Statement delivered by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Second Regular Session 2019 of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board – UNDP Segment / Interactive Dialogue with the UNDP Administrator —
Thank you for your leadership and commitment in chairing this Board.
Let me first recognize the achievements of UNDP. Under your guidance, UNDP has been able to bring forward its strategic agenda, with a high level of dynamism, innovation, efficiency and transparency of course successfully performing as a key enabler and implementer of the responsibility of the UN Development System. So, I want ot recognize this upfront. We support the stream of work you have presented to us today and I would like to make briefly five points:
One is integration. The integrated character of the 2030 Agenda requires that all the Agencies, Funds and Programs of the UN carry out their activities with an integrated approach, and giving their fair contribution the reforms through increased efficiencies, being fully cognizant of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. We encourage UNDP to proceed convincingly along this path.
The second point I want to highlight is climate change. This is the gravest existential threat humanity is facing which therefore requires the full mobilization of the international community. UNDP has already demonstrated to be a key player in this field and while we look forward to the incoming Climate Action Summit, this line of action should remain a priority and be further intensified. As member of the Energy Transition Coalition and supporter of other Summit Coalitions, Italy is ready to do its part and would very much support an active role of UNDP at the Climate Action Summit and beyond.
The third point is on digital innovation. We fully agree on the need to exploit the extraordinary potential of the digital revolution in the pursuit of sustainable development. We have been following with great interest the work of the Task Force on the Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals, co-Chaired by the UNDP Administrator, and would be very supportive of fin tech-driven solutions that may advance sustainability. We also welcome the attention that UNDP intends to devote to the issue of digital access during the incoming ministerial week and we see a clear connection between the focus on digitalization and the need for a greater involvement of the younger generations – young entrepreneurs, young professionals or simply young citizens – in our quest for a more sustainable society.
The fourth point is on the private sector. We have been listening very cleary how important it is to integrate the private sector. You said very well, Madam, everyone has to put the SDGs at the core of its own interest, of its own business, public or private, institution or company.
Last but not least, the role of women. Also my distinguished colleague from Ireland highlighted this issue. Development becomes sustainable only if women are fully part of it. UNDP is showing good results on gender in its internal path towards gender parity (especially among senior staff), it should further promote women’s leadership and participation in crisis prevention and recovery efforts, also by working more closely with UN-Women.
Finally, Italy will continue to give full support to UNDP. In 2018, we have been the 11th Member States contributor to UNDP with over 80 million USD. As for 2019, we have already disbursed our core contribution and we confirm our support to the activities of the Agency.
One last very warm thought of our friendship and solidarity for the people of Bahamas. It is a tragedy and what is tragic is that this tragedy is going to happen again. So we have to act, we have been supporting now for decades the Small Islands in facing their challenges and we will continue to do so through our partnership.