UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board 6 September 2005<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
Item 2: UNDP financial, budgetary and administrative issues. Statement by H.E. Ambassador Johan L. Løvald Permanent representative of Norway
- First I would like to thank UNDP for a useful introduction to this agenda item.
- I would like to start out by saying that Norway is pleased to see that the upward trend in regular core income is continuing. However, as UNDP has informed us, a large part of this increase is due to currency exchange rates, and Norway concurs with UNDP in calling upon member states to continue to increase contributions to the core.
- Burden sharing remains an important principle for the funding of UNDP and predictable core resources will facilitate UNDP’s efforts to concentrate on its core priorities. Norway will provide multi-year pledges to UN organisations, and UNDP is among those organisations that we will consider for multi-year pledges in the future.
- The Biennial Support Budget is not exclusively, or even largely, the organization’s administrative budget. In addition to management and administration, the biennial support budget of UNDP also covers programme support costs, including the cost of for instance the resident representatives. As a member state, we feel it is very important to be confident that the UNDP has an adequate, secure base from which to reach out towards demands at the country level.
- That being said, we think it is somewhat confusing to term the proposed BSB as a zero real growth budget. UNDP states that most of the growth is due to cost and currency adjustments. However, there is also real volume increases i.a. with regards to Atlas, strengthening of advocacy and outreach, as well as strengthening of country offices.
- A strong UNDP structure is a prerequisite for a strong UN presence at country level. In that regard we note with interest the proposal to include in this BSB seven country director posts. From informal consultations between UNDP and the Board, we understand that these new posts are related to the cases where the RC also acts as the DSRSG. However, clarification on this point would be helpful, as would further information on the cost-sharing arrangment with DPKO.
- We would also recommend that UNDP consults with the Board with regards to the issue of increasing the number of these important country director posts, and the financing of them.
- Norway had expected to see signs of the newly adopted corporate gender mainstreaming strategy and action plan in the proposed budget. Member States have repeatedly asked UNDP to allocate more resources from core to gender mainstreaming. The Administrator’s focus on gender mainstreaming in his statement this morning, gave reasons for optimism. The Administrator said that he wanted to make sure that UNDP’s corporate commitment to gender mainstreaming becomes reality. We would appreciate information from UNDP on how they envisage that increased focus on gender will be reflected in the budget.