Annual Session of the UNDP Executive Board June 2013

Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations (New York, 10 June 2013)

Mr. President,

UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark,

Distinguished Delegates

We have listened to the valuable insights of Ms. Helen Clark on the annual report of the UNDPís performance during 2008-2012.

We are pleased to note UNDPís contribution and the results it has achieved. UNDP has made meaningful contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, most notably in the area of poverty eradication.

We have also listened carefully to your approach and analysis towards the Strategic Plan 2014-2017.

We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Pakistan attaches importance to the work of the UNDP and its contribution to Pakistanís development priorities.

Mr. President,

Pakistan has noted the successful implementation of UNDPís last Strategic Plan. There are valuable lessons that we have learnt. Evaluation has been conducted across different thematic and regional areas. Three points are essentials. One, enhanced cross-practice thematic cooperation with a view to making the organization deliver more with less resources. Two, accelerated common approaches within the UN Family. This is particularly true for countries where ONE UN Programmes are being implemented. Three, greater emphasis on sustainable development and managing the threat posed by climate change.

The UNDP has done well and has our full support, as it strives to achieve its goals despite constrained availability of international finances.

Mr. President,

The role of UNDP continues to be critical around the world. So long as more than a billion people survive on less than US $ 1.25 a day and remain mired in the cycle of hunger; so long as more than 2 billion people remain without access to energy or even basic electricity; so long as climate change continues to impose harsher penalties; and so long as billions more continue to demand better governance, accountability and participation in decision making, the work of the UNDP remains unfinished.

Today the world faces two trends. First, the need for productive and sustainable use of natural capital. Pakistan is concerned that world has just crossed a Rubicon by measuring 400 ppm CO2 emission last month. Second, the need for economic growth in vast swathes of this earth, as a large number of poor people live in extreme poverty, without access to basic health and sanitation. And this puts an enormous pressure on the governments to ensure rapid growth to meet expectations.

Mr. President,

Several important global and UN-led processes have been lunched to put the world back on a sustainable pathway in post 2015. These include the High Level Panel of Eminent Personsí report released last month, Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, review of the Millennium Development Goals, and the Climate Change negotiations. There is indeed far too much at stake.

The UNDP must emerge as dynamic institution that can align its goals and objectives closely with the collective voice of the international community and help facilitate transformation at the national level

Mr. President,

Let me now convey some messages from Pakistan.

Pakistan has maintained positive momentum in its economic growth and will address its core development challenges, despite significant stresses resulting from the heavy cost of the fight against terrorism.

Without a doubt, 180 million people of Pakistan have paid an enormous cost for standing between terrorism and the pursuit of democracy. Loss of life alone is estimated at 40,000 civilians and more than 3, 500 security personnel. In addition, direct and indirect costs rose. According to very initial estimates, the losses incurred by different sectors of Pakistanís economy in the last 12 years might go close to $100 billion mark.

We have not faced easy times in Pakistan. What lays ahead is an extra-ordinary economic challenge that has continued to pile up, as Pakistan devoted its people, resources and energies to making this world a better place.

Our people have been a barrier against the forces of darkness and terror. They have exhibited resilience. The people of Pakistan fearlessly voted for democracy last month defying intimidation and violence. They have voted for national cohesion, effective governance, stable economic development, redress of energy deficits, social and gender equality, accountability, and justice. This verdict is in sync with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

Pakistan faces multi-pronged challenges of poverty, education, energy, population and urbanization.

Addressing this vicious cycle is one of the primary objectives of the new Government in Pakistan. The recurring large-scale floods, earthquakes, droughts, and landslides are all external shocks, which have imposed tremendous cost on agriculture, industry, infrastructure and livelihoods.

Similarly, overcoming a shortage of more than 6000 Mega-Watt of energy and in fact taking it to its maximum potential require sustained national commitment as well as strong international cooperation.

Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and close to 37% of its population lives in urban areas making Pakistan the second most urbanized country in South Asia. Meta-urban regions are viewed as engines of growth. To meet the development challenge caused by rapid urbanization, we will focus on competitiveness by expansion of urban city markets, promotion of cluster development, improved urban governance, skill development and autonomous local government without undermining the rural development.

Pakistan has recently concluded phase II of its ONE UN Programme. The total financial resources required during the five-year period 2013-17 are estimated at US $1.9 billion that average out at around $380 million per year. UNDP has been a valuable partner in our endeavors. We are confident that we will strengthen this partnership even more.

Mr. President,

Pakistan visualizes the UNDPís Vision as one, which corresponds to the ideals of the international community: eliminating poverty and, more importantly, eliminating extreme poverty by 2030. To this end, Pakistan would lay emphasis on enhancing the resource endowment of the poor people as part of the capacity building to create livelihoods. In our view, enhancing the resource endowment through micro-finance, clear title to land and valuing natural capital available to them would be crucial aspects of overcoming poverty. We look forward to continuing our engagement in a constructive spirit to contribute to the strategic vision.

Finally, Pakistan recognizes the need to have a deeper conversation on UNDPís core strategy in post 2015. The concept of ďSustainable Human DevelopmentĒ has appeared in some of the decisions of the Executive Board. Pakistan considers the Human Development Perspective as an important contribution of UNDP to the world. We would work with the UNDP to develop a coherent definition of sustainable human development for an inter-governmental agreement.

I thank you Mr. President.