Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN in New York

česky  english 

Advanced search

Article notification Print Decrease font size Increase font size

UNDP - Statements in 1999

                                   

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Galuska, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on item 2 Financial, Budgetary and Administrative matters of UNDP
    New York, September 1999

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on item 6 Financial, Budgetary and Administrative matters of UNFPA
    New York, September 1999

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Galuska, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations
    New York, September 13, 1999

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Field Visit to Brazil
    New York, June 22, 1999

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Information and Communication Strategy
    New York, June 16, 1999

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Departure of Mr. Gus Speth as Administrator of UNDP
    New York, June 15, 1999

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Annual Report of the Administrator for 1998
    New York, June 14, 1999

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Galuska, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations
    New York, April 16, 1999

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on Reports to the Economic and Social Council
    New York, April 19, 1999

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on UNFPA Resource Mobilization
    New York, April 19, 1999

  • Introductory Remarks on the Field Visit to the Republic of South Africa by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Galuska, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations
    New York, January 29, 1999

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Repulic to the United Nations on the Successor Programming Arrangements
    New York, January 27, 1999

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Multi-year Funding Framework
    New York, January 28, 1999


ON ITEM 6, FINANCIAL, BUDGETARY AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS OF UNFPA

Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Sadik for the excellent introductory remarks on these important issues of the current session. Let me also greatly appreciate the remarkable work which has been done by UNFPA staff in preparing all the comprehensive documents for this Item.

The Czech delegation would like to briefly comment on the Estimates for the Biennial Support Budget for 2000-2001 and the Technical Advisory Programme.

As regards to the biennial support budget, the Czech delegation is ready to approve the proposed support budget for 2000 - 2001 which has been for the first time prepared in accordance with the common format and guidelines on the harmonized presentation of budgets of UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF. We are pleased to see that even with limited resources, UNFPA is continuing to pursue its strategic priorities. It is worth mentioning that the increase in mandatory cost, such as for instance inflation and rental cost, are supposed to be offset by obtaining efficiencies from cost saving measures that include shorter missions, restrictions in travel expenditures and replacement of equipment, reductions in consultancies and publications. In addition, it is proposed to strengthen the Fund´s country office network by 46 new local posts in countries where understaffing situation and huge demands for assistance have been identified. 5 of those new locally recruited posts are to be assigned to 3 new support offices, 2 of them in countries in transition - Ukraine and Bosna-Herzegovina. It is greatly appreciated that UNFPA is taking action in responding to an urgent demand from some European countries.

When it comes to the Technical advisory programme, the Czech delegation endorses the proposed new TAP arrangements for 2000 - 2003. It is clear from the report of UNFPA Executive Director, that technical advisory services, provided so far by the Country support teams, have contributed to national capacity building while aiming at training, policy and programme development and implementation, advocacy etc. The system currently consists of eight regional country teams made up of over 150 technical specialists with differing skills in areas of reproductive health, population and development strategies. Unfortunately, none of them has been so far specifically tailored for a rather high demand for assistance in the countries with economies in transition.

The reproductive health situation in some European and Asian countries with economies in transition has become a cause of great concern. There is a heavy reliance of many women on abortion as a less costly birth control method, low to moderate contraceptive prevalence rates due to several factors, including lack of information and low standards of living. Rapid increase in sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS takes also place in many countries.

On the demographic front, many countries in the region are experiencing unprecedented demographic change, caused mainly by low birthrates and huge migration flows. After decades of strict government control over population movements, the deterioration of the socio-economic situation and the drastic drop in living standards have resulted in high rate of both temporary and permanent emigration for economic reasons. Strengthening nationalism and ethnic conflicts have also contributed to the population migration between countries in the region.

Therefore, we warmly welcome the proposal to establish a new Country advisory team that would assist UNFPA, in collaboration with governments of the region, to address the priority issues noted above in a more specific and effective manner. It is appreciated particularly in taking into consideration that the existing sources of support on country levels have remained very limited over the past few years, in spite of the urgently growing needs in our region. In order to establish favorable preconditions for cost-effectiveness, let me suggest the Regional Center of UNDP in Bratislava be considered for the location of the new Country advisory team.

Before I conclude my statement, I would like to draw your attention to an incorrect piece of information provided in the Table 3b of Financial review showing that the Czech Republic has not paid its contribution in 1998. Let me assure the Executive Board that our pledges for 1998 were paid in due time, e.g. by the end of June 1998. It is likely that an administrative omission, maybe on our part, prevented UNFPA from taking it into account. It is our pleasure to inform you that the Czech contribution for this year amounting over 70 thousand US dollars is coming on these days.

Thank you Mr. President.


