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UNDP Statements in 2000

Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on Item 9, Country Cooperation Frameworks and Related Matters New York, 28 September, 2000 Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic

  • Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on Item 9, Country Cooperation Frameworks and Related Matters
    New York, 28 September, 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on Item 7, Financial, Budgetary and Administrative Matters
    New York, 27 September, 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Departure of Dr. Nafis Sadik as UNFPA Executive Director
    New York, 26 September 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Anne Barrington, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations on Item 3: UNFPA - Financial, Budgetary and Administrative Matters
    New York, September 25, 2000

  • Ministerial Meeting
    Statement by H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, at the Ministerial Meeting of the United Nations Development Programme
    New York, 11 September 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Anne Barrington, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations on Item 9: Results Oriented Annual Report (ROAR), UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board, Annual Session
    Geneva, 13-23 June 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, on Item 14, Report on Field Visit to Cambodia
    Geneva, 23 June 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, on Item 11, United Nations Volunteers
    Geneva, 21 June 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, on Item 9, Annual Report of the Administrator for 1999
    Geneva, 19 June 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, on Item 2, UNFPA Annual Report 1999
    Geneva, 14 June 2000

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the U.N., on Item 6, Business Plans, 2000 - 2003
    New York, April 5, 2000

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the U.N., on Item 7, Financial Commitments to UNDP
    New York, April 4, 2000

  • Statement by Ms. Anne Barrington, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, on Item 3: UNFPA Multi-year Funding Framework
    New York, April 3, 2000

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the U.N., on Item 9, Technical Advisory Programme 2000-2003
    New York, January 28, 2000

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the U.N., on Item 7, UNFPA Intercountry Programme
    New York, January 27, 2000

  • Statement by Dr. Helena Pavlickova, United Nations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, on Item 6, Field Visits
    New York, January 27, 2000

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the U.N., on Item 4, UNDP Financial, Budgetary and Administrative Matters: Comprehensive Revision of the Financial Regulations and Rules
    New York, January 26, 2000

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the U.N., on Item 2, Business Plans 2000-2003
    New York, January 24, 2000


Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on Item 9, Country Cooperation Frameworks and Related Matters

Mr. President,

Let me thank Ms. Watanabe for her excellent introduction and the Secretariat for the reports we have in front of us. The Czech delegation welcomes the review of the first Global Cooperation Framework presented to us in the report.

Czech delegation agrees with the conclusions made in the report, particularly that there is an urgent need for further focus in the global programme. We believe that the new focus should be developed in the context of the implementation of the Business Plans 2000 -2003 and should primarily concentrate on applied development policy practice and policy support in the field.

We fully share the view expressed by the US delegation that there have been so far weak linkages between Global Cooperation Framework and country and regional cooperation programmes. That is why, we strongly support the intention of UNDP to restructure Bureau for Development Policy and redeploy almost half of its staff to regions. In our view, it will certainly lead to a significant strengthening of the newly built knowledge network of SURFs and improve the entire performance of UNDP in the field.

In conclusion, let me stress that the Czech delegation is of the view that there is a crucial need for Global Cooperation Programme. The next Global Cooperation Framework should be designed to allow more up-stream rather than down-stream. The Global Programme should create space for development of new ideas and concepts (like the recent concept of global public goods) and at the same time deliver an efficient knowledge-based backstopping for the field operations.

Thank you, Mr. President.


Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on Item 7, Financial, Budgetary and Administrative Matters

Mr. President,

Let me start with congratulations to the Administrator on his traditionally excellent introduction. Thanks to the Secretariat for the consicely written reports accompanied by comprehensive statistical data. The Czech delegation particularly appreciates the provision of some historical data which allow us to consider development trends in longer historical perspective

When we look at the Table 24. of the Statistical Annex we can see that, despite the upward trend of the total ODA, the multilateral ODA has fluctuated, with some ups and downs, between 15 and 17 billion US dollars increasing a little bit its share in total ODA. UN technical cooperation as a whole has followed the upward trend preserving the same share of roughly 25 % of the multilateral ODA with one exception UNDP regular resources. The share of UNDP regular resources fell from 7,2% to 4,3% within 11 years. In fact, the regular resource of UNDP in 1999 are almost equal to the voluntary contributions gained in 1982. When we take into account the total inflation which has been accumulated in the course of those 18 years, we cannot, indeed, be surprised that UNDP is in serious FINANCIAL crisis.

The problem UNDP faces, lies in the structure of FINANCIAL resources and their destination. We all know that the core component of the FINANCIAL resources fell to 28 %. According to the respective decisions of its Executive Board, 88% of UNDP core resources are allocated for programmes in low income countries and 60% go to the least developed countries (LDCs). On the other hand, there is no such a rule in place for non-core resources. And cannot be because the purpose and the destination of non-core are fully in hands of individual countries that provide cost-sharing or trust funds. That is why, the biggest country programmes are mainly in middle income countries like Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Panama and other Latin American countries, and not in LDCs. With core decreasing to 28 % and non-core growing to 72% in 2000, the programme for LDCs can easily fall as low as to 20 % of the total funds this year and even lower in the coming years. This, in fact, does not comply with the overall mission of UNDP which is particularly focused on assistance to low income countries, particularly to LDCs. Obviously, an adequate increase in core resources is urgently required in order to allow UNDP to undertake the task it is mandated to do. With this understanding, the Czech delegation strongly supported the Administrator´s initiative to convene UNDP Ministerial Meeting.

This brings me to my second point - the Ministerial Meeting.

On one hand, it is rather premature to evaluate the meeting before we can see a real impact. What was virtually achieved will become apparent at the next funding session of the EB. Hopefully, there will be a remarkable increase in commitments which would eliminate another urgent need for another "ad-hoc emergency" ministerial meeting.

On the other hand, there are few things which can be recognized already now.

First of all, it was a great success that most high-level representatives widely endorsed UNDP´s role as the development arm of the UN and the organization´s reform process aimed at improving its performance.

Second, the event was fully used for fruitful exchange of positions, views and ideas on the role of UNDP and UN operational activities in development assistance. Although the time and other constrains did not allow for a real "inter-active dialog", many participants appreciated this unique opportunity to get more closely acquainted with what UN and UNDP is doing in development assistance.

Third, number of donor countries showed their strong commitment to achieving OECD DAC target and pledged to raise their voluntary contributions in the next year with two countries making very generous additional commitment for this year.

