The head of UNDP Helen Clark said today that ensuring the success of the 2030 Agenda, an ambitious plan which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), remains one of the organisation’s greatest priorities.
The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark said today that ensuring the success of the 2030 Agenda, an ambitious plan which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), remains one of the organisation’s greatest priorities.
“Supporting roll out of the 2030 Agenda is a top priority for UNDP,” said Helen Clark at the opening session of the organisation’s Executive Board meeting in New York, noting that the Agenda is designed to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges over the next decade and a half.
“UNDP has specific thematic expertise to offer, not least around poverty eradication; reduction of inequalities; democratic governance; the environment, energy, and climate change; disaster risk reduction; gender, health; and our work in fragile contexts,” she said.
“We will promote support for programme countries to access finance for sustainable development, and to find the right mix of funding, technology, and assistance to drive national progress on the SDGs,” she added.
Clark said UNDP will work with programme countries to monitor, learn, report and apply lessons learned in SDG implementation, building on the organisation’s experience with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
She noted that UNDP participated in the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul in May.
“We emphasized that to honour the 2030 Agenda’s commitment to ‘leave no one behind’, major efforts must be made to work more effectively across the humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding spheres,” Clark said.
The Commitment to Action, signed by UNDP and seven other agencies in Istanbul, and endorsed by the World Bank and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), commits UNDP to this objective, she added.
She also discussed UNDP’s implementation of its new Strategic Plan and its ongoing reforms to make the organization more effective and efficient.
“Greater focus for UNDP’s work was an objective of the current Strategic Plan. We can now show that our work in programme countries is aligned well with our Strategic Plan, matching intent with action to a much greater extent than before,” she said.
Clark also said that UNDP’s Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the Strategic Plan reaffirms UNDP’s commitment and readiness to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
“Overall, the MTR concludes that UNDP’s institutional backbone is more robust: the organization is more open and transparent; our headquarters have been reorganized successfully; operating costs have reduced significantly; more staff and support services have been located in Regional Hubs closer to the Country Offices they serve; programmes are being designed to higher standards; and monitoring and evaluation have improved.”
“Overall, the MTR shows that investments in boosting institutional performance are having a positive impact on development results,” she added.
Concluding her remarks, Clark said: “We will continue to strive for high quality results from our work and to lead and promote greater coherence and collaboration within the UN development system.”Contact informationAdam Cathro, UNDP, +1 212 906 5326, firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the start of the Syria crisis, Tartous has been one the most stable governorate and is thus a natural refuge for IDPs escaping nearby conflict areas. It is a home to approximately 452,000 IDPs who came mostly from Homs, Hama, Idleb, Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, and Deir-Ez-Zor and reside in rented apartments and shelters.
Khawla is one of those IDPs who used to live with her family in Aleppo governorate in peace before the crisis. Their neighborhood became suddenly under siege and violence and they suffered from malnutrition and bad health conditions as they were unable to meet their basic daily needs of food and water. A year ago, when the conditions in their area became unbearable, they fled to Tartous governorate taking refuge in Al-Kharab area.
“One of my brothers is missing, and the second one has fled out of the country” said Khawla; the 21 year old single women who found herself the sole breadwinner of her family in spite of her young age. She was living in a small apartment with 12 members including the families of her both brothers. “The rent was very expensive and we no longer could afford it. I spent long time searching for a decent work but I had no previous experience” said Khalwa, adding “I never imagined that I’ll see my family in need for the basic things in life such as food, I had to find a job to save my family”.
In response to the dire situation of the IDPs in Tartous, UNDP implemented a mushroom cultivation project to provide job opportunities for IDPs and their host community members and enhance their living conditions. Mushroom cultivation can help reduce vulnerability to poverty and strengthens livelihoods through the generation of a fast yielding and nutritious source of food and a reliable source of income, in addition that it does not require access to land.
Khawla was one of the beneficiaries who joined the project from its early beginning. She is working eight hours per day in growing mushrooms and receiving a monthly wage that has significantly improved her conditions.
“Thanks to this project, I can buy food and clothes for my small brothers’ and help my family to pay the rent of our apartment” she said with a smile, adding “I also learnt new skills and got more experience in growing mushrooms, I feel I’m a productive person and I have more confidence in myself”.
The mushroom cultivating project helped creating 50 job opportunities for IDPs and their host community members, in addition to providing 1690 kg of mushrooms to the local market at reasonable prices.