ON ITEM 2 FINANCIAL, BUDGETARY AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS OF UNDP

Mr. President,

having joined you in welcoming Mr. Mark Malloch Brown at the beginning of today´s meeting, I should like to thank now the Administrator for the excellent presentation of his vision of the future of UNDP and for introductory remarks on the most crucial issues of the current session - the annual review of the financial situation, budget estimates for the biennium 2000-2001 and multi-year funding framework. Let me also greatly appreciate the remarkable work which has been done by UNDP Secretariat in preparing all the comprehensive documents for this Item and in organizing extensive informal consultations that proved to be very useful, particularly in terms of sharing views on the topic and clarifying the new concept of multi-year funding framework. The progress achieved in building up the UNDP result-based management as described in the documents on MYFF is impressive.

First of all, the Czech delegation would like to briefly comment on the issue of the financial situation of UNDP. We keep our eyes on the continuing decline in regular resources with growing concern. Our concern is growing not only because we care for UNDP but particularly because we worry about the future of the United Nations operational activities, in which UNDP is the key player.

We have expressed on several occasions, most recently at the ECOSOC substantial session in July, that the Czech Republic attaches great importance to the role of the United Nations in multilateral development assistance, primarily due to increasing emphasis given to the capacity building for sustainable development. Our delegation fully endorses the fact that UNDP, in countries in transition, has focused on the difficult balance between economic reforms and the need for a "Credible State", where the latter, while performing important functions in support of market development, should also engage itself in creating legal structures, regulatory frameworks and conducive environment for sustainable human development. It is warmly welcomed that UNDP, in cooperation with Bretton Woods Institutions, pays more attention to a new role of government in globalization, setting up standards for good governance, enabling and transparent environment for domestic private sector and foreign direct investments as well as long-term development policies. We believe that this kind of development assistance could be also helpful in preventing the occurrence of social upheavals, military conflicts and huge migrations that have been arising at rather high frequency throughout the world over the recent years. We are deeply convinced that, in the view of the growing need for capacity building and good governance, the preventive role of United Nations would be profoundly weakened unless substantial increase in financial resources for UNDP is achieved.

On the other hand, it is more obvious now than it has ever been before that there is no entitlement for multilateral development assistance. More than ever before, UNDP has to provide a clear picture of what areas it is engaged in, what are the specific objectives of its involvement and what outcomes are intended to be achieved. Such a strategic vision of the organization is needed both for UNDP management, higher quality of its services, stronger accountability as well as for the information of donor countries in terms of deeper insight, transparency and bigger credibility of UNDP.

From this point of view, the Czech delegation welcomes the multi-year funding framework as a timely and practical instrument which can make management of UNDP more efficient, result-oriented in strategic terms and more attractive for donor countries, Bretton Woods Institutions as well as for private sector. The fact that the MYFF has been developed in close cooperation of field offices and headquarters provides remarkable opportunities not only for UNDP itself but also for programme countries. In our view, programme countries can benefit from the strategic result frameworks, which represent specific building blocks of MYFF on the country level, for the formulation of their own development strategies..

We also endorse the preliminary set of proposed indicators with understanding that further tuning up is supposed to be carried out in participatory and continuous manner. It is generally recognized that it is extremely difficult to specify targeted outcomes of development assistance and simultaneously to devise indicators for measurement of progress in social development. But there is no other way to tackle this problem. Without setting outcomes and establishing indicators, despite their immaturity and need for cultivating, no result-oriented management can be put in place. We greatly appreciate enormous effort and enthusiasm which has been devoted by UNDP Staff to this extremely demanding exercise in a rather unknown field. A pioneering role that is being undertaken by UNDP in this regard deserves a great credit.

In conclusion, let me express our strong support to the proposed concept of MYFF. We believe that it will have a profound impact on UNDP performance in terms of further rationalization of work and policy guidance on strategic level. I should like to wish good luck and continuing dynamism to UNDP Secretariat under the leadership of the new Administrator.

Thank you Mr. President.


Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Galuska on Item 2, Financial, Budgetary and administrative matters of UNDP

Mr. President,

having joined you tacitly in welcoming Mr. Mark Malloch Brown at the beginning of today´s meeting, I should like to thank now the Administrator for the excellent presentation of his vision of the future of UNDP and for introductory remarks on the most crucial issues of the current session - the annual review of the financial situation, budget estimates for the biennium 2000-2001 and multi-year funding framework. Let me also greatly appreciate the remarkable work which has been done by UNDP Secretariat in preparing all the comprehensive documents for this Item and in organizing extensive informal consultations that proved to be very useful, particularly in terms of sharing views on the topic and clarifying the new concept of multi-year funding framework. The progress achieved in building up the UNDP result-based management as described in the documents on MYFF is impressive.

First of all, the Czech delegation would like to briefly comment on the issue of the financial situation of UNDP. We keep our eyes on the continuing decline in regular resources with growing concern. Our concern is growing not only because we care for UNDP but particularly because we worry about the future of the United Nations operational activities, in which UNDP is the key player.