As far as a follow-up is concerned, the Czech delegation attaches great importance to two points:

First of all, we are convinced that good work being done here in HQ must be complemented by intensive efforts in the field which should aim at achieving results and improved performance. UNDP country offices must steadily demonstrate high quality of development projects, its knowledge and expertise and ability of productive coordination within UN system and functioning partnership with .BWI, bilateral donors, private and civil sectors.

Another conclusion we have drawn from the Ministerial Meeting is that there should be regular opportunities for a continuous dialog on high political level where major policy issues of not only UNDP but perhaps the entire UNDG could be considered. Therefore, we also wish to view the Ministerial Meeting of 11 September as a beginning of a process which would lead to a stronger high-level political involvement in UN development cooperation.

Thank you, Mr. President.


Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Departure of Dr. Nafis Sadik as UNFPA Executive Director

Mr. President,

Having the honor to speak on behalf of the group of Eastern European countries, I would like to pay tribute to the unique accomplishments of Dr. Nafis Sadik on the occasion of her departure as UNFPA Executive Director.

Indeed, it is rather difficult to imagine UNFPA without Dr. Nafis Sadik. Not only because Dr. Sadik has been Executive Director for more than 13 years and prior to it she was Assistant Executive Director for previous 5 years but primarily because she has shaped UNFPA through Cairo Conference and ICPD+5 processes into an efficient and influential UN programme.

Throughout all her career, Dr. Sadik has been a great champion of women´s health and rights. She has been a brave activist for reproductive health and rights ever since she first began her medical career as a civilian medical doctor in women´s and children´s wards in military hospitals in Pakistan. It is admirable that already at that time, she tirelessly advocated for women and their needs. Since then on, she has been strongly committed to empowering women and removing all existing obstacles to their full and equal partnership in society. From her very young years she has had her own vision of the need for equal opportunities for both women and men and sufficient courage to pursue it.

She later served as the Director of Planning and Training and then Director-General, of the Pakistan Central Family Planning Council, before joining UNFPA in 1971. She became a renown expert in the family planning field and later the first woman to head a UN programme. Under her leadership, UNFPA has actively recruited and promoted qualified women to senior management positions in the extent which is still unsurpassed in the UN system.

The International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 was a defining moment in Dr. Sadik´s already distinguished career. As Secretary General of the Conference, she fully seized the opportunity to present women´s issues to the international community. Although the Cairo Conference was not a conference about women, virtually, every leader spoke about the status of women, the empowerment of women, their positions, their needs and health status. It was a great victory fought by Dr. Sadik and won for women around the world.

It is generally known that after the demise of communism in eastern Europe, the situation of many women has detiorated due to rising unemployment, economic turmoil and emerging conflicts. UNFPA, under the wise leadership of Dr. Sadik, recognized immediately the new needs of the countries in transition. In response to the new demands, UNFPA established its presence in the region and launched new programmes of assistance in a timely manner.

Indeed, Dr. Sadik has substantially marked the overall current atmosphere in gender issues which is now quite promising and fundamentally different from that of 30 years ago. Despite having been in high political posts for such a long time, she has remained a Woman (with capital W), steadily bringing women´s perspectives to discussions with clear vision and unrelenting courage. She has devoted her life to giving voice to the women all over the world. She has encouraged women to stand for their rights and inspired men to promote the status of women.

Dr. Sadik ,

On behalf of the countries from my group, thank you for your extraordinary dedication, hard work and wise leadership and we wish you all the best in the years to come.


Statement by Ms. Anne Barrington, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations on Item 3: UNFPA - Financial, Budgetary and Administrative Matters

Thanks etc.

I have the honour to make this statement also on behalf of the Czech Republic.

This report makes depressing reading. In the year of the ICPD+5, when the focus has been on population issues and the enormous needs of so many countries have been highlighted, the one organisation with a global perspective, a global network and a global mandate in this area has suffered a reduction in its general, or core, resources. The decrease in total general income of 9% in 1999 as compared to 1998 is alarming. Also of concern is the decline in the operational reserve.

Table 7 detailing the project expenditures from general funds gives a particularly disturbing picture. So many countries in all three categories, A, B and C , with decreased programme expenditure despite ever growing problems. And while it is the case that the strength of the US$ had a significant impact on the reduction of resources, it is also the case that despite our commitments in Decision 98/24. We have not up to now given UNFPA the predictable, secured and increased funding that it deserves.

However, there are some positive signs. At the Millennium Summit our Heads of State and Government agreed to certain targets for poverty alleviation, education, maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS. The question that must be asked is how will these targets be achieved without a vibrant, effective and efficient UN multilateral development system? We have just had a Ministerial meeting for UNDP. It was clear from that meeting that all countries valued the unique contribution that one operational arm of the UN could bring. Our delegations have no doubt that the political will generated for that organisation will spill over into all the Funds and Programmes, and it is our specific intention that this should be so for UNFPA.

Our delegations look forward to 2001 when the debilitating decline in UNFPA's resources, which has continued through 2000, must surely be reversed. The time has now come when the enormous efforts that UNFPA has made with its commitment to the multi-year funding framework and all its efforts to reform and change will at last be recognised and that recognition translated into the sort of secure and predictable income that we promised in Decision 98/24. The generous approach of Netherlands and Sweden to UNFPA's income this year is one that we hope can be emulated by many next year.

It is of some comfort that even as UNFPA's core or regular resources have declined, income from trust funds, or non-core income, has increased enormously since 1990 up to 1999. While this is to be welcomed as it helps UNFPA to do the tasks we have set for it - there is always a danger in the growth of non-core resources that the nature of the organisation may change from that of a multilateral, neutral and trusted partner to one that is bilateralised with all that that implies. This has not happened to UNFPA yet, and those of us who support and defend the multilateral development system must work hard to ensure that it does not happen in the future.


Statement by H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, at the Ministerial Meeting of the United Nations Development Programme

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great honour to take part in this important session that focuses on evaluation of UNDP´s role in promotion of global development and on consideration of plausible processes that should result in achieving a bigger political support to UNDP and UN operational activities. Let me share with you the position of the Government of the Czech Republic.

We are convinced that both bilateral as well as multilateral forms of cooperation play an irreplaceable role in development. The Czech Republic pays permanent attention to operational activities of the United Nations. We fully share the view that promotion of development is one of the fundamental pillars of the United Nations and UNDP is critical in the fulfilment of the vision of the UN Charter in this respect. Through its universal presence, UNDP functions as the operational arm of the United Nations, provides access to advice, policy options, alternative views and support for national capacity building. In addition, UNDP significantly contributes to the coordination of development assistance in the field, namely through its intensive collaboration with its major UN partners, Bretton-Woods institutions as well as bilateral donors.

