Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator: Statement at Side event at the 2017 High Level Political Forum: Improving Aid Effectiveness and Building Partnerships with National Stakeholders to Eradicate Poverty and Promote ProsperityJul 17, 2017
As prepared for delivery.
It is my pleasure to join the first Afghan-led side event at the High Level Political Forum this year. This event exemplifies the commitment made by the Government of Afghanistan to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the political will for Afghan people not to be left behind. UNDP has witnessed, welcomed, and supported the inclusive process adopted by the Government of Afghanistan to implement the SDGs with the lead role of the Ministry of Economy and the participation of civil society, private sector, and the international community.
The ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda call for game-changing and innovative solutions to accelerate inclusive development that reaches and empowers the poor, voiceless, vulnerable, and disenfranchised the most.
Predictable and continued development cooperation efforts from traditional donors and the evolving role of both domestic and private financing must be coupled with an increased role of non-government counterparts to create a sustainable and inclusive approach to financing the SDGs. Only through an integrated approach to planning, budgeting, and strategizing across actors can finance be effectively linked with real results.
Continuous dialogue and exploring new and innovative partnerships is crucial to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. It is a prerequisite to uniting communities, businesses, financial institutions, and government organizations, and to paving the way towards sustainable and inclusive development.
Engagement with civil society is critical to national ownership of development processes as they represent wider groups of people and their voices contribute to development effectiveness beyond the formal structure of democratic governance and political processes. Civil society also plays an important role in development cooperation effectiveness by ensuring all voices are heard in policy making.
Equally important is the private sector as an engine of growth, job creation, and development. As such, the private sector is a key partner in poverty eradication, reducing inequalities, and catalyzing investment for sustainable development, especially in the context of Afghanistan, where 60% of the national budget is funded through donor contributions.
Afghanistan is no exception to UNDP’s global commitment to promote partnerships for human development and enhance inclusive participation in development processes. UNDP has been supporting the Government’s efforts in reducing poverty and improving livelihoods, bringing services closer to people, protecting women’s rights, and raising awareness about the environment and climate change. On the reduction of gender-based discrimination, UNDP has developed a close partnership with the Kabul University and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to develop a Master’s Degree programme in Gender Studies, for the next generation of leaders to be advocates of women’s rights.
With 4,105 registered national NGOs and 437 registered international NGOs, the civil society space is quite wide and its role in Afghanistan is critical. NGOs will continue to receive UNDP’s support as they help transform society and ensure accountability, in addition to our strategic partnership with the Government.
In the context of countries faced with conflict/post-conflict transition, UNDP has encouraged and supported the dialogue and actions around the “New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States”. As a g7+ founding member, Afghanistan has been strongly involved in adopting the set of principles guiding international engagement in conflict-affected states.
To better address aid, the Government of Afghanistan has adopted the Afghan National Peace and Development Framework (2017-2021) which articulates immediate and long-term development priorities, and highlights key reform agenda.
In conclusion, let me reiterate UNDP’s full commitment and support to the Government and people of Afghanistan by aligning UN/UNDP’s programme to the national priorities. UNDP will make every efforts to bring together all partners and stakeholders to achieve the 2030 Agenda in Afghanistan.