UNDP Chief Helen Clark Visits Rajasthan

05 Mar 2010

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Jaipur/Bhilwara/Udaipur, 05 March 2010 - Helen Clark, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), arrived in Jaipur today as part of her five-day official visit to India and called on Rajasthan Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot. Miss Clark complimented Mr. Gehlot on the effective implementation of the social sector spend especially under NREGA, and appreciate the efforts made by UNDP-supported Rajasthan Mission on Skills and Livelihood and rural infrastructure development.Helen Clark will visit Bhilwara district along with Union Rural Development Minister Dr. C.P. Joshi tomorrow. In Bhilwara she will visit the government’s flagship programme -- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme or NREGP -- that guarantees 100 days of paid work to any household that demands it. She will arrive at the Bhilwara district collectorate in the morning and after a brief meeting with the District Collector Ms Manju Rajpal, she will proceed to the Panchayat Samiti office in Suwana block, Ms. Clark will review UNDP-supported innovations , including functional literacy classes conducted for NREGP workers at worksites; skill-building training centre for workers; information kiosk and community radio programmes to enhance legal awareness about workers’ rights; payment of wages to workers through bank business correspondents; and others.

These initiatives will aid in formation of social and physical capital, establishing ecological synergies, strengthening democratic governance projects, enhancing livelihood opportunities, NREGA will progress from wage employment to sustainable development. Ms. Clark will also visit a nearby NREGP water conservation site and see functional literacy classes being conducted for workers at the site. Helen Clark was appointed as UNDP head in April 2009 and also serves as the Chair of the UN Development Group which unites 32 UN agencies. Prior to her appointment at UNDP, Miss Clark served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008. This is Miss Clark’s first visit to India as UNDP Administrator and will be an opportunity for her to review important areas of cooperation between UNDP and the central and state governments. This is Miss Clark’s first visit to India as UNDP Administrator and will be an opportunity for her to review important areas of cooperation between UNDP and the Indian government. India is emerging as a key player in global forums and is rapidly enlarging South-South cooperation with its neighbours, as well as in other regions. India has also created several successful innovative programmes in social development and has a wealth of knowledge that can be shared with other developing countries. Helen Clark’s discussions with Indian officials will explore how the UNDP-India partnership can be expanded to support the sharing of these innovative programmes with other countries.

In New Delhi, Miss Clark will call on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of External Affairs, Mr. S.M. Krishna; Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia; the Minister of Environment and Forests, Mr. Jairam Ramesh; and other senior leaders. On 08 March, Miss Clark will release the UNDP sponsored Asia Pacific Human Development Report -- Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Equality for the Asia and the Pacific -- in New Delhi along with senior Indian leaders to mark the International Women’s Day. Miss Clark will leave India on 10 March. About UNDP UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners. www.undp.org and www.undp.org.in

Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme

Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme on 17 April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues. Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served for nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving three successive terms from 1999 - 2008. Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social and cultural spheres.

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