In the light of the current reform of the UN system, the Czech Republic subscribes to the transformation changes that have been undertaken in UNDP during the last year. We support UNDP´s focus on results in priority areas such as poverty eradication, institutional and knowledge capacity building, implementation of information technologies.

Given the unprecedented pace and scale of globalization, there is a growing need in the broad area of governance. We believe that efficient, accountable and performing public administration, rule of law and competition, and transparent regulatory frameworks make environment conducive for sustainable human development, economic prosperity and successful integration into global economy. That ´s why our delegation fully endorses that UNDP responds to a growing demand for new kinds of policy and institutional support, assistance in public policy formulation and capacity building. Not less important is that UNDP assistance continues to be provided only and exclusively on the request of recepient governments, impartially, professionally and tailored to country-specific contexts.

As far as the UNDP assistance in special development situations is concerned, we believe that UNDP can play much bigger role in countries in pre- and post-conflict situations. However, given the growing number of special situations, caused by both armed conflicts and natural disasters, the current UNDP mandate in crisis situations cannot be expanded without additional financial resources. What perhaps can be done without additional funds and what we attach the greatest importance to is strengthening UNDP activities in conflict prevention. We strongly believe that UNDP is exceptionally well equipped for prevention, mitigation and reconciliation. Its steady presence in the field, knowledge of local situation and its expertise in economic and governance issues (which often causes conflicts) create together a unique potential that should be employed in identifying and addressing pre-conflict risks more intensively.

It is also our view that more support should be given to regional and inter-regional cooperation, knowledge networking and multisectoral perspectives in the coming years.

Despite this positive development, we are deeply concerned about the current financial situation UNDP is facing. Enormous decline in core resources (down to 28% of the total resources) has been bringing about delays in projects´ implementation and growing inefficiency. It is also our concern that UNDP is heavily dependent on a limited number of donor countries. The long-standing commitment of some European countries, particularly of those that are members of so called "Dollar Club of UNDP", e.g. the club of the countries that donate at least 1 dollar or more per capita a year to UNDP, deserves the highest credit and appreciation. It is admirable that almost 70 % of UNDP core resources come from Europe. We are convinced that without stronger support in general, and without fairer burdensharing in particular, UNDP is not able to overcome its financial problems and revitalize its performance.

The Czech Republic has been supportive to UNDP in many ways. As an emerging "net contributor country", we decided to increase our voluntary contributions to the UNDP on regular basis. This year, the Czech Republic established a Trust Fund for providing support to technical assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Through the Fund, the Czech know-how and expertise will be shared in training programmes, workshops, study tours, fellowships and advisory services. At the same time, we continue to support engagement of Czech experts in projects of UN Volunteers and UNDP regional programmes. As a member of UNDP Executive Board between 1998 - 2000, with Vice-Presidency in 1999 and Presidency this year, the Czech Republic has always advocated such proposals that make the UN Development Programme more efficient in meeting development challenges and expectations of both recipient and donor countries.

We are here today because UNDP is in a serious situation which threatens its existence. Without UNDP, UN operational activities and the entire official development assistance would be substantially diminished. Confidence in international development assistance and international solidarity would be endangered. But the globalized world at the threshold of the 21st century needs the opposite signal. As pointed out at the Millenium Summit, economic globalization requires globalization of solidarity. We are here today to start a process of making world better prepared for globalization.

Thank you for your attention.


Statement by Ms. Anne Barrington, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations on Item 9: Results Oriented Annual Report (ROAR), UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board, Annual Session

Statement made also on behalf of the delegation of Finland and the Czech Republic.

Our delegations wish to thank UNDP for what it has done. What we have effectively witnessed in the last year and a half is an organisation change from being a traditional inputs oriented one to one that is focused on results, outcomes and outputs. UNDP has achieved this in a record period of time. And it is the first United Nations body to do it. The significance of what is happening in UNDP should not be underestimated and it is not by our delegations. UNDP has led the way in the UN on the reform process and this is yet another example of it.

We are aware that there will continue to be teething problems with such a major undertaking for some time to come. That is normal. At the outset of this process many delegations in this room warned that "soft" interventions, such as those done by UNDP in the area of policy advice, capacity building and governance were difficult to capture and measure. Nonetheless, we advised UNDP to make the attempt. They have done so and the result to date, while needing more refinement and improvements in the methodology, at least at the country office level, are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of many both at HQ and in country offices.

What we have in the Results Oriented Annual Report is an excellent tool to allow us to understand the work that UNDP does. While we would like to see more analytical results, it is our understanding that the ROAR will help management achieve these results in the future. We have all said all along that the multi-year funding framework is a process that will take time to implement fully, that it is, and must be, a work in progress. It is ultimately in the implementation of the lessons learned to strive toward the goals of the organisation that success will be achieved. It is the view of our delegations that critical to the success of this vision will be the personnel who are in charge both at headquarters, and, perhaps more importantly in the country offices. The ability of UNDP to ensure that the agreed outcomes of the global conferences of the 1990s are taken into account in the policy framework, and that lessons learned from downstream activities are fed up. Depends on the dynamism, commitment to partnerships and networking skills of its personnel. Who else, if not UNDP, will cover the cross-cutting issues such as poverty and gender? UNDP will never be the major source of funding for development activities. However, it can play a pivotal role in the development process because of its unique attributes as a United Nations body which is a symbol of solidarity among all peoples of the world, if it seizes the opportunities that are given to it.

The multi-year funding framework has another leg and that is resources. Our delegations are very disappointed that despite all the efforts that UNDP is clearly making, resources remain very problematic. Finland, Ireland and the Czech Republic increased resources to UNDP last year. Finland by 6%, Ireland by 35% and the Czech Republic by 30%. We appreciate UNDP´s universal presence and want UNDP to remain a trusted partner in the development process. We do not know how it can do this without adequate resources. We call on all countries to adhere to the compact we made in Decision 99/23. Now that UNDP is clearly and demonstrably delivering on its side of the bargain it is time to deliver on theirs.

Finally, a word of thanks to the Secretariat for the inclusive consultation process that has allowed us all to participate in a transparent and open manner in the elaboration of this report. We look forward to continuing to work with UNDP to ensure results and a more stable and secure financing base.



Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, on Item 14, Report on Field Visit to Cambodia

Mr. President,

I would like to complement the introduction of the report made by our chief Rapporteur Ms. Sarah MacIntosh on the last Friday with few remarks of mine. Without trying to evaluate the visit as such I would like to share with you some of my strongest impressions.

