Mr. Jonathan Shrier
U.S. Deputy Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
August 30, 2023
Thank you, Madam President, and thank you, Mr. Administrator, for your thoughtful remarks on the state of global development and UNDP’s contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The United States would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Administrator and UNDP staff for the successful completion of the Safer tanker oil transfer project off the coast of Yemen, to help avert a disaster that would have harmed the people, economy, and ecology of the region.
We want to thank Directors Eziakonwa and Wignaraja for their presentations of the development finance needs in the African and Asia Pacific regions, as well as the presentations from Kigali and Singapore. Today’s discussion and this Board meeting are taking place at the eve of the SDG Summit, where the international community will gather to redouble our efforts, not only to reverse the lost development gains of the past few years, but also to overcome new challenges and open a new chapter in global development toward fulfilling the 2030 Agenda, leaving no one behind.
The United States believes UNDP can and should continue to play a leading role in the UN family to implement the SDGs and Summit outcomes. One important Summit theme that we have emphasized in the preparation process is a strong recommitment to the values reflected in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Today, the world is facing a set of old and new challenges: pandemics; climate crisis; rising poverty and inequality; threats to human rights and rights and opportunities for women and girls; rising food and energy prices; debt distress — not to mention wars and conflicts, and humanitarian crises.
Development finance, as many speakers today have pointed out, is critical to addressing these challenges and to putting countries on sustainable paths. Development finance mobilization must be an all-source endeavor, including domestic resources, official development assistance, international financial institutions’ lending, domestic and international private sector investment, debt relief in some cases, climate finance, innovative financing mechanisms, and more.
Also, to find effective and durable solutions to the 21st century’s complex and interlinking problems, UNDP needs to be unstinting in its efforts to incorporate UN values and human rights in all of its institution-building and development policy work. This is essential to ensure what UNDP has built or rebuilt will help countries maximize development opportunities and minimize the causes and impact of crises and conflicts that destroy lives, livelihoods, and development gains. And underpinning this work are the mechanisms for stewardship and oversight that give it legitimacy, ensure accountability to donor and program countries’ citizens, and make our collective efforts more efficient and effective.
We are interested in learning the Administrator’s thoughts on this.