I would like to congratulate you on your election. We are ready to work constructively with you. We will contribute to making the Board strong and effective under your leadership, and the present economic situation makes it all the more imperative that we do so.
Faced with the financial crisis and the food crisis, we need a strong UN and a strong UNDP, that will help us mitigate the negative effects on those who are without a voice. UNDP’s mandate puts it at the forefront of these our joint efforts to act as an advocate and protector of the poor.
UNDP’s programmes are essential in our pursuit to come on track to reach the Millennium Development Goals and to counteract the possible long-term delayed effects at country level of the financial crisis.
Therefore, in these challenging times:
- We need the UNDP more than ever to maintain that a prime objective of economic growth is human development: lifting people out poverty, helping countries to provide health care and education to all as part of the imperative bestowed upon us here to pursue the Millennium Development Goals.
- We need the UNDP more than ever to be an advocate of the poor, sharing its unique insight from country offices with the wider international public.
- We need the UNDP more than ever to be at the service of states in building their capacity to fight poverty, promote good governance and the rule of law.
Facing these challenges, it is essential that the UNDP is a flexible partner for developing countries. The circumstances are new, but UNDP’s experience and ability to adapt should ensure continued high-quality advice to partner countries to help them wither this storm.
in the past few years, the UN’s development work has become more effective, coherent and responsive to the needs of the poor. This is to a large extent due to the increasing harmonisation of UN’s development work and the "Delivering as One" approach.
These results would not have been possible without the leadership and personal commitment of Mr.Kemal Dervis. His legacy includes preserving and developing the legitimacy and effectiveness of the UN’s development arms.
We must now build on Mr.Dervis’ legacy. We must deliver as one to secure national ownership. We must deliver as one to empower women to lift families out of poverty. And we must deliver as one to maintain the UN’s credibility and effectiveness as our joint tool in pursuing the Millennium Development Goals.
We should refocus, also, on coordination at headquarters’ level. That important part has by far not received enough attention, as Mr. Dervis alluded to in his impressive statement
It is encouraging that we renewed the pact in Doha that fighting poverty is the joint responsibility of North and South, East and West. The economic downturn must not be an excuse to reduce our efforts to fight poverty. Facing the crisis we must see to that those who have to little are not left further behind by cuts and saving in the wrong parts of budgets. The crisis makes development activities even more essential and we are pleased to have increased our ODA to 1% of GDI for 2009.
I am also pleased to announce that Norway is in the process of finalising a multi-year pledge to UNDP for the remainder of the strategic plan-period. We will maintain our core contribution at a high level. In this regard, we reiterate our expectation that UNDP take further steps to strengthen its results-based management and reporting.
And finally, some personal words to Mr. Dervis. You have truly brought stature to your position. We respect your profound knowledge of the issues and your management skills. We respect your decision and deplore it. And we are heartened by your words here today that you will remain active, speaking, giving advice and writing, and thus continue to serve us all. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr.President.