Let me start with saying that all government as well as other officials we met showed extraordinary commitment to progressive changes and the whole reform process. After decades of armed conflicts there is eagerness and dedication

to build stability and environment conducive for business and FDI,

to strengthen democracy,

to establish other fundamentals for future prosperity.

The projects we visited were very well targeted and designed in accordance with mandates and priorities of both UNDP and UNFPA. The most impressive was how big influence the projects had on general policies and approaches - It was a real evidence of efficient up-stream.

Let me tell you about four of them:

- SEILA -CERARE project on local capacity was originally introduced by UNDP with a lukewarm approval by government. However, after 5 years of successful implementation, the Cambodian government completely changed its approach to policy on decentralization of governance, trying to expand the project nationwide.

- census project provided detailed information on many aspects of the entire Cambodian society. The database is now being used on governmental as well as local levels for decision and policy making processes which makes those processes more competent and based on exact data and knowledge. The process of collecting data, during which original reservation of part of population had to be overcome, brought about public awareness of common challenges to be tackled.

- environmental project aimed at prevention of unsustainable exploitation of forest and fish brought more transparency in granting fishing lot concessions and thus improved governance.

- 100% condom use project in Sihanoukville helped get together local authority, private sector and citizens and they together with UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNDP and other donors developed a truly participatory approach to solution of a local problem in reproductive health with extremely successful outcome.

These are examples of many other project with significant impact. UNDP and UNFPA projects are spread throughout the territory. There is a network and good working relationship among UN staff, volunteers and those who implement the projects. It was really rewarding to see on each and every step that UN expertise and assistance is valued extremely highly - by government officials, local authorities as well as by those who benefit from assistance.

- UNDP and UNFPA presence is tangible and makes real difference.

In the contrary, the World Bank is represented there by only one person who is said to be too busy to attend UN coordination meetings. He is undoubtedly a very important person bringing a lot of money to Cambodia. But I am wondering what influence he can developed on the way how the huge WB money is spent as compared to the little seed money carefully alocated by UN system.

There are three points I would like to draw the EB´s attention to:

1. Number of projects in Cambodia is decreasing not only as a result of focusing the programme on priorities but also as a result of resource cuts - regardless the huge need.

2. There are plenty of collaborative projects, which are designed and implemented jointly by more agencies but appropriate administrative and financial tools for joint programming have not been apparently sufficiently developed and introduced.

3. There is still a lot of to do in supporting an effective cooperation of UN system with WB in Cambodia.

In conclusion let me join our Rapporteur in thanking both country offices for their hospitality and care they provided to us. They showed a lot of professionalism and dedication.

Our thanks go also to regional bureaux and the Secretariat of the EB, namely to Soheyla Sharkah-Farhang, for their assistance before and during the field visit. Let me also thank to Sarah MacIntosh and Emma Spicer from UK who took over a difficult task to report on our visit to.


Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, on Item 11, United Nations Volunteers

Mr. President,

The Czech delegation would like to appreciate the report on the United Nations Volunteers and its presentation which provide an overview of the key features and outcomes of the UNV programme achieved during biennium 1998-1999.

UNV programme has continued to promote volunteerism, primarily through the mobilization and placement of UNV volunteers. The increase in number of assignments in 1999 as compared to 1998, e.g. by 17 per cent, is indeed impressive. UNV recent massive and efficient involvement in countries experiencing special development situations, including post-conflict situations deserves high credit.

The mobilization and placement of volunteers is a traditional role of UNV. But this year´s UNV report emphasizes that the impact of the volunteer activities on host organizations and communities to which UNV volunteers are assigned is much broader. For instance, through their work, UNV volunteers usually introduce and promote a culture of volunteerism. Governments can be assisted by UNV in their efforts to promote various kinds of volunteerism, to adjust their legislation in support of volunteers etc. In such a way, UNV can multiply its impact by promoting volunteerism in general on national and local levels. We can also say that this broader impact is kind of up-stream which deserves our support. We believe that this is a very important trend that should be further developed.

The Czech Republic is one of those countries that UN volunteers come from. In the course of last 7 years, tens of Czech volunteers were recruited through the National Focal Point in Prague and carried out development or humanitarian activities. Most of them assisted in Bosna - Hercegovina, some in African and Asian countries. Their performance was often highly valued not only by UNV headquarters but also and primarily by those who they assisted.

Let me take this opportunity to underline that the Czech Republic appreciates very much the cooperation with UNV, particularly because it results in a simple, targeted, efficient and cost-effective way of international assistance. We are committed to continuing financial support. Since the Czech national legislation has not yet provided any special treatment for volunteers as opposed to other groups of population like women on maternity leave or men in temporary military service we could also probably benefit from the general expertise of UNV in this respect in the future.

Mr. President, during our field visit to Cambodia we met tens of volunteers. Unfortunately, none of them was a Czech but number of them were from Australia, Japan and many other countries. They implemented various development projects, working hard, mostly in very difficult situations. All of them were extremely enthusiastic, dedicated to the work they do over there. They really deserve our highest appreciation, respect and admiration. That´s why and also from other reasons, the Czech delegation welcomes the proposal made in the report to hold a special event on volunteering at UNDP annual session 2001 in the framework of the International Year of Volunteers and the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Volunteers programme.

Thank you, Mr. President.


Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, on Item 9, Annual Report of the Administrator for 1999

Mr. President,

Let me start with congratulations to the Administrator on his traditionally excellent introduction, which was today even more impressive than usual. Thanks to the Secretariat for the comprehensive, innovative and extremely well written report.

This year´s consideration of the Annual Report is very special in two respects:

First of all, it is the Annual report for the year of transition - the year in which the Business plan was designed, first multi-year framework was approved and thus a basis for the first result - oriented annual report was established. All those changes must have created an extra-ordinary burden on UNDP staff.

Secondly, the Annual report 1999 covers the year of growing in-balance between demand and available resources. While the core resources have continued to decrease, the need for assistance, particularly in countries experiencing special development situations, has increased. Continuing financial difficulties, with core falling to 28 percent, must have complicated the normal programming and implementation, let alone ordinary functioning of UNDP structure.

Taking these aspects into account, it is even more admirable how many remarkable outcomes were achieved in 1999. We are particularly pleased to see that UNDP is heavily involved in enabling environment and national capacity building for good governance. We believe that improving governance, building environment of equal opportunities and competition, transparency and accountability is the best investment in the long-run development. UNDP has an excellent potential, based on traditional neutrality, long-lasting credibility, expertise and knowledge, for helping countries establish appropriate legal and political frameworks and for empowering people.