• UNDP’s work in supporting the major global agendas related to development;
• reforms in the UN development system, and highlight the critical role of the QCPR in this regard;
• UNDP’s finances this year and the outlook for next year;
• our work in response to a range of crises around the world; and
• our commitment to transparency and accountability, quality country programme documents, and an effective evaluation function.
On the global agendas
Successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda is a top priority for UNDP and the entire UN development system. Some of the early successes of our joint work were set out in the UNDG publication ‘The SDGs are Coming to Life – Stories of Country Implementation and UN Support’, which was launched at the High-level Political Forum in July.
Guided by the UN Development Group’s joint approach to SDG implementation, MAPS (Mainstreaming, Acceleration, and Policy Support), UN Country Teams are working to:
• support countries at national request to carry out multi-sector planning for Agenda 2030 implementation and promote coherent action across national and subnational governments;
• strengthen statistical capacities and data disaggregation to monitor SDG progress and support countries with multidimensional poverty assessments to ensure that no one is left behind; and
• raise awareness of the SDGs and leverage partnerships for implementation, including through the UN SDG Action Campaign.
The joint UNDG MAPS approach to SDG implementation can be adapted to all country contexts, including the fragile and conflict-affected. It is heartening to see Somalia mainstreaming the SDGs into its new National Development Plan – its first in more than three decades.
A UNDG side event during this year’s General Assembly will focus on the importance of partnerships for SDG implementation in crises-affected countries. It will feature remarks from Member States, business, civil society, and the Secretary-General.
Partnerships inside and beyond the UN system are central to the contribution the UN development agencies make to SDG implementation.
• We are pursuing innovative development solutions with the UN Data Innovation Lab which connects the UN system with private sector technology leaders and entrepreneurs.
• A multi-stakeholder Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Promoting Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies will be launched during this year’s High Level week of the General Assembly to support meaningful reporting on SDG 16 and its related targets.
On the Paris Agreement on climate change
UNDP is supporting countries to prepare to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This work includes strengthening institutions, designing mitigation and adaptation actions, and improving the monitoring of progress.
A focus on implementation will be critical to the success of COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, in November. All countries – especially those most vulnerable to climate change – must have the technical, financial, and capacity building support they need for effective climate action.
Working with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Adaptation Fund established under the Kyoto Protocol, and other multilateral and bilateral funding sources, UNDP is supporting countries to build clean energy systems, strengthen adaptation, protect forests, and promote zero carbon sustainable development overall. Lessons learned from our work are shared so that support can be built for what works in practice.
Over the next few weeks, the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants and the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III are also high priorities for UNDP.
UNDP is actively contributing to preparations for the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, including to discussions on the root causes of migration and displacement and how to address them; on preparing for and responding to the current large numbers and movements of refugees and migrants; and on advancing joint humanitarian-development solutions to protracted displacement.
The Summit’s outcome – The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants – should be a manifestation of strong political will to address these issues. In following through, UNDP will:
• ensure that addressing migration and displacement issues features in its work to implement the 2030 Agenda;
• support at least thirty programme countries over the next five years to analyze and address the drivers of migration and root causes of forced displacement; and
• work with partners to strengthen the evidence base and data related to large movements of migrants, IDPs, and refugees.
UNDP is also working with UN-Habitat and other members of the UN Task Team on the preparations for Habitat III in Quito.
In the twenty years since Habitat II in Istanbul, the world has witnessed high growth in urban populations. Half of the world’s peoples now live in cities. Many of the associated challenges, and opportunities of urbanization relate directly to UNDP’s mission – including eradicating poverty and tackling inequalities; addressing the needs of marginalized and vulnerable groups; promoting inclusive growth; reducing violent conflict; and contributing to sustainable energy solutions and energy efficiency. The New Urban Agenda being negotiated by Member States promotes a new model of urban development which is based on principles of inclusive and sustainable development.
Delivering together to maximize the UN’s contribution to the 2030 Agenda:
• As I said earlier, the UNDG is delivering on the 2030 Agenda through the common MAPS approach, seeking to make the best use of its collective expertise, and adapting its support to individual country contexts;
• UN Agencies which work on SDG implementation support are preparing for the introduction of a global pooled funding mechanism to support this joined-up approach. This work is led by WFP, UNICEF, and UNDP, and has technical support from the Multi Partner Trust Fund Office;
• Implementation of UNDG’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for UN Country Teams enables us to apply practices and lessons learned from the Delivering as One approach widely;
• At headquarters level across the UNDG we are implementing a Plan of Action to remove the obstacles which currently stand in the way of UN Country Teams delivering together effectively;
• The forty UN Country Teams developing new UNDAFs this year are working under updated guidance which calls for more strategic programme and policy collaboration and coherence across agencies and for common Business Operations Strategies;
• The Resident Co-ordinator system continues to be strengthened. The RC Competency Framework is being reissued; a new performance management system is being introduced; and system-wide cost-sharing for a portion of the costs of the RC system is in place.
