Statement delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the First Regular Session 2019 of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board —
Thank you Mr. President.
First of all, we wish to thank the Administrator Steiner for his comprehensive statement, earlier this morning, which effectively set the scene for this Executive Board.
Italy is very pleased to re-join the Executive Board as a full member at a crucial time for UNDP and the whole UN Development System in light of the ambitious and systemic reform adopted last year which now needs to be effectively implemented. At this crucial junction we are committed to support UNDP Management and actively contribute to the work of this Board in view of a fully transitioned, effective and efficient Next Generation UNDP.
The operationalization of the UNDS Reform, started just 20 days ago, will represent a major change for the whole system and especially for UNDP. We commend the impressive efforts that UNDP has carried out so far, both in financial and managerial terms, to ensure continuity in the activity of the Resident Coordinator Offices in the field and to avoid operational disruption, during the recruitment of the new UNDP Resident Representatives.
Italy fully recognizes the strategic position of UNDP within the renewed UN system. We believe that the new operational structure will allow the UNDP to focus fully on the Strategic Plan and to deliver against its objectives, turning a potential challenge into a great opportunity.
In this regard, we wish to elaborate briefly on a few points:
First, on Partnerships. We encourage UNDP to strengthen existing initiatives at Country level within the UN system and beyond. At a moment in which we are closely looking at interlinkages among the SDGs, UNDP can further raise the bar of ambition towards new purpose-driven partnerships respectively within the UN system, with International Financial Institutions, with governments, with local authorities and last but not least with the private sector.
Second, on Engagement. We need to engage deeper with key social actors, especially Women and Young People at country level, not only in the implementation phase but also in the planning, elaboration and monitoring cycles. This is essential also to ensure that our efforts in supporting sustainable development are effectively directed towards the reduction of inequalities in line with ‘Leave no one behind’ principle.
Third, on Innovation. We believe that UNDP can lead by example on Innovation both in terms of new ways of doing business and in terms of innovative programs. Exploring the frontiers of technology and digital transformation, adapting to new contexts and scaling up successful practices should be the key priority of the next generation of UNDP and we positively note the initiatives already undertaken in this respect, such as the Global and Country Platforms and the Global Policy Network.
Fourth, on Funding. We do recognize that UNDP is working hard towards increasing internal and system-wide efficiency. We also acknowledge that UNDP is carrying out its global, regional and national work based on only 12% of core resources. In this context we fully support the ongoing Funding Dialogue towards a fair Funding Compact.
Italy enjoys a longstanding, multi-faceted and intense partnership with UNDP. We are working closely together with specific initiatives, notably related to Africa, on Human Development, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Rule of Law, , Youth and Women Empowerment, and Partnership with the Private Sector, by using a whole-of-Government approach.
Italy has also provided an active contribution to the UNDP “Localization of the SDGs” dialogues drawing on our long-standing partnership with the Organization in support to local development programmes based on an integrated and territorial approach.
We are determined to work for a further consolidation and diversification of our partnership with UNDP and in this context we look forward the upcoming opening of the Africa Center for Climate and Sustainable Development in Rome next week as a tangible proof of this increased and diversified cooperation.