We are convinced that investing into sound governance is also the best prevention from violence and armed conflicts. 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 situations has increased enormously. UNDP is now in the process of defining its niche in aid coordination and special development situations. It is a rather new and very demanding area that could benefit from innovative approaches, including a stronger political support.

Without going into details on ROAR, let me comment briefly on upstream and downstream activities. We fully support the notion that UNDP can maximize its impact by moving upstream. There is no doubt that working increasingly at the policy or upstream level is a positive direction. However, for performing well on upstream level, it is necessary to keep going also small-scale interventions at downstream level. During our field visit to Cambodia we visited a UNDP project on local capacity development that was originally introduced by UNDP with only a lukewarm approval by government. However, after 5 years of successful implementation, the Cambodian government completely changed its approach to its policy on decentralization of governance. This was truly efficient upstream move which, however, would not have happened without the previous downstream intervention. In other words, going upstream needs to be supported and complemented by downstream interventions.

Another experience we got in Cambodia, which I mentioned already in connection with the UNFPA Annual Report last week, is that there are many very successful projects with significant impact on the country level that call for continuation, expansion and replication. Instead, they are being scaled down or delayed in their complete implementation just because of financial cuts. It is apparently happening in many other countries with huge need and deficiency in expertise and knowledge as a result of decreasing core resources. This is a serious phenomenum which should be brought to an attention at an appropriate political level and considered together with the future of UN operational activities.

Having said that, the Czech delegation believes that there are, indeed, serious issues to be discussed at the proposed Ministerial meeting which should primarily aim at raising political support to UN operational activities and UNDP´s role in them.

Thank you, Mr. President.


Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Development, Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, on Item 2, UNFPA Annual Report 1999

Mr. President,

As many delegations before me I would like to thank the Executive Director for her excellent introduction and the UNFPA Secretariat for the comprehensive documents we have before us. I would like to make three general remarks on the Annual Report and a than briefly comment on the Annual Report from the perspective of a country programme.

First of all, I would like to point out that the Czech delegation is fully satisfied with the UNFPA Annual Report 1999. We find it very useful that a different approach has been taken to the Annual Report. Focusing on three critical areas made the report more interesting and more results-oriented which all reports should basically aim at. We also underscore that the three selected areas: adolescent reproductive health, partnership and MYFF, really do reflect the most important priorities - not only in 1999 but also for the years to come.

Second. Adolescent reproductive health deserves urgent and thorough attention because a tremendous difference can be made in this area. Young people are the most vulnerable. At a certain age they are also very docile. They can either get a positive life skill education, youth-friendly counseling and services that enable them to absorb healthy sexual behavior or pick up whatever experience they accidently come across with disaster-like consequences in their entire lives. We believe that if appropriate attention is paid in a proper time, remarkable improvements can be achieved as it was very well illustrated in the report as well as in the panel discussion. That´s why, the Czech delegation places a great weight on the importance of the UNFPA assistance in adolescent reproductive health. As pointed out yesterday, adolescent reproductive health is a good long-term investment.

Third. Partnership is certainly the only way how projects can be effectively designed and implemented in these days. As scarce human and financial resources are common features of the current situation in the most developing countries, partnerships within UN, with governments, development financial institutions, private sector and civil society are necessary. What is perhaps even more important, is that the assistance should be provided in a way which enables on-going domestic capacity building which is correctly referred to also in the report as a precondition for sustainability of the programmes. Of course, South-South partnership is worth mentioning because of its unlimited potential for dissemination of best practices and lessons learnt.

Finally, let me comment on the Annual report from the perspective of a UNFPA country programme which I happened to explore in more detail during the EB field visit to Cambodia. UNFPA activities in Cambodia fully concur with the report. We found out that number of UNFPA projects tackle the adolescent reproductive health with great deal of success. Close partnership within UN family (mostly with UNAIDS, WHO and UNDP), good collaborative relations with the government, local authorities, private sector and civil society were seen everywhere. Most projects were jointly designed and financed in various partnerships, including those with bilateral donors, largely using SWAP approach. Many of them were extremely successful and call for continuation, expansion and replication in other districts, cities or regions. Where feasible, some of them have been taken over by newly built domestic capacities.

However, there are not enough resources for completion of some UNFPA projects, let alone expansion or replication. This is something which does not concur with the Annual report. What I did not find in the Annual report is that some of those successful projects are being cut or delayed in their complete implementation. We will probably find it in the ROAR next year unless EURO continues to strengthen or more donors join the best performing ones, whose generosity deserves the highest appreciation.

The current Annual report shows that UNFPA knows how to tackle the problem. It has a strong team of experienced and dedicated professionals. But UNFPA has to scale down its projects - in such a country like Cambodia with such a huge need and deficiency in expertise and knowledge. Is this what we really want?

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 ITEM 6, BUSINESS PLANS, 2000 - 2003

Mr. President,

First of all, thanks to the Administrator for his excellent introduction. This time, this Business Plan, 2000 - 2003 deals with to the role of UNDP in crisis, post-conflict and recovery situations. Documents we have in front of us, namely the Report of the Administrator on Meeting the Challenge and the evaluation report on Sharing new ground in post-conflict situations, provide a very good basis for our orientation in the issue and our today´s discussion. We commend UNDP for undertaking the comprehensive evaluation and extensive analytical work.

Reading the evaluation report we came to an understanding that UNDP has been trying to respond to a growing need to cover the gap between humanitarian and development assistance in the course of the 90´s in a way which has been gradually evolving while performing. GA resolution 46/182 established the central importance of development in the midst of emergencies. Numerous consequent GA and ECOSOC resolutions and EB decisions set a mandate for UNDP to act in special development situations. UNDP has performed accordingly but in earlier stages without a clear policy, an appropriate preparation, backstopping from HQ, staff training and additional resources. Later, UNDP has made considerable headway in reorganizing and redirection its efforts and resources to address this important mandate more properly. The Emergency Response Division developed its capacity and made number of policy changes. In many instances, TRAC 1.1.3 started to play a key catalytic role for mobilizing extra-budgetary contributions for post-conflict situations so that bigger difference can be achieved. There has been, however, persisting concern that the new responsibilities sometimes might come at the expense of long-term development.

