2015: Many things could go well!
This year is iconic, and has been branded as a year of opportunity. Like Y2K, it could be an annus mirabilis (year of miracles). UNDP can make a serious contribution: the Strategic Plan (2014-2017) is designed to chart the way forward in the major conferences ahead, and in the final definition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
2015 is the European Year of Development, the UN’s 70th Anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of Beijing (the platform to advance women’s rights). In 2015, the African Union Summit will focus on Ebola and beyond, and the Turkish G20 Presidency priorities are focused on Inclusivity, Implementation and Investment for growth.
We are on the road to Sendai for the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), to Addis for the 3rd Conference on Financing for Development (FfD). The events complement each other leading to the General Assembly (GA) on Post 2015 and the CoP21 in Paris.
UNDP is ready for the challenge. It is strong, fit, and cost-effective. It is state of the art in development thinking and is in the lead of the UN Development System. What will be our key messages?
I suggest the following five:
- UNDP is ready to support the early implementation of the SDGs. We deliver the entire package, from policy advice to implementation, from resilience-building to crisis response and development recovery, from fragile states to middle-income countries.
- UNDP’s programmatic focus and internal reform has made it ‘Fit for Purpose’: we are now a leaner, more action- and field-oriented, and more focused organization, aligned with the SDG agenda. We did it! The most significant restructuring of the organisation in more than a decade has happened without external impact on our delivery.
- UNDP is ready to fully play its role in matters of UN coordination, coherence and cohesion. We are 100% behind the Standard Operating Procedures that allow the UN Development System to go one step further in Delivering as One. We support the strengthening of existing institutions and their reform, and we have led by example.
- The development agenda will be heavily influenced by the thinking on global security and humanitarian action. UNDP’s analysis is that a greater emphasis on risk-informed development, overcoming poor governance and reducing inequalities would go a long way – and be much cheaper than rebuilding after crises and managing the humanitarian costs. Building the fence on the cliff is less costly than investing in the ambulances at the bottom of the cliff.
- Protracted conflicts, unplanned urbanization, carbon-heavy economies, lack of social protection, youth radicalization, persistent gender inequality and natural resources greed are some of the severe obstacles to development. Our strategic plan contains responses to these development challenges. We only need the means to deliver.