Annual Meeting of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS

Geneva, Switzerland
Monday, June 23, 2014

The Annual Session of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS began in Geneva this morning under the presidency of Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson. The Executive Board provides oversight and guidance to the three UN agencies responsible for an annual expenditure of over US$7 billion.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Thomson called on Board members and observers, as they go about the session's work, not to lose sight of global realities today. He pointed out that over a billion people live in extreme poverty with no adequate access to clean drinking water. He said they go to bed hungry, have no access to electricity or the benefits of the formal financial sector. and are forced to defecate in the open.

As a result, Ambassador Thomson told the meeting, 2 million children die every year from preventable diseases and 22,000 people die each day because of poverty. He said these statistics are compounded by the humanitarian scandal of 50 million people being displaced today by war and political persecution.

This morning the Board heard the annual report of the UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark. The Administrator's report highlighted the new UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017 which is being rolled across UNDP's headquarters, regional centers and country offices. The Administrator's report noted that these processes were being taken within the context of other global processes, notably the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the UNFCCC climate change negotiations.

The Administrator stressed that the support of the Executive Board for the implementation of the Strategic Plan was indispensable. She concluded that with the Board's strong backing, UNDP will be able to "continue to strengthen UNDP as a partner of choice in tackling current and future development challenges."

The Executive Board meeting is scheduled to conclude on 27 June.

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