We commend the Government of South Sudan and UNDP for having developed a country programme document aligned with national priorities and South Sudan’s National Development Plan.
Given the enormous challenges facing the new state of South Sudan, it is crucial to get the priorities right from the very start. In order to build a solid foundation for development, it is paramount to begin by establishing democratic governance; ensuring transparent, equitable and sustainable management of natural resources and revenues; aspiring for an inclusive policy that will realize the potential of all citizens of South Sudan as well as building strong institutions.
We are encouraged by the fact that such priorities are well reflected in the South Sudan Development Plan, the UNDAF and in the UNDP country programme presented today.
We are particularly pleased to see that UNDP, based on lessons learnt, is concentrating its efforts on the overarching need of state building in South Sudan, and that governance and conflict prevention and security will be the key priorities. Ensuring national ownership during the transition period will be crucial. In this regard, we appreciate that capacity development is given a dominant role in the country programme, and that special care will be taken to utilize national systems and strengthen national implementation. We are equally pleased that south-south and triangular cooperation, like the IGAD Capacity Placement Initiative, is emphasized in this regard.
In the implementation of the country programme, we would like to underline the importance of the following:
First, we are pleased to see that UNDP is emphasizing a better definition of roles and enhanced cooperation with UNMISS. However, the country programme could have been even more explicit on the relation between UNDP and UNMISS and how UNDP is going to contribute to improved coordination of UN’s collective efforts in South Sudan. We encourage UNDP to ensure sufficient resources to this task.
Furthermore, South Sudan is likely to be faced with humanitarian challenges for the duration of the country programme period. We will therefore underline the importance of good cooperation and coordination within the humanitarian cluster-system.
Secondly, South Sudan is faced with complex challenges as well as substantial uncertainties. It is therefore important that UNDP finds flexible solutions adapted to local conditions.
The government of South Sudan is strongly committed to gender equality, and we appreciate that UNDP seems to mainstream this perspective well in the new country programme. However, the expected gender equality outcomes are not sufficiently visible in the proposed results framework. We urge UNDP to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in the operations and expect UNDP to report explicitly on how the organization has contributed to gender equality.
Fourthly, we would like to congratulate UNDP for a relatively good results framework, with clearly defined goals, indicators and targets. However, baseline data is missing for some indicators. Baseline data must be established in order to monitor progress and report on results. Risk assessment and risk mitigation is crucial for achieving results anywhere and even more so in a challenging operating environment. The country programme document is weak on this point, and we urge UNDP to place sufficient emphasis on risk assessment and mitigation during planning and implementation of the programme. Equally, the results framework could have been improved further by demonstrating how the programme contributes to UNDP’s organization-wide results framework.
To conclude, we would like to ask for some clarifications regarding the funding of the programme. This country programme is very ambitious and the funding required is enormous. The allocation from the core budget seems to constitute only 3 % of total funds needed. How have you calculated the allocation from the core budget? We are also concerned that there seems to be a considerable funding gap for parts of the programme, especially on the UNDAF outcome nr 1 on Governance. What are the perspectives for raising the funds needed?
Thank you, President.