We have expressed on several occasions, most recently at the ECOSOC substantial session in July, that the Czech Republic attaches great importance to the role of the United Nations in multilateral development assistance, primarily due to increasing emphasis given to the capacity building for sustainable development. Our delegation fully endorses the fact that UNDP, in countries in transition, has focused on the difficult balance between economic reforms and the need for a "Credible State", where the latter, while performing important functions in support of market development, should also engage itself in creating legal structures, regulatory frameworks and conducive environment for sustainable human development. It is warmly welcomed that UNDP, in cooperation with Bretton Woods Institutions, pays more attention to a new role of government in globalization, setting up standards for good governance, enabling and transparent environment for domestic private sector and foreign direct investments as well as long-term development policies. We believe that this kind of development assistance could be also helpful in preventing the occurrence of social upheavals, military conflicts and huge migrations that have been arising at rather high frequency throughout the world over the recent years. We are deeply convinced that, in the view of the growing need for capacity building and good governance, the preventive role of United Nations would be profoundly weakened unless substantial increase in financial resources for UNDP is achieved.

On the other hand, it is more obvious now than it has ever been before that there is no entitlement for multilateral development assistance. More than ever before, UNDP has to provide a clear picture of what areas it is engaged in, what are the specific objectives of its involvement and what outcomes are intended to be achieved. Such a strategic vision of the organization is needed both for UNDP management, higher quality of its services, stronger accountability as well as for the information of donor countries in terms of deeper insight, transparency and bigger credibility of UNDP.

From this point of view, the Czech delegation welcomes the multi-year funding framework as a timely and practical instrument which can make management of UNDP more efficient, result-oriented in strategic terms and more attractive for donor countries, Bretton Woods Institutions as well as for private sector. The fact that the MYFF has been developed in close cooperation of field offices and headquarters provides remarkable opportunities not only for UNDP itself but also for programme countries. In our view, programme countries can benefit from the strategic result frameworks, which represent specific building blocks of MYFF on the country level, for the formulation of their own development strategies..

We also endorse the preliminary set of proposed indicators with understanding that further tuning up is supposed to be carried out in participatory and continuous manner. It is generally recognized that it is extremely difficult to specify targeted outcomes of development assistance and simultaneously to devise indicators for measurement of progress in social development. But there is no other way to tackle this problem. Without setting outcomes and establishing indicators, despite their immaturity and need for cultivating, no result-oriented management can be put in place. We greatly appreciate enormous effort and enthusiasm which has been devoted by UNDP Staff to this extremely demanding exercise in a rather unknown field. A pioneering role that is being undertaken by UNDP in this regard deserves a great credit.

In conclusion, let me express our strong support to the proposed concept of MYFF. We believe that it will have a profound impact on UNDP performance in terms of further rationalization of work and policy guidance on strategic level. I should like to wish good luck and continuing dynamism to UNDP Secretariat under the leadership of the new Administrator.

Thank you Mr. President.


Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Field Visit to Brazil

Madam President,

I also was among those lucky delegates who participated in the field visit to Brazil. Let me briefly share with you my observations and understanding of what we were shown over there.

1. Brazil is a country of an extreme diversity and inequity. Although the country as a whole approaches 5000 US dollars GNP per capita level, there is still a lot of need to combat deep and large poverty and social exclusion.

2. While international development assistance has been gradually phased out, multilateral development loans have become key financial resource for Brazilian government to accommodate numerous development needs, among others those in social sector development. The largest development loans come to Brazil from Inter-american Development Bank and the World Bank with annual disbursement totaling 3.1 bil. USD. Surprisingly, most those loans go nowadays in Brazil to social sector development which has always been a UN domain.

3. Recognizing previously attained expertise of UNDP in different areas of SHD, its respected managerial skills and institutional background, Brazilian government has continued to implement projects in the field of SHD in the collaboration with its traditional partner - UNDP, regardless the projects are financed by the government using also loans from multilateral development banks.

4. In such a way, around 8 % of IDB´s and WB´s loans provided to Brazil is now disbursed with the help of UNDP CO. Its major role is in designing projects, facilitating implementation, bringing experienced resource people and transparent procurement and recruitment procedures into delivery. We saw a valuable operational partnership of UNDP and development banks in the field. In my view, it is exactly what senior managers of WB were talking about a week ago when they were clarifying what WB would expect from cooperation with UNDP - operational partnership based on comparative advantages, credibility and professionalism.

5. It was amazing to see how huge programme had been built up on the basis of the tiny core resources allocated by UNDP to Brazil. UNDP core resources created less than half percent of the total programme delivered by UNDP in 1998. In other words, the impact on promotion of SHD has been successfully multiplied by mobilizing extra-budgetary resources.

6. We found that all visited projects had been well designed within the UNDP mandate bringing a lot of benefit to the country and its SHD. That is why, UNDP presence should be preserved in the coming years. In our view, an early exit would harm the enormous governmental efforts to enhance SHD and the outstanding reputation UNDP enjoys throughout Brazil. What could be perhaps considered already now is a UNDP´s exit strategy in financial terms but not in physical terms. It might be desired to start to think about a new format which would enable CO in Brazil to work fully at its own expenses, using a kind of revolving fund and at the same time remaining official part of UNDP commanded by UNDP HQ.