The Czech delegation, therefore, welcomes this opportunity for reviewing the role UNDP has played so far and could or should play in the future. Unfortunately, as opposed to the sufficient information on the previous development and actual situation we are missing an illustration of various options UNDP could have in pursuing further its mandate in pre- and post-conflict assistance under different circumstances. Such an illustration could help us answer a question whether UNDP can and should do more in pre- a post-conflict situations and on which conditions.

For the time being, we fully agree with the set of realistic recommendations suggested in the Administrator´s report. Taking into account the critical financial situation of UNDP, we share the view that the current UNDP mandate in crisis and post-conflict situations cannot be expanded without additional financial resources. Nevertheless, UNDP could and should improve its field operations, particularly in terms of speed, field backstopping, coordination and partnerships. We also agree that an overall policy statement should be formulated in order to better define the role of UNDP in this area.

What we attach the greatest importance to is strengthening UNDP preventive activities. We strongly believe that UNDP is uniquely well equipped for prevention, mitigation and reconciliation. Its steady presence in the field, knowledge of local environment and its expertise in economic and governance issues (which are often causes of conflicts) create together a strong potential that should be employed in identifying and addressing pre-conflict risks more intensively. The UNDP preventive activities should always be of a consultative nature and should occur exclusively at the invitation of local and national authorities.

Let me conclude with joining the view presented today by our colleague from Switzerland in his saying that "the main functions of UNDP as a coordinator, advisor, advocate and capacity builder remain basically the same". It is only logical that special situations require more sensitive attention and certainly more human and financial resources. That´s why, the Czech delegation supports the proposal to revisit this important issue in the near future. Now, we welcome the second part of the Business Plans and endorse recommendations contained in the report.

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 ITEM 7, FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS TO UNDP

Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to thank the Administrator for his extremely realistic and also impressive introduction as well as his both colleagues for their presentations.

At the beginning, let me assure you that the Czech Republic attaches great importance to UNDP, its activities and unparalleled potentia as it helps many programme countries around the world eradicate poverty and develop their own capacities for development. Let me also express our growing concern about the critical financial situation of UNDP and our willingness to participate in any reasonable attempt to reverse the downward trend in the core funding.

It is my pleasure to advise you of the following voluntary contributions of the Czech Republic:

in 2000 8,750 mil. CZK which is equivalent to (236,000 USD)

2001 10 mil. CZK (270,000 USD)

2002 10,5 mil. CZK (284,000 USD).

The amounts listed for 2001 and 2002 are indicative and subject to the approval of the Czech Parliament in the course of the year 2000 and 2001 respectively. Please note that the amounts in US dollars are based on the current exchange rate and are subject to future changes of the exchange rate.

Even though the Czech Republic is still facing many transitional challenges, the Czech government has decided to increase our core contribution in the Czech crowns by almost 30% this year and intends to raise it by further 14 % in 2001. We increase our support as the appreciation of the work UNDP has done in the Czech Republic and of the progress in the on-going reform aimed at enhancing overall development impact and effectiveness. It has also been an expression of our commitment to the multilateral development cooperation in general and the unique role UNDP should continue to play in it.

As far as the our contribution to UNV is concerned, the Czech Republic made an increase by 25 % in Czech crowns in 1999 and provides 1,25 mil. CZK, which is roughly 34 thousand USD, also in 2000. The Czech government intends to keep the voluntary contribution to UNV at the same, rather remarkable level also in the years to come as our recognition of UNV useful work and Czech Republic´s commitment to international voluntarism as a highly effective modality of development assistance.

When it comes to the schedule of payments, voluntary contributions of the Czech Republic to UNDP will be paid every year by the end of April, whereas the contributions to UNV in September each year.

In order not to be only positive, I must comment on the data provided to us in CRP 6. we found some errors in the Table Ia in the line of the Czech Republic which does not show our core contribution in 1999 and on contrary, it shows much bigger GLOC in 2000 than we actually pledged. A correction will be appreciated.

Turning back to a positive note, let me take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of the successful implementation of MYFF and the on-going transformation of UNDP into a more effective organization and express our delegation´s full support to the Administrator´s extraordinary effort to bring UNDP´s funding back on the upward track.

Thank you, Mr. President.


STATEMENT BY MS. ANNE BARRINGTON, PERMANENT MISSION OF IRELAND TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON ITEM 3, UNFPA MULTI-YEAR FUNDING FRAMEWORK

I have the honor to present this statement also on behalf of the Czech Republic.

Thanks to Dr. Sadik for the interesting presentation and thanks to the Secretariat for the documentation and all the work that they have done on the multi-year funding framework.

The document before us claims that: "The MYFF is a coherent framework that builds on clearly defined organizational results and a set of indicators to track progress towards achieving those results. Regular monitoring and evaluation to determine the most effective programming and management strategies, and feeding that knowledge back into improving performance are (its) essential characteristics."

That is certainly the objective of the MYFF. And what UNFPA have provided us with is an insight as to how they will try to get there. The work must be commended as every effort has been made to seek coherence and to involve members of the Board in its elaboration.

The key issue now is how the culture of performance management and the results based approach will be absorbed by the people in UNFPA actually implementing the MYFF. The "buy in" factor will be very important. That is why our delegations commend the UNFPA´s emphasis on identifying lessons learned and building the commitment and capacity of staff and key stakeholders to achieve results. We also take the view that the fund-wide training strategy for staff at all levels will be very important in the successful implementation of the MYFF.

Our delegations place great weight on the importance of the reporting system. While we are aware that reporting will improve over the MYFF cycle - as the indicators become more refined - we would ask UNFPA to take great care with this process as it is the entry point for the Board to the results based approach that UNFPA has adopted. Our preference would be to have the funding event and the report - which I hope we can call a ROAR - at the same board session While we are aware that due to timing the Report for any particular year will have little or no bearing on the event of that year - we take the view that the linkage and UNFPA´s ability to show results can have the desired impact on potential contributions leading to increase resources for UNFPA.

Clearly in reporting data will be crucial and we will look forward to UNFPA in collaboration with its partners working to improve this vital area.

Finally, we query one of the goal indicators listed in Table 1. While an increase in the number of women parliamentarians may have significance in and of itself it does not necessarily give a true insight into the socio, economic or political position of women, may under preform in the proportion of women who are parliamentary representatives. Perhaps this could be revised.

Thank you.


