UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS Executive Board Highlights Critical Year for Sustainable Development
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Members of the Executive Board of the UN Development Programme's (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) said 2015 is a critical year to reach agreement on the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), disaster risk reduction (DRR), financing for development (FfD) and climate change processes.

The 36-member Board provides intergovernmental support to and supervision of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS activities.

undp-unfpa-unops30 January 2015: Members of the Executive Board of the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) said 2015 is a critical year to reach agreement on the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), disaster risk reduction (DRR), financing for development (FfD) and climate change processes. The 36-member Board provides intergovernmental support to and supervision of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS activities.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark described 2015 “as a huge opportunity to advance the global sustainable development agenda,” describing the outcomes of the post-2015, financing, DRR and climate change processes as “a once in a generation opportunity” to agree on “global actions to eradicate extreme poverty and inequality, build resilience, and reduce carbon emissions.” UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said “2015 offers a new opportunity for the world to galvanize around a common and uniting agenda,” and underscored UNFPA’s determination to contribute to a people-centered development agenda. UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo described the SDGs as a “chance to address some of the major challenges of the world, to underscore the fundamental concept of working towards a fair and just society.”

Executive Board members reflected on challenges encountered in 2014, ranging from conflicts and violence to health concerns such as the Ebola outbreak.

Osotimehin said that despite progress achieved in 2014, “grave inequalities emerge” when goals do not address and promote human rights and inclusion. He urged investments in people to create a sustainable world with equal opportunities to promote human dignity, human rights and peace and prosperity. Osotimehin outlined UNFPA priority areas for 2015, inter alia: strengthening work on quality reproductive health services, especially as it relates to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5; focusing on young people, especially adolescent girls; facilitating greater South-South cooperation; becoming a center of excellence in data for development; and strengthening humanitarian work, particularly on gender-based violence. On FfD, Osotimehin recommended the global community “focus not only on who will pay what and why but also on key investments that must be made in people, particularly in those most in need.”

On DRR, Clark said UNDP is focusing on strengthening risk governance arrangements, and is collaborating with the UN Office for DRR (UNISDR) to pilot targets and indicators for DRR for the SDGs in five pilot countries to determine their feasibility in different country contexts. Clark said that UNDP recognizes the importance of paying attention to the special circumstances of small island developing States (SIDS) and will work with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and SIDS regional organizations to identify innovative solutions to debt sustainability, among other actions.

The first regular session of the Executive Board convened from 26-30 January 2015, in New York, US. [UNDP Press Release] [UNDP Administrator Opening Remarks] [UNDP Administrator Closing Remarks] [UNFPA Executive Director Statement] [Executive Board Website]

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