Annual Meeting of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board: Remarks by Ambassador Berger

Jun 5, 2013

(Statement as delivered by Ambassador Miguel Berger, Deputy Permanent Representative, at the Annual Meeting of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board) 

"Madame President, 

Executive Director, Members of the Executive Board, ladies and gentlemen, 

Germany highly appreciates this opportunity to discuss the annual report of the UNFPA Executive Director, which contains the cumulative analysis of progress in the implementation of the UNFPA Strategic plan for the period 2008 – 2013. In addition, we will provide some comments on UNFPA’s draft of the strategic plan for the period 2014 – 2017. 

Let me start by thanking the Executive Director and the entire organization for the work done and the results achieved using a human rights-based approach to development in the implementation of the strategic plan since 2008. UNFPA staff have made tremendous efforts, often under difficult circumstances and in support of the most vulnerable and marginalized. 

We furthermore highly appreciate the leadership of the Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin who seized the opportunity of the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan 2008 – 2013 to make UNFPA a more focussed and more results oriented organization. 

We also welcome the constructive role played by UNFPA in advancing the reform of the UN system and strengthening and standardising the “Delivering as One” modality for the operations of the UN development system in programme countries. 

Madam President, 

We appreciate the open and interactive approach used by UNFPA in the development of the new strategic plan and would like to thank UNFPA for integrating comments made by member states and other stakeholders during earlier consultations. 

UNFPA’s mandate to help achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health, promote reproductive rights, reduce maternal mortality and accelerate progress on the ICPD agenda and MDG 5 remains as urgent and as important as ever. 

We therefore strongly support the proposal of UNFPA to maintain this focus and to build the next strategic plan around a slightly revised version of the bull’s eye. We also support the four outcome areas as contained in the draft strategic plan. 

We look forward to receiving a revised draft strategic plan in preparation of the September session of the Board in which the narrative around the bull’s eye is further developed, in order to make the Strategic Plan a comprehensive and stand alone document. 

The strategic plan needs to be underpinned by a solid results framework containing baselines and measurable indicators at impact, outcome and output level. The lack of such a results framework was a major weakness of UNFPA under the last strategic plan. 

In addition, there are a number of issues where we would appreciate further clarifications from the final draft of the next strategic plan and the accompanying documents. 

The strategic plan needs to outline in more clarity the future of the regionalization of the organization and contain a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities between headquarters, regional offices and country offices; 

The Strategic Plan should outline the planned partnerships with and links to the strategic plans of other UN organizations. An effective UN-System requires a meaningful division of labour at all levels: HQ, regional and country level. Such a division of labour should clearly build upon comparative advantages and decrease duplicative structures. 

Madam President, 

With respect to the findings of the audit of the Global and Regional Programme (GRP) we are deeply concerned about the institutional set up of the GRP and possible reputational risks for UNFPA. Therefore, and in order to strengthen the oversight function of the Executive Board, we would appreciate to hear from management how it plans to address the serious issues identified in the audit and to ensure that a potential successor programme has functioning, clear and effective allocation procedures, oversight structures and reporting lines, enabling the Board to monitor the resources used and the results achieved under such a modality. 

We will provide additional comments in the informal consultation on the next strategic plan directly following this meeting. 

Thank you, Madam President."

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