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Thank you, Mr. President.

I wish to congratulate you once again on your appointment as President of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board for 2015 and the new Vice Presidents and members of the Boards. Italy is very pleased to be back as a member of the Board.

Our warmest thank goes to Mr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director, for his presentation, his vision as well as for his work.

I would like to reiterate how important the Board is as an essential means to examine in depth, and in operational terms, the themes of the agenda. For this, Italy stands ready to offer its full support.

2014 was a particularly positive year for the progress made in the implementation of the Plan of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. This proves promising for the possible inclusion of the objectives of the Plan of Action into the Post 2015 Agenda.

Italy will continue to support the definition of a new paradigm for development where sustainable goals are based on the respect of human rights to assure gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, women and youths’ human rights, as well as comprehensive development for young people. We agree with the conclusions of the UNFPA report on the State of the World Population 2014 that underscore the need to pay particular attention to the needs of youths, who make up approximately one fourth of the global population.

Mr. President, Mr. Executive Director,

We welcome the fact that UNFPA has adopted the Second Generation Humanitarian Strategy, with planning focused on gender equality, and encompassing the collection, analysis, and use of disaggregated data by gender and age. We appreciate the role taken on by UNFPA in its response to emergency situations, in particular, as a co-leader on gender-based violence. We agree on the need for UNFPA to equip itself with more effective financial instruments for a swifter response to the growing number of requests from Countries. In principle, we are in favor of the approach proposed by UNFPA and are interested in obtaining more details as we discuss this item.

UNFPA’s adoption of an oversight policy triggered significant internal reforms, with a strengthening of management, accountability and transparency. Of vital importance are also an effective governance of operations within the United Nations system and cooperation between Funds and Programmes that can harmonize policies in this field.

Mr. President, Mr. Executive Director,

Italy is fully committed to a strong multilateral system that is led by the United Nations, in full recognition of the central role of UNFPA. Therefore, we remain committed to the mandate and work of the Programme, and we will continue our support to its core resources, at least at the same level of previous years.