It is my pleasure to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own delegation Norway. The Nordic countries would like to provide the following comments to the report on the follow-up to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board Meeting (PCB):
At the outset, let me commend UNDP and UNFPA for the thorough description on the follow-up to the second evaluation report of UNAIDS. In future reports, we would however welcome a stronger focus on results when reporting on UNDP’s and UNFPA’s engagement in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Our delegations would like to underline the importance of ensuring consistency between the strategic plans and results framework of UNDP and UNFPA, as these will emerge after the mid-term reviews of the strategic plans next year on the one hand and the new strategic plan and accompanying documents of UNAIDS on the other. Competing results frameworks should be avoided. To this end, we would appreciate information from UNDP and UNFPA on how they handle these challenges within the ongoing efforts of UNAIDS.
On the need to enhance accountability and transparency of UNAIDS, in line with the recommendations of the Evaluation Report, we would like to stress the importance of thorough and broad consultations with donors and participating organizations in the development of the new strategic plan of UNAIDS. One part of this is to make sure that the relevant objectives, targets and indicators agreed in UNAIDS global level results frameworks are consistent with the corporate results framework, or equivalent, of each co-sponsor.
We find that co-sponsors engagement in the full and expedient implementation of the PCB decisions is crucial. One of the most fundamentally important processes ahead of us is the development of the Unified Budget and Accountability Framework – a complex task that will require truly innovative thinking.
It is positive that coordination seems to be improving, especially in the pilot countries for UN reform. However, major challenges remain, one of which relates to the division of labour. It is important that this is sorted out in the new UNAIDS guidelines on division of labour. It must, in the case of UNDP and UNFPA, be secured that the guidelines are in line with the strategic focus and results frameworks of these organizations. Also, there needs to be clarity on who is the ’lead agency’.
On the priority area Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (para 29 onwards), it seems that UNFPA, at country level, is working rather in isolation. We would be interested in knowing how the collaboration and division of labor with WHO and UNICEF, take place at country level.
It is crucial that UNDP, as responsible for the Resident Coordinator System, and in particular its Regional Directors, ensure that the joint letter of the Executive Director of UNAIDS and the Chair of UNDG on the implementation of UNAIDS results framework for 2011, is followed up.
Reporting on the outcome framework priority areas, particularly the one on reducing sexual transmission of HIV, there is a welcome reference to expansion of comprehensive male and female condom programming to 71 countries in 2009. Considering that universal access is our goal, the targets for 2011 under this priority area should be more ambitious. In this context, Mr. President, let me emphasize our support for condoms as a key response to the HIV epidemic and the best way to diminish the burden of HIV infection all over the world. In this context, we acknowledge that prevention must be adapted to local conditions.
As a last and broader point of interest, we would want to ensure that HIV is part of the regular agenda for cosponsor agencies.
I thank you, Mr. President