Statement by Ms. Farhat Ayesha, Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad at the UNDP Segment of the 2017 Special Session of the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS
(28 November 2017)

Mr. President,

At the outset, let me commend your leadership in guiding the work of the Executive Board of UNDP.

I would also like to express my deepest appreciation to Administrator UNDP for his vision on the new Strategic Plan of UNDP.

During this year, we have adopted Strategic plans of the sister agencies. This year becomes even more relevant as for the first time after the adoption of 2030 Agenda these Strategic Plans will provide strategic guidance to these entities for achievement of this agenda. With the adoption of the UNDP’s Strategic Plan hopefully today, we renew our commitment for attainment of this ambitious agenda.

On development front, global poverty has declined from 35% in 1990 to under 10% in 2016, pulling over a billion people out of poverty. Yet, significant deprivation remains. Around 650 million people still live in abject poverty. These facts attract focus and relevance of UNDP to work on poverty reduction

Growing inequalities within and across the countries affect both men, women and children. Disparities amongst advanced economies and low-income countries continue to grow. Gender inequalities continue to hamper global progress across multiple dimensions. Urbanization, demographic changes and future technology pathways can still disrupt progress unless their positive potential is harnessed.

This requires foresight and bold actions by all.

Mr. President,

Let me highlight some specific priorities:

One, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to development. Countries determine their development priorities and approaches in response to their circumstances. The Integrated Results and Resources Framework (IRRF) which translates the Strategic Plan (2018-2021) into development, to deliver on its mandate, should be guided by Member State’s national ownership and national needs and priorities, enabling them achieve the desired results;

Two, impact of Climate Change, Disasters and extreme weather events have immense impact on development. These can disrupt the lives of billions. UNDP can play a significant role in Disaster Risk Reduction at the national and sub-national levels;

Three, women continue to bear the brunt of poverty, violence and conflict. For full realization of the 2030 Agenda and gender mainstreaming and women’s economic empowerment is essential. In this context, UNDP, along-with the UN-Women, UNFPA and ILO can play a pivotal role in enhancing livelihood and job creation opportunities for women in developing countries;

Four, there is a dire need to strengthen South-South and Triangular Cooperation for sustainable development;

Five, poverty eradication, the core objective of the 2030 Agenda, should remain the overarching focus of the UNDP. Nexus between peace and security, humanitarian affairs and development should be calibrated carefully and cautiously and as per national priorities;

And finally, but not the least, dwindling core resources and the growing gap between the core and non-core resources of the organization is a cause of serious concern. This trend impacts the efficiency and accentuates uncertainty particularly for the programme component. International community should match political will with development resources to fill the gap. There is no substitute for strengthening core resources of UN Funds and Programmes.

Mr. President,

Introspection and review are important in any process. In this context, we also look forward to the mid-term review of the implementation of the UNDP Strategic Plan.

We would be particularly keen in understanding how the Plan impacts institutional framework. In addition, we would welcome information on how the Plan is translated at the national level in boosting capacities for growth and poverty eradication, both critical for right to development of people.

We consider UNDP an important partner in development, and look forward to further strengthening our collaboration with the organization.

I thank you.