E te Wahine Rangatira Helen
Ahakoa he wahine o te Ao
He wahine tonu o Aotearoa tuturu
Nga mihi ki a koe
To you Helen and your Chiefly status
Although you are woman of international standing
You are still a woman of Aotearoa, New Zealand
Greetings to you
New Zealand welcomes the new Administrator – Helen Clark and we wish her well for her term as UNDP Administrator. We would also like to acknowledge and thank Assistant Administrator Ad Melkert for his work over the transition period.
New Zealand intends to maintain our current commitments, providing core, untagged, multiyear funding to UNDP in 2009/10 and beyond. The global economic crisis makes it even more imperative that donors provide multiyear pledges in keeping with the principles of Paris, Accra and Monterrey.
We encourage UNDP to continue to sharpen its focus on its core mandate and areas of comparative advantage. Importantly, UNDP should clearly articulate its vision and reduce overlaps with other agencies by focussing on Poverty reduction and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; Democratic governance; Crisis prevention and recovery; Environment and sustainable development, including integrating a gender perspective across these core focus areas. We are pleased to hear that UNDP will be putting even more effort to improving its external communications, to better deliver messages about UNDP’s important work.
UNDP has described climate change as the defining human development issue of our generation. We acknowledge the role to be played by the agency in providing targeted, integrated and appropriate delivery mechanisms for mitigation and adaptation initiatives that support social and economic progress in the most vulnerable developing countries.
We continue to support UN reform and in this regard we are pleased to see that UNDP has made notable achievements towards standards set forth in the Comprehensive Policy Reviews. We strongly support efforts associated with the “Delivering as One” initiative and the Resident Coordinator system. We encourage the agency to continue this work enabling UN agencies to work together to implement internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs.
We would like to acknowledge a recent initiative by UNDP in its role as a co-sponsor of UNAIDS. UNDP is leading an important but challenging piece of work to address gender sensitivities in AIDS responses. As part of this process, UNDP has initiated technical consultations in New York and Geneva focussed on women, girls, gender equality and HIV. We warmly welcome this creative and consultative approach to an urgent issue.
We appreciate the progress that UNDP has made on results based management and strengthening its evaluation systems, which we consider to be improving over time. We encourage UNDP to invest in the professional development of your evaluation staff.
New Zealand’s official development assistance programme is increasingly focussing on supporting sustainable economic development in developing countries, in order to reduce poverty and to contribute to a more secure, equitable and prosperous world. Our new mandate places the Pacific at the forefront of our efforts and the region will receive an increased proportion of New Zealand’s official development assistance.
The Pacific region faces a range of serious and commonly recognized constraints associated with small size, distance to markets, infrastructure and, in some cases, weak governance. We are very conscious that after Sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific region – more specifically Melanesia – is the second area of the world least likely to meet the MDG targets.
UNDP has a long history of involvement in the Pacific where it has grown its regional presence. UNDP has played a key role in innovative joint programming including donor coordination and the creation of “One fund” in Papua New Guinea. The effectiveness of UNDP’s programming could be enhanced by greater cooperation with Pacific regional organisations. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Asia/ Pacific Regional Bureau to enhance a coordinated approach in this vulnerable region.
In conclusion, Mr President, please be assured of New Zealand’s continued commitment and support of UNDP.
Kia ora and thank you.