7. We also found that UNDP role in net contributor countries is unique and rather different from that in recipient countries. A question arises, whether specific management and financial arrangements should not be established for NCC´s as a special category of cooperating countries. As stated on Friday, UNDP is neither the funder nor the coordinator of UN technical assistance in NCC´s like Brazil - it cannot be because the UN assistance is being phased out. But it can be a very vigorous and highly valued partner in development cooperation. Does EB want to support development cooperation or just development assistance? Should NCC´s be part of the UN endeavour to promote development? These are the key questions we should put clear answers to. If the answer is yes, we should find a suitable management and financial format for NCC´s.

Finally, let me extend my appreciation of the work which has been done by UNDP CO in Brazil and thanks for the warm hospitality provided by Brazilian government, local authorities as well as CO. Many my thanks also go to the Secretariat for the excellent organization and to my co-rapporteur David Searby who did most of the report - drafting.

Thank you, Madam President.


Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Information and Communication Strategy

Mr. President,

The Czech delegation greatly appreciates the comprehensive report on the Corporate Communication and Advocacy Strategy and its informative presentation. The report provides us an overall analysis of UNDP efforts, achievements and challenges in very well structured and focused manner.

We learnt with satisfaction that UNDP continues to take necessary steps towards becoming more extroverted organization raising its visibility. We fully endorse that increasing public awareness and understanding of what UNDP does is an extremely important task for the whole UNDP.

Despite the remarkable progress in many areas as shown in the report, there is still a lot to be done, particularly in the field of cooperation with media in trying to approach general public. We would like to see more articles in ordinary newspapers and journals and more coverage on TV as some EB members witnessed during the field visit to Lebanon last year. We also would like to encourage UNDP to further expand use of Web sites on Internet for UNDP advocacy.

As many other delegations mentioned before me, we are aware of the cost implications of the comprehensive communication strategy. We are dealing here with dilemma whether to spend some funds on communication and advocacy or better to spend them on assistance itself. In our view, the better the product is requested, the more funds are needed. Therefore my delegation suggests to explore all possibilities for cooperation with private sector to increase publicity of UNDP.

Thank you, Mr. President.


Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Departure of Mr. Gus Speth as Administrator of UNDP

Mr. President,

Speaking on behalf of the group of Eastern European countries, I would like to say few words on the occasion of the departure of Mr. James Gus Speth as Administrator of UNDP.

As we all know, Mr. Speth has headed the UNDP for the last six years. Those six years were full of fundamental changes and continuous reform. Among the most crucial changes that occurred during that period were the downward turn and continuous decline in core resources. At the same time, a substantial reform process was under way in UNDP with the aim to increase its impact, transparency, cost-effectiveness and efficiency. In addition to that, the entire UN reform process influenced remarkably UNDP and its role in the UN system and international development cooperation.

In the dynamicly changing and challenging environment, Administrator Gus Speth steered the UNDP and its operations with his substantive strategic vision taking full advantage of accumulated knowledge and technical expertise of UNDP staff both in the headquarters and the field. He was the introducer and enthusiastic proponent of the concept of sustainable human development. He, with support of UNDP EB, was the key designer of the Change Management reforming UNDP for the next millennium. It has been Gus Speth who kept establishing new partnerships in order to improve UNDP performance promoting the role of UNDP through resident coordinator system within UN and advocating the importance of UN development assistance outside UN.

In highlighting some of Mr. Speth´s achievements, I would like to point out that there is one which truly marked the whole period making UNDP a better known and more visible and valued organization around the world. It is, in our view, the production of tens of national human development reports through which the concept of sustainable human development has been successfully disseminated. Gus Speth´s leadership in this endeavor was fully recognized and widely responded. For instance, in our region all countries have produced every year their National Human Development Reports for the benefit of their policy - makers and all people.

For many of our group´s countries, the term of Mr. Speth´s leadership was marked with such a profound phenomena as recognition of specific status of countries with economies in transition. It enabled them to legitimately take their place in the community of programme countries and contribute in their chapacities to the multifascetted experience of universal activities of UNDP for the benefit of all interested countries.

Mr. Speth,

Before we say good-bye to you, I would like to express, on behalf of all countries from our group, our thanks and sincere appreciation for your extraordinary dedication, hard work and wise leadership that you have provided throughout the entire term of your being UNDP Administrator.

We have particularly valued your understanding for individual countries concerns and your respect for equal treatment of individual regions.

We wish you all the best in your new career at the Yale University which, we believe, will be as successful and fruitful as the one you have just completed with UNDP.

Thank you, Mr. President


Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Annual Report of the Administrator for 1998

Mr. President,

Like on each previous Annual session, we are here today to comment on the Annual report of the Administrator for the last year. Like every year we deal with consideration of the work done in the previous year by the UNDP EB, headquarters, country offices and Administrator. But this year´s consideration is very special in one respect - it is the last Annual report introduced by Administrator James Gus Speth who has headed UNDP for the last six years.