• Data collection and analysis on UNCT performance has been significantly improved.
It is important that the new Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) gives the UN development system both the mandate and the support it requires to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. This is an opportunity to build on and accelerate the extensive reform undertaken to date. The objective should be to draw on the distinct comparative advantages of each entity and not try to centralize a diverse system.
In this spirit, the UNDG has made concrete proposals for Member States to consider during the QCPR negotiations. We propose a QCPR which:
• serves as a strategic and dynamic framework to empower and reposition the entire UN development system to maximize its impact;
• endorses a new generation of UNDAFs (UN Development Assistance Frameworks) which facilitate integrated analysis, planning, and results monitoring across the development, humanitarian, peacebuilding, and human rights dimensions of our work at country level. In the spirit of the 2030 Agenda, we have suggested that UNDAFs be renamed “UN Sustainable Development Frameworks”;
• calls for scaling up Delivering as One through full implementation of the SOPs (UNDG’ Standard Operating Procedures) across all UN Country Teams, adapted to country context and with corresponding alignment of agency programme and operational guidelines;
• encourages a shift towards more differentiated country presence relevant to individual country needs;
• facilitates closer operational integration across the system to promote more efficient and cost-effective common operations, including through the mutual recognition of each agencies’ best practices and scaling up the use of integrated service centers; and
• strengthens the Resident Co-ordinator system as the cornerstone of the UN development system’s collective support for the 2030 Agenda.
It is important that RCs are the “best and brightest”, and have the support they need, including sustainable funding. They also need to be empowered as true leaders in strategically positioning the UN development system in each country.
Member State commitment for the financing of the RC system is also appreciated. The UN Secretariat’s contribution has not been backed by the Fifth Committee to date, and some other entities do not pay their share in full.
For its part, UNDP commits to full implementation of the UNDG’s Mutual Accountability Framework, including of the firewall delineated between Resident Co-ordinator and Resident Representative functions. We envisage that authority for the operational management of UNDP Country Offices, including UNDP-specific resource mobilization will be delegated to the Country Director or Deputy Resident Representative where these positions exist.
I envisage that Regional UNDG Teams will oversee a code of conduct which covers RCs and all senior leadership of UNCTs, and will ensure that there is a dispute resolution mechanism which can deal with any alleged breach of the firewall.
Ensuring that the UN development system entities leave old institutional divides behind will require strong support from Member States. We need every player to be a team player.
Donor commitment to predictable, sustainable, and more flexible funding which better incentivizes system-wide collaboration, including more emphasis on using pooled funding instruments, is also critical. Current funding practices can disincentivise collaboration.
As Chair of the UNDG, let me emphasize that the Group stands ready to continue its close engagement with Member States throughout the QCPR process.
I am pleased that UNDP has again received an unqualified audit opinion for its 2015 Financial Statements. The organisation has now received over a decade of clean audit opinions. Building on our strong commitment to sound financial management, we have maintained a positive net asset position on our balance sheet, and achieved regular resources year-end liquidity above the three months threshold required by the Executive Board.
These achievements have been made at the same time as the balance of the organization’s funding has been changing. Overall contributions to UNDP amounted to $4.48 billion in 2015, a drop of five per cent on 2014. Core resources decreased by eleven per cent to $704 million in 2015. This reflected both reduced contributions and foreign exchange losses. Contributions to non-core were down by four per cent.
Current projections for UNDP’s core budget for 2016 point to further reduction. As of end June 2016, we had received 45 per cent of the regular resources projected at approximately $600 million for the year.
This downward trend in regular resources, which also affects a number of other entities in the UNDG, is of concern. Regular resources constitute the pillar of our support to the poorest people and countries. They support UNDP’s investment in accountability, transparency, and quality assurance, and they support the coherence and effectiveness of the United Nations development system. The decline in core funding does constrain our ability to ensure global development effectiveness and make forward-looking, strategic choices and investments.
Notwithstanding the reduction in regular resources, however, UNDP reached its target of an 8.1 per cent management efficiency ratio. Other achievements include the following:
• The proportion of regular resources spent on institutional costs fell, from 42 per cent in 2012-2013 to 38 per cent in 2014-2015. The share of regular resources for programme activities increased from 58 to 62 per cent, in line with the direction called for in the last QCPR.