STATEMENT BY DR. JANA SIMONOVA, COUNSELLOR FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS AND DEVELOPMENT, PERMANENT MISSION OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON ITEM 9, TECHNICAL ADVISORY PROGRAMME 2000 - 2003

Mr. President,

I would like to thank UNFPA Secretariat for the introduction and preparation of the conference room paper 1 on the Establishment of a country technical services team (CST) office to cover the countries with economies in transition. It was requested by the Executive Board´s decision 99/19 "to provide information on the recommended arrangements for approval by the Executive Board at its first regular session 2000". The exhaustive information disseminated in CRP 1 on this issue fully accommodates our concerns.

When the Technical advisory programme was considered in the last September, the Czech delegation endorsed the new TAP arrangements for 2000 - 2003 from two reasons:

1. because, while aiming at training, policy development and advocacy, it had contributed to national capacity building in those regions where it existed already in the past, and

2. because it responded to growing demands for technical advisory services in population and reproductive health from the countries with economies in transition.

Therefore, we welcomed the proposal to establish a new CST that would specifically address priority concerns of Central and Eastern European and CIS countries. In order to establish favorable preconditions for cost-effectiveness, it was suggested the Regional Center of UNDP in Bratislava be considered for the location of the new UNFPA CST.

As CRP 1 shows, Bratislava is considered very satisfactory when account is taken of air communications, rental costs, local salaries as well as other running costs. In many respects, Bratislava offers the most cost-effective solution. Moreover, it is already today a seat of Regional Support Center of UNDP and a Regional Office of UN International Drug Control Programme is coming. Most importantly, Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, is also a part of the region the new CST will serve to.

From all these reasons, we commend UNFPA for selecting Bratislava as the best location for the new team. In such a way, Bratislava will become a consistent part of the network of other eight UNFPA CSTs out of which all are located in countries of the regions they provide technical advisory assistance for. We believe that the establishment of the new team in Bratislava will empower operational activities of UNFPA and its positive impact in our region.

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 ITEM 7, UNFPA INTERCOUNTRY PROGRAMME

Mr. President,

I would like to thank UNFPA Secretariat for the explanatory introduction of this item and for the preparation of both documents on UNFPA Intercountry programmes which provide a comprehensive review of the previous programme and a proposal for the forthcoming one.

The Czech delegation approached the proposed Intercountry programme for 2000 - 2003 with appreciation that it is designed to produce information and supportive tools for individual countries needs. It, indeed, interlinks and, in a way, empowers the whole programming of UNFPA. What is particularly important for the region of Central and Eastern Europe and CIS countries is the regional programme.

Its importance stems not only from the goals of the regional programme itself but also from the fact that individual country programmes in our region are very modest in the financial terms and cannot adequately respond to the growing demands on the country level.

The reproductive health situation in some European and Central Asian countries with economies in transition has become a cause of great concern. There is a heavy reliance of many women on abortion, low to moderate contraceptive prevalence rates, rapid increase in sexually transmitted infections etc. Many countries in the region are experiencing unprecedented demographic change, caused mainly by changing birthrates and huge migration flows. After decades of strict government control over population movements, the deterioration of the social and economic situations 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.

All these developments have much in common in many countries and call for an immediate assistance tailored specifically to the needs of the region or of groups of countries from the region.

In the light of these circumstances, the Intercountry programme is extremely instrumental and helpful to our region in designing, management and implementation of UNFPA assistance, particularly in reproductive health, population strategies and advocacy. Its key role in expanding knowledge and expertise through training and dissemination of new approaches and research techniques is remarkable.

We also believe that in implementation of the regional programme, the new technical services expert team, that is to be established soon to meet our region´s specific needs, will have an important role to play in this respect.

In conclusion, let me commend UNFPA for the Intercountry Programme 2000 - 2003 and express our delegation´s full support to it.

Thank you Mr. President.


STATEMENT BY DR. HELENA PAVLICKOVA, UNITED NATIONS DEPARTMENT, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC, ON ITEM 6, FIELD VISITS

Mr. President,

The UNDP field visit to Georgia and Bulgaria was undertaken from 25 August to 5 September 1999. The team was headed by H. E. Mr. Patrik Lewis - Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN and was accompanied by Mr. Richard Snyder, the chief of the UNFPA Executive Board.

I would like to take this opportunity, as a member of the team, to thank to the UNDP/UNFPA staff members for developing a very comprehensive programmes in both countries. I would also like to address special thanks to the UNDP/UNFPA Resident Representative in Georgia, Mr. Marco Borsotti, who provided us with the greatest possible assistance.

The importance given by high level authorities in Georgia to the UNDP/UNFPA activities was very impressive. The team was received by almost all top governmental authorities including the President of Georgia, Mr. Eduard Shevardnadze, who exchanged the views with members of the team in a very friendly atmosphere.

From the various recommendations concerning Georgia listed on the pages 11, 12, and 13 of the English version of the document, I would like to draw your attention to the role of the UNDP which should play in the elaboration of anti-coruption legislative instruments and in the implementation of the judicial reform. Another important area, where UNDP might play a key role is to provide assistance in a post conflict regional rehabilitation and development programme in South Ossetia region. UNDP should also continue to offer support by ensuring a long term sustainable development of people affected by the conflict in Abkhazia region. Around two third of the population has left and are dependent entirely on international humanitarian aid. The UNDP is strongly recommended to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid co-operation with relevant agencies to the most affected people.

As for the field trip to Bulgaria, it is worthwhile to recall that since 1966 over 300 projects and consultations have been provided by the UNDP. In line with the CCF for Bulgaria the UNDP has identified several priority areas where continuation of UNDP/UNFPA work was recommended by our team.

There is a decline in the quality of life of the population in Bulgaria. Unemployment had been almost uknown phenomenon for many decades during the communist regime. By 1994 unemployment in Bulgaria represented one of the highest levels in Europe and primarily affected young people, unskilled workers, disabled persons and ethnic minorities. The team has visited the territory of Devin, inhabited by ethnical and religiously mixed population. In this region 48% are unemployed and in some villages the unemployment level is over 90 %. Significant part of unemployed are women. Another serious impact to the deterioration of the situation in Bulgaria was the Kosovo crisis. It caused stagnation in the Bulgarian economy. In the area of poverty alleviation and job creation, UNDP initiated the "Beautiful Bulgaria Project". This project created jobs for over 5000 unemployed people who helped to restore urban environment. The Beautiful Bulgaria II Project has been launched in September 1999 and will continue throughout 2000 where six more towns will be involved. Beautiful Bulgaria Project demonstrates the UNDP´s collaboration with the Bulgarian Government, local authorities and the European Union.