I cannot avoid looking shortly back at UNDP at the time when it was taken over by Administrator Gus Speth. How did UNDP perform at that time? Without aiming at any kind of a complex assessment, let me just briefly remind one key feature of UNDP performance. Comparing the total expenditures on UNDP field programme activities in 1998 and 1992, we see that the total expenditures, including the expenditures of funds and programmes administered by UNDP, almost doubled within the period of the last six years, e.g. from 1.16 bil. dollars in 1992 to 2.13 bil. dollars in 1998. Although the increase in programme expenditures of funds and programmes administered by UNDP were bigger than those of UNDP itself, the progress made in UNDP performance is enormous. Specially, when we take into account the continuous decline in core contributions that produced considerable constrains, the steady growth in UNDP field activities, in its efficiency and effectiveness deserves an extraordinary credit.

Coming back to the year 1998, we can see achievements that represent a high-water mark of the recent UNDP performance. In the Annual report before us, we can find a lot of evidence. UNDP continued to respond flexibly to varied development needs and emerging challenges at country, region as well as global levels in the rapidly changing world. In the far-reaching globalization processes, national capacity building for good governance was recognized as a prerequisite for poverty eradication and sustainable human development. Like in other regions, in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the demand for UNDP advise and capacity development in the field of governance together with the demand from countries in special development situation has been increasing and it is supposed to grow also in the future.

That is why, the Czech delegation highly values the achievements made in the field of funding strategy. We were supportive to the idea to establish the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on UNDP Funding Strategy at the beginning of 1998. UNDP in partnership with donor and programme countries organized intensive discussions throughout 1998 which resulted in the landmark decisions that paved the way towards the multi-year funding framework and the new management approach based on interlinkages between resources and results.

The Czech delegation also appreciates all kinds of old and new partnerships that were employed in 1998 to accomplish numerous development goals and to improve efficiency of development assistance. We regard the arising partnership with the World Bank and regional development banks in implementing development programmes the most encouraging a powerful tool for better coordination and implementation of development assistance.

There are many other positive outcomes of 1998 that the Czech delegation attaches great importance to. Among them there is still one I would like to mention. In our view, UNDP has done an unparallelled progress in streamlining administrative and financial management. Simplification of forms and procedures for internal financial flows and financial reporting makes UNDP programming and programme implementation much smoother and much more efficient process. It is not only the new nicely thin manual mentioned by Administrator in the morning, but it is also, for instance, replacement of previously required three comprehensive forms by one simple form on quarterly financial report and many other small and extensive technical improvements.

Let me conclude with congratulation to Administrator for all the successful actions taken in 1998 as well as within 6 years of his stewardship of UNDP.

Thank you, Mr. President.


Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Galuska, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations

Mr. President,

At the beginning, let me point out that the Czech Republic attaches great importance to UNDP activities as they help many countries around the world develop their own capacities for development. Let me also express our growing concern about the continuing decline in UNDP core resources producing a negative impact on UNDP effectiveness at the country level.

The Czech Republic has experienced such a situation in recent years. About three years ago, the Czech government realized that there was one issue which was extremely important for the whole region of Central and Eastern Europe e.g., decentralized governance, and took decision to support a UNDP regional programme on Democracy, Governance and Participation. We came up with a concrete project but because of lack of funds for regional projects at that time and lack of predictability of funds generally, launching of the project was postponed several times. In an attempt to give a starting impetus to the project, we finally decided to decrease our UNDP core contribution in 1999 and try to support the regional project directly. As you can see from the history of our payments, there is a decrease in voluntary contribution this year. The decrease was also partially caused by changes in the exchange rate in favor of US dollars.

Even though the Czech Republic is still facing some of the transitional challenges, including a recent decrease in GDP per capita, it is ready to participate in an attempt to reverse the downward trend in core funding.

It is, therefore, my pleasure to advise you that the Czech government intends to increase our core contribution by about 33% in the year 2000 and by further 11% in 2001 subject to Parliamentary approval. As far as the schedule of payments is concerned, all the voluntary contributions of the Czech Republic to UNDP will be paid every year by the end of April.

Taking this opportunity, I would also like to appreciate the important work which has been done in developing new concept of the multi-year funding framework which, I believe, will bring UNDP´s funding back on the upward track.

Thank you, Mr. President.


Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on Reports to the Economic and Social Council

Mr. President,

As other delegations before me, I would like to thank the UNDP Administrator and UNFPA Executive Director for their clear introductory statements to the Reports to the Economic and Social Council. Let me also appreciate the high informative value of both reports which although being rather concise documents as requested by the Bureau of UNDP, they are extremely comprehensive and well focused.

The documents contain a substantive information on what has been done in implementing the reform programme of the Secretary General and the provisions of the triennial comprehensive policy review, the follow-up to major United Nations conferences as well as the follow-up to the agreed conclusions of the humanitarian segment of the last ECOSOC session. The Czech delegation recognizes that the achievements reached in 1998 are truly remarkable and generally agrees with the recommendations to be transmitted to the ECOSOC together with comments coming out of this deliberation.