• Within the smaller institutional budget envelope, the proportion of management costs has fallen significantly from 62 to 49 per cent over the last two biennia. The shares of development effectiveness and United Nations co-ordination activities within the institutional budget have increased (to 21 and 25 per cent, respectively).
Whereas core resources remain the preferred funding channel as the bedrock of UNDP’s support to countries and to UN co-ordination, the new Funding Windows, launched earlier this year, represent the second best option to core.
The objective of the new Funding Windows is to improve the flexibility and quality of non-core funding to UNDP. We are grateful for the contributions and pledges already received from Luxembourg, Switzerland, Slovakia, Republic of Korea, and Sweden, and are pleased that other partners have also expressed interest in contributing.
UNDP mobilizes resources from a very broad range of partners. In 2015, donor country governments continued to fund a great deal of UNDP’s work, directly contributing 45 per cent of total funding. Twenty-one per cent of our funding came from programme country governments; twenty per cent from vertical funds; six per cent from UN pooled funds; five per cent from the European Union; and three per cent from the private sector, IFIs, and others.
It is noteworthy that contributions from programme country governments and vertical funds have increased since 2010, by 14 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. This points both to the growing diversification of our funding base and to the relevance of our work at country level.
In this context, I am pleased to say that last month UNDP and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) signed an Accreditation Master Agreement, strengthening our partnership in support of climate change adaptation and mitigation. To date the GCF Board has approved six projects backed by UNDP – in Armenia, Malawi, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Tuvalu, and Viet Nam. Many more proposals are in the pipeline. UNDP also partners with GCF to strengthen national level capacities to access large-scale climate finance.
In total, UNDP expects to receive close to $2 billion from the vertical environment funds and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the 2016-2018 period. This speaks to UNDP’s efforts to support countries to design, combine, and sequence financial instruments to catalyse investments in sustainable development.
A firm commitment to transparency and accountability
UNDP has been a member of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) since its inception in 2008. We have led outreach efforts with partner countries and UN agencies to champion transparency and accountability.
We continue to improve the quantity and quality of UNDP’s published information at all levels of the organization. UNDP’s online portal [open.undp.org] allows open and comprehensive public access to data on over four thousand UNDP projects, and publishes over $5.2 billion in project data.
As a result, UNDP was again this year ranked first in the Aid Transparency Index out of the 46 major institutions evaluated worldwide.
By working in the open and by publishing information about how UNDP’s resources are spent, we strengthen our accountability to Member States and the partners we support. Agenda 2030 calls for stronger partnerships, and UNDP views transparency of development activities as a critical ingredient of sustaining meaningful partnerships based on mutual trust.
UNDP’s work in response to challenging circumstances
I am most grateful to the Governments of Somalia, Kenya, and Cameroon for hosting me over the past two weeks. In each, I was able to see the work of UNDP and the wider UNCTs in response to challenging situations.
In Somalia UNDP is working hard in support of the Federal Government’s Vision 2016 and the country’s peace- and state- building agenda. We are supporting the electoral process which is underway. This is a major milestone, and, together with the constitutional review and the state formation process, takes Somalia’s transition forward. It is noteworthy that the electoral process has a thirty per cent target for women’s representation. Another important milestone for Somalia is the preparation of its new National Development Plan. UNDP has supported its development, and is poised to support its implementation.
In Kenya, I traveled to Moyale in Marsabit County on the border with Ethiopia. There the two Governments have come together to support development on both sides of the border. This area has seen significant localized conflict in recent years. The two UN Country Teams are fully supporting the government-led efforts to bring peace and development to the area.
In Cameroon, I traveled to the Far North of the country where the Boko Haram conflict has caused loss of life and displacement. I applaud the efforts of the UN agencies and their partners to respond to the needs of host communities, around 200,000 internally displaced people, and more than 70,000 Nigerian refugees. At the Government’s request, the UN, World Bank, and European Union will soon begin a full needs assessment for recovery. Meanwhile, I would urge partners to support the needs of host communities and the displaced and refugees. In the IDP camp I visited, people were very worried about the lack of potable water, schooling for children, health care, and livelihoods.
In Syria, UNDP works under the new Country Programme approved by the Board in January. It has a strong focus on strengthening livelihoods for the most vulnerable and on rehabilitation and recovery. We estimate that more than two million people benefited – directly and indirectly – from UNDP’s work in the first half of this year.
