Remarks at the UN Population Fund Executive Board Meeting

Ambassador Kelley Currie
U.S. Representative for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
January 25, 2018


Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you, Dr. Kanem, for your statement.

We welcome Dr. Kanem in her new official capacity and look forward to seeing the direction you lead the agency. We enjoyed our last meeting with you in the fall and look forward to our continued partnership.

We appreciate the effort that has gone into the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan. Particularly with regard to the integrated results and resources framework, we appreciate UNFPA’s emphasis on standardized indicators. Utilizing common indicators with other UN funds and programs will promote greater accountability and develop a stronger evidence base for interventions. Furthermore, the emphasis on disaggregated data can help fulfill a critical gap in both development and humanitarian programming.

The United States remains committed to addressing gender-based violence, especially the unique needs of displaced women and girls. The United States has been a leader in bringing attention and resources to gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies that increase safety for women and girls. As a Board member, we encourage UNFPA to institutionalize support for this issue and make it a priority for emergency response. We further urge UNFPA to continue its efforts to improve the functioning and effectiveness of the Gender-Based Violence Areas of Responsibility, including through its task teams and investment in human resources.

In addition, as a Board member, the United States wants to demonstrate our commitment to the Comprehensive Resource Review process. We expect and encourage that it will be done in an open, transparent manner that accounts for Member State participation, consultation, and oversight. We are eager to hear from Dr. Kanem on her vision for this process – including a timeline and topics of prioritization. We look forward to staying engaged for the benefit of better and more efficient humanitarian and other response that is aligned with previous country evaluations and global consultations.

Furthermore, with regard to the importance of evaluations, we support UNFPA in continuing to focus its efforts on increasing its accountability for results, including by strengthening country-level capacity for monitoring and evaluation. We encourage UNFPA management to underscore the importance of these items and continue to build the organization’s capacity in these areas to ensure that the agency is meeting its mission.

We also encourage UNFPA to take further action to implement its commitments to humanitarian reform. The United States is especially interested in efforts to advance efficiencies through reducing management costs, harmonizing partnership agreements, providing transparent and comparable cost structures, and strengthening measures to achieve greater accountability.

As part of humanitarian response, the United States recognizes the right of all parents to determine the number and spacing of their children, and we support voluntary family planning programs that advance this right, uphold human rights, and protect Life and the sanctity of the family. We recognize the potential for harnessing more disaggregated data toward our shared goals of advancing and strengthening voluntary family planning programs. We honor families as the building blocks of society, and we will continue to work with programs, governments, and multilateral agencies that share this commitment.

The United States believes in the right to life. Our government will stand against any program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization whenever and wherever it occurs. As we have stated before but must reiterate again, the President has directed – and our domestic law requires – that U.S. funds not be made available to any organization that supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization. We thank UNFPA, our fellow Board members, and other Member States for understanding and respecting our position. And we encourage all governments to preserve and protect the sanctity of Life as the most important human right of all.

Thank you.