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Sunday, 1 February 2015

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Sustainable development - 'once in a generation opportunity'

New York: The head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said last week that while there is tremendous volatility and turmoil around the world, this year presented a unique opportunity to eradicate poverty and agree on a path for sustainable development.

"At UNDP, we see 2015 as a huge opportunity to advance the global sustainable development agenda," said Helen Clark at the opening session of UNDP's Executive Board meeting in New York.

"The Millennium Development Goals are set to expire at the end of the year and UN Member States will meet in September to agree on the new Sustainable Development Goals, which will guide global development priorities for the next 15 years," she said.

She also cited other events this year that would be critical to global development, the third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March, in Sendai, Japan, the third International Conference on Financing for Development in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the UN climate change conference in Paris, France in December.

"The combined outcome of these major processes are a once in a generation opportunity to set a transformational global agenda for sustainable development," Clark said.

She also outlined UNDP's work in response to the present crises around the world such as the refugee crisis in countries neighbouring Syria and the crises in the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Ukraine.

"Through our work on early recovery we will support countries to move from the relief phase to recovery as quickly as possible," she said.

She also discussed UNDP's implementation of its new strategic plan and ongoing reforms to make the organisation more effective and efficient.

She also welcomed Fernando Carrera, Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the UN, on his election as President of the UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS Executive Board and thanked outgoing President Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations.

"This is an exceptional time for the development community. The months leading up to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals offer an opportunity for all of us to shape a global agenda for the next generation that will ensure a reduction of poverty and inequality for the world's poorest and most vulnerable," Carrera said.

"Likewise, in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, this year is equally crucial for the international community's combined efforts to counter the effects of climate change," he said.

"The Executive Board will continue to oversee and support UNDP in particular in the Organisation's ongoing efforts to strengthen oversight and accountability among partners and donors," Carrera said.

Clark said, "The UNDP is fully committed to playing its part in making 2015 a launch pad to step up efforts to advance human, sustainable and resilient development for all countries and people. We look forward to working with the Board to this end."

 

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