I would like to thank the Administrator for her statement and for already setting out such clear priorities for UNDP. Helen Clark is coming on board at a critical time. UN must respond swiftly to address the impact on development of the current economic crisis.
The situation must be monitored. In a sense UNDP already monitors human development, progress as well set-backs at the country level. That is what the Human Development Report is about. Monitoring.
That, however, is long-term monitoring. Now we need early warning mechanisms to anticipate and prevent collateral damage and dangerous set-backs that we fear will result from the delayed effects of the financial crisis.
I am convinced that the Administrator has her eye on this and will be the strong leader the UN’s development system needs to be an effective advocate for the poor.
UNDP is a tool in the hands of developing countries.
It is a tool to fight poverty,
to deepen democracies where it grows on thin soil,
to rebuild societies after conflict
to pursue gender equality and women’s empowerment
and to pursue sustainable development.
It is a tool that is needed more than ever as progress towards reaching the MDGs is being threatened.
The tool UNDP is offering is capacity:
capacity to develop poverty reduction strategies,
capacity to hold elections,
capacity to reconstruct shattered communities,
capacity to pursue green growth.
This much is clear. And yet, the answer to the question “what is UNDP?” is not obvious. It is unfortunate, but UNDP’s identity today is not clear enough.
It might be that UNDP is accepting too many offers from donors and partner countries when it should have said “no, this is not who we are, this is not what we do”.
UNDP must continue to tailor its solutions to the demands and needs by each programme country. But a sharper focus on its comparative advantage is needed in order for programme countries across the world to recognize the same world class tailor. A well-defined brand would make UNDP even more sought after as a partner for developing countries in their pursuit of the MDGs.
UNDP lives by its results. We invest significantly in UNDP and anticipate a sizeable return. However, we acknowledge that it is difficult to attribute results to a particular development agency, in particular when UNDP cooperates with other agencies or stakeholders, be they public or private. And all the more so where UNDP is in a minority position in the activity in question.
And yet, everything that can be managed can be measured. But UNDP is not adequately managing for results, according to a report on Results Based Management presented to the Board one and a half years ago. The report called for a change of culture in UNDP. We welcome administrative measures already taken to address this problem. However, we are still concerned that wider reforms are needed to bring about a cultural change.
Achieving results requires strict adherence to national priorites and national ownership. To this end UNDP must seek strong partnerships within the UN Development Group and with the World Bank. In post-conflict situations strong partnerships with DPA, DPKO and the World Bank is essential. and DPKO. We trust Helen Clark’s leadership in making UN’s overall development work more coherent and effective, in particular by a being a key driver for the Delivering as One-approach.
Communicating results is key to our continued successful partnership with UNDP. UNDP’s brand and results must be visible, recognizable, and even memorable - and they must be understood not just by policy-makers, but also in the streets of Dar es Salaam, Lima and Oslo. There are numerous examples of successful communication of UNDP’s achievements in programme countries across the world. But UNDP must improve its communication of corporate results and step up its visibility in global media outlets.
The issues I have touched upon, identity, focus, results and communication and system-wide coherence, are in our view the key challenges for UNDP. And they are all intertwined. Norway has confidence in Helen Clark’s ability to meet these challenges. That is why Norway has announced a multi-year pledge of support to UNDP at the same high level as today. We encourage other donors to follow suit to empower the Administrator and her team to deliver the results so desperately needed by the world’s poor in the face of the economic crisis.
I thank you, Mr.President