Statement at the First Regular Session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board Meeting
Thank you Mr. President,
Mr. President, as this is my first time to speak as a member of this Board, allow me to first and foremost pledge Fiji's complete support for the work of the Board. Allow me also to congratulate you, Mr. President, for assuming the Presidency of the Board, and also to congratulate members of your Bureau. We have full confidence in your leadership during what promises to be a very eventful year in the development community.
The agenda and decisions before the UN development community this year will have great impact on tangible results in transformational development in coming years. In this respect, the guidance given by the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review resolution by the 67th UNGA, is vital. Our work on the Board must be guided by the QCPR, and it will be up to us to ensure that the recommendations of the QCPR are incorporated into the work of the funds and programmes. This will include the Strategic Plan of UNDP, as well as the programming arrangements under discussion.
Mr. President, allow me to highlight two of the key issues detailed in the QCPR:
- Both the QCPR and the outcomes document of the Rio +20 conference recognize that poverty eradication remains the world’s greatest challenge. Poverty eradication was key to the MDGs, and as we look ahead to elaborating the post-2015 development agenda, we must bear in mind the centrality of poverty eradication. We must therefore ensure that the eradication of poverty, and situations that contribute to the cycle of poverty, remain the target of the UN development community. Sustainable development will be a far off goal if basic health and education are not guaranteed, and if consequent poverty continues to be a pervasive ill. At the same time, developmental responses to new challenges, such as the need for climate change infrastructure, must not be overlooked. We are firmly of the view that infrastructure is fundamental to development.
- The QCPR recognises the role of core funding as bedrock for operational activities. We must ensure that in the planning processes of the funds, programmes and specialized agencies, including in the ongoing work in preparing a strategic plan for UNDP, there is renewed emphasis on bolstering core resources. It is also our view, as articulated in paragraph 43 of the QCPR, that we must “avoid the use of core/regular resources to subsidize non-core/extra-budgetary financed activities, including the use of core/regular resources to cover costs related to the management and support of non-core/extrabudgetary funds and their programme activities”.
This latter point, Mr. President, is pertinent when it comes to the proposed cost recovery methodology under discussion. The joint informal meeting of our Board with that of UNICEF and UN-Women held last Friday showed that questions remain on how the proposed new cost recovery rates will be implemented, and their impact on core resources.
Mr. President, as regards programming arrangements for UNDP, I wish to touch on an issue with far reaching implications on the financial situation of UNDP and impact on the implementation of much needed developmental projects. I refer to proposal to create a contingency fund for the financial stability of the organization. Mr. President, creating such a large fund in the name of contingency, to the tune of almost 47 million dollars should only be done on the basis of concrete and demonstrated need. We submit that further discussion on the basics of the proposal, the modalities, and the details of what the fund could be used for, are required before it can be approved.
Mr. President, I have a final point and refer to South-South cooperation, patterns of which are emerging across the world in different ways. The UN’s Office for South-South cooperation will play a crucial role as the focal point of Organizational efforts to make South-South cooperation central to the international development agenda. South-South and triangular cooperation must be encouraged, whilst ensuring that it is not seen as a substitute for other types developmental partnerships. We pledge our support to the Office for South South cooperation in its work, which we trust will result in the incorporation of focused strategies on South-South and triangular cooperation in the work of the funds and programmes. As the landscape of South-South cooperation evolves, these strategies will take on greater import.
Mr. President, in recognition of the importance of this issue, Fiji, in the context of its chairmanship of the G77 this year, will be hosting a meeting on the Future Landscape of South-South Cooperation in May this year, in the form of the High-Level Panel of Eminent personalities of the South.
Mr. President, the work of UNDP in leading the global charge on poverty eradication
cannot be overemphasized, and my delegation looks forward to working steadfastly with you in the work of this Board to ensure that we create maximum results for those most in need.
I thank you Mr. President.