New Zealand Permanent Mission Geneva, Switzerland

New Zealand Statement at the UNDP Executive Board Meeting in Geneva.

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator

New Zealand joins others in congratulating the UNDP Administrator on her leadership of UNDP over the past year.

It has been a critical year for UNDP with the adoption of a new Strategic Plan and Integrated Budget and the considerable work that has already been undertaken in rolling out both the Plan and QCPR. Acknowledging the Administrator’s comment that change is never easy, New Zealand is pleased with the progress in restricting and realignment to ensure higher quality outcomes, improving cost efficiency and cost effectiveness.

We also commend UNDP for its crucial role in the wider international arena, as illustrated in its contributions to the work of member states on a new set of global development goals, and in the lead up to the Small Island Developing States Conference in Samoa in September this year.

New Zealand was pleased that a Board delegation was able to visit Fiji and Samoa recently and observe the valuable work of UNDP in partnership with national and regional actors. These visits are extremely useful in exposing Board members to the diverse range of settings UNDP works in, in this instance the particular vulnerabilities and needs of Small Island Developing States.

New Zealand commends UNDP for another good quality annual performance report, and for the sound range of results achieved across each of UNDP’s strategic focus areas. We would highlight the critical contribution that continues to be made by UNDP to employment creation in crisis affected and other developing nations, the more sustainable management of natural resources and improved access to renewable energy.

We also wish to mention the important work of UNDP in disaster risk reduction– for example the vulnerability mapping and development of plans undertaken in several Caribbean small states. These, and many other contributions, are making a very real, tangible, difference to peoples’ lives and to helping them realise their potential, in all developing countries.

But as recent country and thematic evaluation findings highlight, there remains room for further improvement, and we urge UNDP to continue to do all that it can to ensure its programming is effective and that its interventions achieve intended impact and sustainability.

Mr President, New Zealand also commends UNDP for its achievements in other areas. We wish to express our satisfaction with the extensive consultations with member states undertaken by UNDP in formulating the new Strategic Plan and its Results and Resources Framework, and the high quality analytical foundation that underpin these. We welcome the strong results focus of the Framework, but encourage you to consider whether there might be scope to make some of the indicators and targets still more robust.

We support strongly the steps undertaken by UNDP to enhance programme quality and effectiveness. This involves work in a wide range of areas but I shall refer to the valuable role of South-South and triangular cooperation, and UNDP’s expanding portfolio of strategic partnerships, including with the private sector.

Mr President, UNDP’s annual report on evaluation will be discussed later in this session, but as New Zealand will not be speaking under this item, please permit me to make a few observations on evaluation. We welcome UNDP’s strong commitment to a robust evaluation system, including its comprehensive programme of evaluation work; the increased resourcing for, and quality of, UNDP’s evaluation work and; and greater use that is being made of evaluation findings.

The report highlights however a number of relevant issues including insufficient Monitoring and Evaluation capability in some country offices and the quality of some decentralised evaluations. We would urge UNDP to continue to work on making its Monitoring and Evaluation system as rigorous as possible, which will help all of us obtain the best possible overview of UNDP performance.

Finally Mr President, New Zealand, as always, stands ready to support the Administrator and her team in UNDP’s work over the forthcoming year and in the words of our Indian colleague, to enable UNDP to be a force multiplier to eliminate poverty.


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