My comments relate to two issues from Section D: cooperation with the World Bank in programming and Common premises and services.

It has already been some time since the UNDAF was introduced. There has been considerable progress in developing and piloting the UNDAF in many countries. But certain aspects of the UNDAF remain still unresolved, as shown in the report of UNFPA in par. 8. We agree with UNFPA that those aspects will require continued monitoring and some simplification in practical terms. Nevertheless, the UNDAF should certainly become an effective tool to achieve greater programme focus, coherence and collaboration among UN development bodies in developing countries.

On the other hand, the World Bank has recently announced that its comprehensive development framework is being piloted in over 10 countries. The goal of CDF is distinct from that of the UNDAF. While the UNDAF aims at closer coordination of UN development assistance to a particular country, CDF is described as a broad, country-led and country-owned development strategy. But they both are very close to each other, better to say there might be or should be considerable overlaps.

Nevertheless, neither the UNDAF nor the CDF has originally been consulted with the authors of the other framework and both instruments have been developed quite separately without considering the other instrument. We, therefore, strongly support the conclusion put forward in the UNDP report that it is extremely important to ensure complementarity between these two new frameworks. We see it as a first step to regular mutual consultation on programming and effective cooperation on the country level. The Czech delegation greatly appreciates the efforts made by UNDG in initiating exploratory consultations with the World Bank on this issue and encourages UNDG to continue in pursuing such an arrangement that would ensure the complementarity and collaborative co-existence of both frameworks.

As the Common premises and services are concerned, the Czech delegation has always been supportive to the idea of the common UN House. We like the idea not only because it would lead to overall cost-savings, particularly in the long-run, but also because of a potential enhanced collaboration between UN bodies accommodated in one house. It is understandable that initial costs might prevail savings in a short period of time. In the longer term, however, when also cost-savings from common services are taken into account, a UN House must prove its cost-effectiveness in comparison with more premises in place.

It was surprising for our delegation to find out that even where the establishment of common premises is not feasible, there may still be wide scope for common or shared services as stated in par. 32 of UNDP report. I d rather say that without a common UN House, no cost-savings on common services could be achieved. We would appreciate getting more details on what common services are being considered for locally dispersed premises and how it can influence effectiveness of country offices.

Having in mind that resident coordinators bear an additional workload coming from their UN coordinating role, our view is that the Executive Board should carefully consider any measure which could potentially worsen their working conditions or bring even bigger burden for the country offices.

Finally, let me conclude with congratulations to both Secretariats for the work done in the connection with the reports we have in front of us.

Thank you Mr. President.


Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on UNFPA Resource Mobilization

Mr. President,

Let me join other delegations in congratulating to UNFPA Secretariat for development and presentation of the concept of Multi-Year Funding Framework (MYFF) in the form we have in front of us. My delegation also appreciates the consultations which have been provided for us in the recent months.

Let me in my brief intervention express our delegation´s full satisfaction with the scope and remarkable outcome of the work which has been done so far. We highly value the applied approach based on resource - result orientation. We are looking forward to further fine-tuning of indicators and other still open elements of MYFF.

The Czech delegation attaches special importance to the time-frame of the preparation of MYFF. We particularly welcome the UNFPA´s goal to introduce the first MYFF in January 2000 so that first UNFPA funding session could be held in April 2000 together with the funding session of UNDP. It´ll be another step to deeper harmonization of UNDP and UNFPA funding and budgeting processes.

In this connection, let me support the proposal made by distinguished delegates from Canada and Sweden to organize an interim informal briefing on the progress made by August during 3rd Executive Board session in September. I believe that it would help us get some up-dated information about further development of specific details of MYFF and share our views on them before the official introduction of MYFF in January 2000.

Finally, I´d like to confirm that the Czech Republic is going to continue to support UNFPA activities in the years to come at least at the extent provided so far. Our voluntary contribution for 1999 will be paid by the end of April.

Thank you Mr. President.


Introductory Remarks on the Field Visit to the Republic of South Africa by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Galuska, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations

Mr. President,

It is my pleasure to introduce today to the Board the Mission Report on the field visit to the Republic of South Africa which occurred in early August last year. In doing so I will provide a summary of findings, details of which are contained in document DP/1998/CPR.15 from August 24, 1998.

The UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board mission consisted of representatives from the following Board members: Brazil, the Czech Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Jamaica, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Norway , the Russian Federation, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. The mission was accompanied by Mr. Zahir Jamal, from the Office of the UNDP Administrator.

The mission focused its attention on 6 main topics and accordingly divided the report into chapters: The role of UNDP, The role of UNFPA, The United Nations in South Africa, Strategic Partnerships, Strategic Interventions and Management and Administration.

1. The role of UNDP

The mission has found that the UNDP office plays a facilitating role in the very specific environment of national reconciliation and unity in South Africa, developing and pursuing interventions in line with its overreaching goal of eradicating poverty. Limited funds of UNDP have been mainly concentrated on fostering policy dialogue and partnerships among government units, civil society actors, the private sector and international development agencies to spur action on behalf of the poor and also on country capacity building.

