Rebeca Grynspan: Presentation of "Tajikistan: MDG Progress Review Report 2010"

Sep 20, 2010

Address by Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Associate Administrator
UN Millennium Plaza, 28th Floor
20 September at 12:30 pm

First of all, let me express my gratitude to His Excellency President Emomali Rahmon for his invitation to address you today and for his good opening remarks on the Tajikistan MDG Progress Review Report.

UNDP is delighted to participate in this important side event which is designed to present the road map for a successful implementation of the MDG agenda in Tajikistan.

We are all the more pleased to support this initiative, since the lower income countries in this region - such as Tajikistan - often don’t get the international attention they deserve.

At UNDP, we take a very positive “can do” attitude towards achieving the MDGs.

Over the past decade we have seen many impressive advances made towards the Goals.

For example, even despite the recent crises, the developing world as a whole remains on track to achieve the poverty reduction target by 2015.

And many countries, including some of the poorest, have recorded impressive progress in saving the lives of children, ensuring that they attend school, and increasing access to clean water.

In preparation for the Summit, UNDP has worked hard to gather evidence of what has worked in achieving the Goals and how to make faster progress.   
Our premise is that the MDGs will not be achieved unless countries and development actors prioritize the interventions that have proven their worth, remove the main constraints to scaling-up, and bring on board all the stakeholders that are – directly or indirectly – in a position to contribute.

Over the past decade the Government of Tajikistan has used the MDGs as an important operational yardstick for measuring development progress.  

The significant efforts that the Tajik authorities have put into collecting and analyzing data for evidence-based reporting are indeed commendable.

A manifestation of this is the ambitious 2010 MDG Report.

The report clearly shows that Tajikistan has made significant progress on some of the MDGs, particularly when it comes to poverty reduction  and education.

In fact, as the primary education enrollment was already high, the bar was set even higher than the global MDG, with universal secondary education chosen as a national goal. The secondary enrollment ratio is now 88.6 per cent.

This success shows the strong commitment of the Government to MDG achievement. It has been achieved with focused policies, in a resource constrained environment, where international assistance has fallen way short of the country’s needs.

But challenges do remain and concerted efforts are needed if Tajikistan is to achieve all the MDGs.

Due to the multiple effects of the global economic crisis, the progress in poverty reduction may be halted. This can have undesirable effects on malnutrition and health, especially of mothers and children, and adversely affect the possibilities of further reducing child and maternal mortality, especially if it proves impossible to sustain social expenditures and carry out health care reforms.

Ensuring environmental sustainability and increasing the access to improved water sources and sewerage remain the country’s major development challenges.

Daunting as these challenges may seem, they are not insurmountable and let me assure you that UNDP stands ready to assist in addressing them – and indeed, the whole UN development system.

The signing of the UN Development Assistance Framework, followed by the Country Programme Document for 2010-2015 has laid the foundation for continued and expanded co-operation between the Government of Tajikistan and UNDP, as well as other UN Agencies

Tajikistan is also one of the eight countries that are piloting UNDP’s MDG Acceleration Framework – a Framework which aims at assisting countries to systematically identifying and addressing bottlenecks that get in the way of MDG achievement.

In Tajikistan the focus was the energy access for the poor as an important obstacle to the achievement of the rest of the MDGs and a necessary element for inclusive growth, especially when it comes to rural and agricultural development.  

Using the Framework, the constraints to progress have been analyzed, solutions have been identified, and a set of focused actions have been developed. Moreover, partners best placed to carry each of the actions have been selected.

The Framework has helped the Tajik Government and partners to further develop and focus its energy strategy. It has brought together various stand-alone activities under one umbrella, by providing a basis for the co-ordinated action on both macro issues, such as the operalization of the renewable energy law, and micro issues, such as the building of small-scale energy sources.

Looking ahead, UNDP, and the larger UN family are committed to work with international partners to support Government of Tajikistan in developing and implementing national strategies for MDG achievement.  We will also support the Government in mobilizing the necessary resources to underpin its development priorities.

In turn, UNDP encourages the Government to further align their existing development strategies with the MDGs, through broad national participatory approaches. The dissemination of the MDG report will certainly offer an important input and opportunity into this national dialogue.

I am sure that all together, we can ensure that the commitments made ten years ago lead to tangible results for the people of Tajikistan.

Again, Mr. President, congratulations for this very big effort.

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