In Jordan, we continue to build resilience through strengthening livelihoods and supporting delivery of basic services – for example, through the establishment of micro businesses, vocational training, and emergency employment for refugees and host communities. Over 1,500 young men and women are targeted for livelihoods support this year. UNDP is also working with stakeholders on measures to prevent violent extremism.
The first Country Programme Document for Lebanon since the start of the Syria crisis will be presented at this Board meeting. It embraces UNDP’s commitment to build the resilience of host communities and strengthen national institutions in response to employment, service delivery, and environmental management needs.
Through a pioneering funding facility, UNDP is supporting the Government of Iraq to stabilize areas newly freed from ISIL control. Since June last year, we have implemented 120 public infrastructure projects in ten such cities and districts, in fast time and at low cost. Over the past twelve months, hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from this work as they return to their homes, often after years of displacement. Hundreds of small businesses have received grants to get established. Electricity grids have been re-established; police stations, schools, pharmacies, and health centres have re-opened; and thousands of jobs have been created. UNDP is also promoting the role of civil society and communities in national reconciliation.
In Libya, the UNDP Stabilization Facility launched in April will help rehabilitate damaged infrastructure like clinics, hospitals, water facilities, and power stations. UNDP will support local businesses to provide essential services in conflict-affected communities. These initiatives will support the ongoing political process.
In Yemen, UNDP’s work continues at the community level where we are supporting basic services delivery, restoration of livelihoods, and job creation. A new emergency programme, in partnership with the World Bank, will create more than 900,000 work days benefiting over 57,000 families. As a result, around 380,000 Yemenis in conflict affected areas will be able to access basic services such as water.
In the Central African Republic (CAR), UNDP is promoting social cohesion, security and justice, youth employment, and state administration reform. The recent recovery assessment, jointly conducted by the UN, the World Bank and the EU, provides an important input into the current development of a three year National Stabilization Plan. The Plan will be presented at a donor conference, scheduled for 17 November in Brussels, for which UNDP is supporting the Government to prepare.
The outbreak of conflict again in Juba, South Sudan, in July was yet another setback to implementation of the peace agreement there. It exacerbated the political, economic, and social crises afflicting the young nation, with risks of spill
Source: Biography – Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark Biography of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme Helen Clark became the Administrator of the U…
Biography of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme on 17 April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.
Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served for nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving three successive terms from 1999 – 2008. Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social and cultural spheres. Under her leadership, New Zealand achieved significant economic growth, low levels of unemployment, and high levels of investment in education and health, and in the well-being of families and older citizens. She and her government prioritized reconciliation and the settlement of historical grievances with New Zealand’s indigenous people and the development of an inclusive multicultural and multi-faith society.
Helen Clark advocated strongly for New Zealand’s comprehensive programme on sustainability and for tackling the problems of climate change. Her objectives have been to establish New Zealand as being among the world’s leading nations in dealing with these challenges. Helen Clark was also an active leader of her country’s foreign relations and policies, engaging in a wide range of international issues. As Prime Minister, Helen Clark was a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.
Helen Clark held ministerial responsibility during her nine years as Prime Minister for New Zealand’s intelligence agencies and for the portfolio of arts, culture and heritage. She has seen the promotion of this latter portfolio as important in expressing the unique identity of her nation in a positive way.
Helen Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. First elected to Parliament in 1981, Helen Clark was re-elected to her multicultural Auckland constituency for the tenth time in November 2008. Earlier in her career, she chaired Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
Between 1987 and 1990, she was a Minister responsible for first, the portfolios of Conservation and Housing, and then Health and Labour. She was Deputy Prime Minister between August 1989 and November 1990. From that date until December 1993 she served as Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and then as Leader of the Opposition until winning the election in November 1999.
Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland. She graduated with a BA in 1971 and an MA with First Class Honours in 1974. She is married to Peter Davis, a Professor at Auckland University.
Post of the UNDP Administrator
The UNDP Administrator is appointed by the Secretary-General and confirmed by the General Assembly for a term of four years. Paul G. Hoffman was appointed as the first Administrator of UNDP in 1966 and served until retirement in 1972. David Owen, who led UNDP’s predecessor organization, the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance (EPTA), was appointed as Mr. Hoffman’s Co-Administrator. Rudolph A. Peterson was appointed Administrator in 1972 followed by Bradford Morse in 1976; William H. Draper lll, 1986; James Gustave Speth, 1993 to 30 June 1999; Mark Malloch Brown, 1999-2005; and Kemal Derviş, 2005-2009.