The mission was of the view that the focus achieved by the UNDP office in South Africa is consistent with the objectives and priorities of the country cooperation framework and that the predominantly catalytic interventions of the UNDP programs were appropriate to the current phase of transition of South Africa's society. Progress is particularly evident in policy formation and the creation of social consensus in South Africa.

2. The role of UNFPA

Population policies under the apartheid era were instrumental in preserving the political, socio-economic and cultural dominance of the white minority. As a result, the role of the Government in population issues was discredited and population policies were viewed with skepticism. The ICPD Program of Action has therefore provided a crucial foundation for a new dialogue, in which an important role in advocating population issues has been played by UNFPA.

UNFPA is valued especially for having opened a new window to experience and knowledge generated in other countries although there is still a large gap in transforming policies into practical actions. The population units need to develop further their own capacities as well as their links with other departments and civil society in order to ensure the development of appropriate programs in line with the new policies.

3. The UN in South Africa

The mission has learned that in terms of the resources, the United Nations is a very small player compared to the Government of South Africa and to many bilateral donors. The interventions of UNDP and UNFPA, as well as those of the other United Nations organizations, tend to focus on capacity-building activities to assist South Africa to meet the development challenges of its transition.

The Resident Coordinator´s traditional role of facilitating coordination and dialogue between the host Government and the broader donor community is not as relevant in the South African context as in many developing countries. At an early stage after United Nations engagement in South Africa, the Government made clear its desire to handle donor coordination itself. The resident Coordinator has continued to work closely with key coordination points in the Government structure. The recent establishment of an aid coordination unit within the Office of the Deputy President should facilitate dialogue and coordination by providing a single contact point for overall government development policy with which the Resident Coordinator can liaise.

South Africa is among the eight United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) pilot countries. The UNDAF is of vital importance to UNDP, UNFPA and other UN organizations to enable them to improve their coordination and efficiency. However, lack of a policy coordination until recently has meant that the Government of South Africa has not been able to prepare a country strategy note. This has also delayed the process of implementing the UNDAF. The mission has therefore again noted with appreciation that the Office of the Deputy President has been designated as the focal point for the coordination of development assistance to South Africa. It is hoped that this will facilitate further implementation of the UNDAF.

4. Strategic Partnerships

As a consequence of the historic developments that took place in South Africa in 1994, the new State was organized at three governmental levels, national, provincial and local. Since most of the people-centered programs are being implemented through the provincial and local governments, the mission felt that it was essential to address capacity-building at those levels.

NGOs play a crucial role in development in South Africa, and have and exceptionally high level of interaction with the Government. NGOs are, therefore, a powerful element in policy development: they are also active nationwide in community projects ranging across sectors such as housing and water to development banks, and provide a dynamic framework through which donors and development agencies can work.

5. Strategic Interventions

The mission has been introduced to two major fields of the UN activities, the HIV/AIDS and Housing.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa has already reached 15 to 20 per cent of the adult population from 15 to 45 years of age. Thus, it is already clear that the epidemic will have an impact on the development of the country and that it must be addressed in a comprehensive way, not only as a health problem. It is therefore a positive development that the Government has established an interministerial committee in the Office of the Deputy President in response to the epidemic and will be launching a major advocacy campaign soon. The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) theme group in South Africa which was originally led by UNFPA, currently by the World Health Organization has been promoting the expanded AIDS response issue with the Government and is now working on a more coordinated response to Government's initiatives.

The backlog in housing development is a serious challenge to the Government. There are problems in land allocation and in assisting the poor to gain access to capital to build houses. The sector has suffered particularly from the inappropriate regulations, procedures and standards of the past. UNDP has played an important role in facilitating pilot schemes in this area through CBOs and the mission had the opportunity to visit one such project.

6. Management and Administration In 1995, the Cabinet decided to provide rent-free premises over a five-year period to the agencies of the UN system. Eight United Nations organizations have relocated to what has been termed the "UN House" in Pretoria. This move has facilitated closer cooperation among the agencies and resulted in sharing of conference facilities, telecommunications services and joint training. The mission took the opportunity to thank the South African government officials for this generous assistance to UN offices. The advantage of the common premises should be further expanded in the future.

Mr. President,

based on its observations the mission has adopted 11 recommendations and included them in the report. They are aimed at improving what has been generally assessed as a very good performance of the UNDP and UNFPA field offices in South Africa.

Mr. President,

let me conclude with expressing the Mission's sincere appreciation to the Government and the people of South Africa for their hospitality, which made our task easier and more pleasant. The Ministers and government officials we met during our trip outlined the trends of South Africa´s policies in their respective fields, highlighting some of their achievements, seeking cooperation, understanding and respect for South African national priorities.

I also would like to take this opportunity to express special thanks to Mr. David Whaley, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, and Mr. Jay Parsons, UNFPA Representative who both accompanied us on our trip as well as to their respective staff for the perfect arrangements and assistance extended to the members of our team.