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 ITEM 4, UNDP FINANCIAL, BUDGETARY AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:COMPREHENSIVE REVISION OF THE FINANCIAL REGULATIONS AND RULES

Mr. President,

On this item, I also speak on behalf of the delegation of Bulgaria. The Czech and Bulgarian delegations would like to commend UNDP for the comprehensive revision of the UNDP Financial Regulations and Rules. We appreciate the scope and remarkable outcome of the work which has been done in order to incorporate numerous previous Executive Board´s decisions into a newly structured proposal of Financial Regulations. We also greatly appreciate the timely consultations which have been provided for Executive board members in the recent weeks as well as the provision of additional information and clarifications in response to the late ACABQ report. In our view, it has been a very productive process of interactive consultations which helped us better understand reasons and impacts of proposed changes.

In the light of the additional explanations, the Czech and Bulgarian delegations do not share most concerns expressed in the ACABQ report any more. Taking into account different structures of old and new Regulations, we do not see any need to produce another comparable text. We fully support the proposals for upgrading and downgrading of appropriate regulations and introduction of new harmonized terminology, including the new terms in favor of stronger accountability. The Administrator should be authorized to suspend any rule when the authority to introduce rules is delegated to him etc, etc. We agree with all the proposed changes described in paragraphs 1 to 39 of the Administrator´s report on this item.

Proposed substantive changes we still have difficulties with are those for which no clear mandate of the Executive Board exists. We believe that there are good reasons for introduction of those new modalities. For instance, let me, in this connection, point out that, indeed, there are situations on operational level, particularly when there is a need for a small programme activity, in which a grant modality might be very helpful in avoiding delays and heavy and costly administrative processes. The Czech Republic experienced similar situations several times when the preparation of the NHDR was concerned. Unfortunately, the existing administrative procedure, that had to be followed, was always almost as time-consuming as the preparation of the NHDR itself.

But despite the need, we regard the incorporation of the proposed modalities into the revised Financial Regulations rather premature. In our view, a more detailed information on concept and use of these modalities as well as a deeper consideration by the Executive Board are needed before their transformation into new regulations. That´s why, we suggest to postpone consideration of the regulations without existing mandate to a later stage.

It brings me to my final point. In order to avoid such comprehensive revisions in the future, it is extremely important to ensure that any decision taken by the Executive Board in the future that is expected to affect the UNDP Financial Regulations and Rules be accompanied by the proposed revised text of the relevant Regulation.

Taking into account the need to proceed with financial manual, manual of operations management and corresponding procedures, the Czech delegation is ready to endorse the proposed Financial Regulations and Rules, with the exception of those without existing mandate (described in paragraphs 40 to 48), at the current session.

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 ITEM 2, BUSINESS PLANS, 2000 - 2003

Mr. President,

Let me, first of all, thank the Administrator for his excellent introduction of the first document of the Business Plans, 2000 - 2003, a new strategic vision of UNDP, which draws on proposals and options included in the report of the Transition Team and on numerous consultations that have taken place in the fall 1999. I would like to appreciate a remarkable work which has been done by the Transition Team in exploring various options for strategic change of UNDP and by UNDP staff in organizing extensive informal consultations and preparing the final document. The document we have in front of us has resulted from a truly intensive and thorough discussion among all parties involved. The whole process, during which many challenges, concepts and concerns have been considered and clarified, was undoubtedly very useful and beneficial for all of us.

The Czech delegation has approached the document DP/2000/8 with understanding that this is the first strategic document that includes major transformation initiatives of the Administrator while other, also important, transformation changes, such as assistance to countries in pre- and post-conflict situations as well as support to regional cooperation, are supposed to be considered at later stages. We also assume that the existing Business Plan is based on two fundamentals: existing unrivaled assets of UNDP - particularly universality, neutrality and national ownership - and on Administrator´s much broader and deeper vision of future UNDP - UNDP which would function more effectively and would play more powerful role in the struggle to eradicate poverty. In light of that, we regard this Business Plan a comprehensive and consistent document which creates good starting environment and valuable prerequisites for a successful transformation of UNDP.

The Czech delegation would like to comment on three issues: policy, partnerships and networking.

As to the policy issue, we have expressed on several occasions that the Czech Republic attaches great importance to the quality of governance and the new role of government in the process of globalization. Given the unprecedented pace and scale of globalization, all governments (as well as, of course, private sectors) are under pressure to manage opportunities and challenges created by global trade and investments, increased capital flows and economic integration. We believe that efficient, accountable and performing public administration, rule of law, transparent regulatory frameworks, conducive environment for sustainable human development are necessary preconditions for economic prosperity and successful integration into global economy. That´s why, our delegation fully endorses that UNDP intends to respond to the growing demand for new kinds of policy and institutional support, assistance in public policy formulation and capacity building. Not less important is, that UNDP assistance continues to be provided only and exclusively on the request of the programme countries´ governments, impartially, professionally and tailored to country-specific contexts. Nevertheless, UNDP´s support to all kinds of dissemination of lessons learned and best practices, particularly within TCDC modality, applied in both intra-regional as well as inter-regional relations, is more than desired.

Coming to the issue of partnership, it is important to stress that partnerships are necessary for UNDP not only because of efficiency and complexity of assistance provided, but also from the point of view of strengthening resource mobilization and institutional financial stability. UNDP has to cooperate closely with institutions that have accumulated professional expertise in fields close to that of UNDP, namely Department of economic and social affairs, regional economic commissions and UN specialized agencies. Closer cooperation within UN on the country level supported by UNDAF processes will contribute to more consistent assistance aimed at common development goals. On the other hand, in the light of the decreasing regular resources, a need for new partnerships becomes more and more urgent. In our view, new partnerships with private sector and social society entities call for serious consideration. Partnership with the World Bank is extremely valuable from both - development expertise as well as financial - perspectives. Through partnership with the WB, UNDP as a strong global advocate for human development can achieve much bigger influence than without it.

My last point relates to the intention to vastly improve communication network within UNDP and use networking as a major channel for more efficient management, an ever-ready link between policy and operations and a platform for knowledge-sharing and dissemination of best practices. Full utilization of Internet for communication strategy, advocacy and partnerships is also essential. My delegation highly values the way this issue was addressed in the set of transformation initiatives and is fully supportive to the plan to build new UNDP working culture on a full use of edge-cutting communication technologies.

In conclusion, let me express the Czech delegation´s strong endorsement to the first document of the Business Plans. We believe that it will have a profound impact on UNDP performance in terms of policy streamlining on both strategic and operational levels, further rationalization of work and more successful resource mobilization.

Thank you Mr. President.