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Thank you, Mr. President.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you 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 Mrs. Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, for her presentation, her vision as well as for her tireless work.
As she highlighted, this year is indeed a crucial one, as we are called to define the post 2015 development agenda. The new agenda should be ambitious, transformative and inclusive to have full legitimacy and to bring confidence in global processes. The agenda should aim at eradicating poverty in all its dimensions by addressing its structural causes and removing persistent inequalities. It should recognize the importance of equity among individuals, social groups, countries and territories, fostering an inclusive development that promotes employment and decent work and that is founded on environmental sustainability. It should consider peace, rule of law, and effective governance as essential for all countries and people. The agenda should reflect the importance of achieving gender equality and empowering girls and women as agents of sustainable development.

Mr. President, Madame Administrator,

UNDP has a fundamental role to play and it has strongly contributed to bringing the MDGs agenda from ”vision” to implementation. UNDP is strategically placed in the context of the new agenda to give support to partner countries in addressing poverty and inequality, strengthening effective democratic governance and accountable institutions and building resilience to sustain development gains in the face of disaster and conflict. It can also contribute to a better understanding of the multidimensional aspects of poverty and to measuring well-being.

The new partnerships, which we believe should go beyond traditional development co-operation frameworks and should reflect new geopolitical realities, must encompass the growing role of South-South co-operation, civil society and the private sector. UNDP is key to engaging with these partners. This is why Italy considers local governments vital actors in advancing sustainable human development, especially as regards territorial partnerships across countries.

Italy fully recognizes the important role that UNDP plays for the UN system as a whole as the coordinator of the UNDG and as the main supporter of the Resident Coordinator system. We expect this role to become even more crucial after we adopt the new post 2015 agenda. UNDP needs to lead the UNDG to ensure that the UN agencies are “fit for purpose” for post 2015. The UN’s universality, legitimacy, strong normative foundation and global operational presence give it a unique platform from which to facilitate the global partnerships needed to implement the post 2015 agenda.

Italy attaches great importance to the key item of evaluation, which is a critical instrument for improving performance and strengthening stakeholders’ confidence. We welcome the report on the review of the evaluation policy. We are concerned about the quality and impartiality of decentralized evaluations. We welcome the responses of the Independent Evaluation Office and of UNDP Management, and we encourage UNDP to work with the Exectuive Board, which has been vested with the great responsibility of revising the policy, taking into account the recommendations of the evaluation. We stand ready to contribute to the discussion.

Mr. President, Madame Administrator,

Italy is fully committed to a strong multilateral system in which the UN plays a key role. We are convinced that the operational activities for development are one of the pillars of UN action to promote a more peaceful and more mutually supportive world. We fully recognize the central role of UNDP and we remain committed to the mandate and work of the Program. Though not yet in a position to confirm the precise amount of our voluntary contribution for 2015, we will continue to provide our strong support to its core resources, at least at the same level of previous years.