Thank you Mr. President.


Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Successor Programming Arrangements

Mr. President,

As many other delegations before me, I would like to thank the Administrator for his clear and comprehensive opening statement to this highly important issue. Let me also appreciate the comprehensiveness and high informative value of the document DP/1999/CRP.3 which was provided to us by the Secretariat of UNDP. What the Czech delegation has particularly appreciated in the course of the recent months was the series of extensive informal consultations organized by the Secretariat. Thanks to those consultations and unlimited willingness of the Secretariat to provide any kind of information, data and explanations requested we have been given a complex picture about the problem we are facing and various options available for its solution.

The Czech delegation has thoroughly considered all the options and on the basis of the assessment of possible impacts of particular options, it came to the conclusion that the most reasonable option is to raise the breakpoint between low-income and middle-income countries by 20%, e.g., from the current 750 USD to 900 USD as suggested by UNDP Secretariat. Let me elaborate a bit on what we see as major advantages of this particular scenario:

1. The Czech delegation highly values that it preserves all basic principles of UNDP, namely that it guarantees more than 61% share of resources to LDCs and 88% share to low income countries. Low-income countries and LDCs in particular will thus continue to be a prior focus of UNDP development assistance in the years to come.

2. As agreed in its mandate, UNDP should primarily assist to poverty eradication. Let us add - whenever and wherever it is most needed, no matter whether it is in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe or Latin America. The scenario in question is, in our view, responding sufficiently to comply with this claim.

3. The above-mentioned scenario fully accommodates the floor which means that it will bring no sudden considerable changes in the volume of assistance to individual countries and that the continuity in programming will be assured.

4. On the other hand, it creates enough space for reflecting the actual economic situation in programming countries as the GNP per capita and population substantially affect the allocation of resources in this scenario.

5. By increasing the threshold to 900 USD not only inflation is going to be partly compensated but also universality of UNDP´s activities is going to be promoted. Most middle-income countries will be able to preserve UN presence and in their respective countries. The Czech delegation strongly supports the principle of graduation but at the same time, recognizes the extremely important role of UNDP in further advancement of graduating countries, their involvement in development cooperation, as well as their gradual transition onto "emerging donor positions".

Finally, let me sum up with saying that the above-mentioned option, in our view, represents a well-balanced scenario which reasonably and fairly reflects the changing global economic environment, and by the same token, the changing development situation in individual programming countries. Therefore, the Czech delegation suggests approving it without needless delay so that we can all devote our time and effort to other crucial issues and thus prepare a solid base and effective tools for the next programming which is already knocking on the door.

Thank you, Mr. President.


Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Multi-year Funding Framework

Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to thank the Administrator for his clear and comprehensive introductory remarks on the most crucial issue of our current session - the multi-year funding framework. Let me also greatly appreciate the excellent work which has been done by UNDP Secretariat in preparing the Conference Room Paper 4. By describing to-date perception of the multi-year funding framework, many of our uncertainties have been dispelled and the whole picture became much clearer. It is also due to extensive informal consultations provided by the Secretariat that proved to be very useful in terms of sharing views on the topic and clarifying the new concept in the course of its inception and development following the decision 98/23.

Second, let me comment on several aspects of the issue.

The Czech delegation sees the multi-year funding framework as a practical outcome of the broader evolution in thinking about international development assistance and the role of UNDP in it. Particularly in the 90s, it has become more and more obvious that in order to make international development assistance more efficient a remarkable shift is needed to focus more vigorously on result-oriented strategic management, better coordination, transparent management and evaluation systems. From this point of view, we regard MYFF a remarkable step forward in the right direction.

My delegation strongly supports the intention of integrating strategic goals together with outcomes and resources. We believe that it is an excellent idea although its implementation might be extremely difficult. Among other things it will certainly bring an additional considerable workload for UNDP staff in both the headquarters and the field.

How big the additional workload will be, will definitely depend on what is going to be done on different levels, e.g. corporate, regional and country levels, what format of the integration of results and resources will be applied on particular levels, and finally what linkages and aggregations are going to be in place among individual levels. We originally assumed that the Resource allocation framework is going to be matched to each of 7 thematic categories on a corporate-level based on a country-level data. However, as stated in CPR. 4, programme allocations will not be broken up by thematic categories since allocations are not made by themes in the current programming cycle. The paper also indicates that required data will hardly be available even in the future. In this context, my delegation would very much appreciate some clarification on these issues and a manner of possible linkages between MYFF, Resources allocation framework and programme budgets on one hand and the results-oriented annual reports (ROAR) and programme financial reports on the other hand. The Czech delegation attaches great importance to those linkages.

In conclusion, let me join other delegations in their view that even though an enormous amount of time and effort must have already been devoted to this issue, tuning up and introducing the MYFF remains an extremely demanding exercise which will require still a lot of work. I would like to wish a good luck and continuing dynamism to UNDP Secretariat in its efforts to solve this very complex and extraordinary problem.

Thank you Mr. President.