UNDP launches Regional Report: ‘Leveraging Change for Better Lives’

19 Sep 2013

image UNDP in Asia and the Pacific

New York, 11 September 2013—The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched its Asia-Pacific Regional Report ‘Leveraging Change for Better Lives’ in New York today, highlighting a string of successful programmes implemented between 2008 and 2012 in the region. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

“The report is testament to the UNDP´s contribution to improve people's lives and the increased importance that UNDP attributes to results reporting and solid analysis of evidence of how we support transformational change,” said Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Associate Administrator, who hosted the launch at the UN Headquarters.

“During this five years period covered by the report, UNDP delivered US $5.7 billion in programmes in Asia and the Pacific that have transformed people’s lives. For example, UNDP support for the government of India has helped create 40 million jobs, its partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) led to the production of 15,000 zero-emission electric cars in Sri Lanka, and its work with local governments across the region has made 11.9 million people eligible to vote,” said Ms Grynspan.

Several projects in Timor-Leste merited special attention in the report. In the area of conflict prevention, UNDP supports the government to establish local-level dialogue and mediation capacities. The report credited these sessions for helping to defuse potential conflicts in several districts. The report also noted that an independent evaluation in 2012 confirmed that UNDP’s assistance in training community mediators helped reduce conflict when Timor-Leste experienced a dramatic influx of returnees in 2009.

UNDP’s N–Peace gender equality initiative was praised for raising awareness of over 200 women peace-builders from six post-conflict countries. In 2013, the N-Peace network honoured peace activist Magdalena Bidau Soares for her work in teaching kindergarten children in remote areas.

The report also commended UNDP’s Justice System Programme (JSP) and its support of the government’s strategic plan for the justice sector that helps lay out a legal framework, institutional development and other priorities. Among the institutions supported by the JSP, the Legal Training Centre (LTC) is the country’s only professional training facility for justice sector officials; the 51 judges, prosecutors and public defenders who have graduated from the LTC now comprise the backbone of the country’s justice system.

UNDP’s support of the government’s conditional cash transfer pilot programme, which reaches 7,000 widows who are heads of households, as well it’s work with Timor-Leste’s Anti Corruption Commission were also commended.

One of the main areas where UNDP development programmes in the Asia-Pacific region made a difference was in building resilience to disasters and climate change. In seven of the region’s most disaster-prone countries, deaths from natural disasters have fallen following UNDP’s support in strengthening preparedness and response and recovery and in these seven countries government investment in disaster risk reduction has increased by $USD 1 billion, partly as a consequence of UNDP’s support. This report also highlights how after disaster hit, UNDP helped build resilience by creating two million workdays in Pakistan, Myanmar and Nepal.

The report covers the results achieved in the 36 countries and territories in the Asia and Pacific region where UNDP works, it includes stories from China, India, Lao PDR, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam on how UNDP has supported poverty reduction and the MDGs, strengthening democratic governance, building resilience and responding to crisis and conserving natural resources and energy efficiency.

 “This new report is testament to UNDP’s commitment to an increased results focus and more evidence-based programming, but at the same time grounded in the principles of national ownership with programme countries making decisions on how best to meet their people’s aspirations.” adds Ms Grynspan.

“As we celebrate our achievements, we must remain focused on the challenges of the MDGs. The key Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015 was met by the Asia-Pacific region, but it is still home to most of the world’s poor,” cautioned Haoliang Xu, UNDP’s new Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP). Terming the MDG’s as the “defining challenge of our time,” Mr. Xu said his priority is to accelerate progress of the goals to meet the 2015 deadline.

Contact Information

For more information on the report, please visit: http://asia-pacific.undp.org

Contacts:

Bangkok: Cherie Hart: Cherie.hart@undp.org

New York: Silvia Morimoto: silvia.morimoto@undp.org

New Delhi:  Cedric Monteiro: cedric.monteiro@undp.org 

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.