we must fully understand the nature and scope of our decision; b) clarity that a particular situation is being addressed through our decision without creating any precedent; c) adequate measures have been taken to preserve confidentiality of information and; d) each request for information will be considered on its own merits.

We support the initiative of having a decision on needs of Middle Income Countries. The Middle Income Countries, despite their successes and in certain cases commendable socio-economic progress, still face considerable challenges. Over 70% of poor still live in these countries. Several Middle Income Countries are still far from achieving Millennium Development Goals. They are still vulnerable to economic crises and external shocks and at risk of losing previous gains. The global financial and economic crises as well as food and fuel crises have highlighted their peculiar vulnerabilities. It is, therefore, essential that development cooperation between the United Nations system and Middle Income Countries is strengthened. We call upon the UNDP to improve its support to them.

Madam President,

Pakistan supports reform of the UN development system. We consider that improved and coherent UN mechanisms can positively contribute to national development efforts towards achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including MDGs. Pakistan volunteered for the Pilot ďUN Delivering as OneĒ programme. Being the largest of the eight pilot countries, Pakistan is a major stakeholder in the process.

For the Pilot countries to succeed, the funding issue needs to be addressed meaningfully. In our view, funding for the implementation of programme is inadequate. We would like to point out that earmarked funding erodes the principle of national leadership and ownership of the programme.

Pakistan also believes that the goal of reforms should be effective delivery of services and ensuring real impact on ground. The UN system needs to continue striving towards this goal. Cost saving as a result of the coherence exercise should be ploughed back into development projects in the concerned recipient country.

Finally, I would like to reiterate Pakistanís continued support to UNDPís Administrator, H.E. Ms. Helen Clark and Pakistanís full commitment as well as readiness to remain constructively engaged with UNDPís development efforts.

Thank you.