Dervis thanks staff, outlines development challenges ahead

26 Feb 2009

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New York – On his last day at UNDP, outgoing Administrator Kemal Derviş thanked the staff for their dedication to the goals of the organization and outlined some of the development challenges ahead.  

“We have made impressive strides in our work across the globe, from helping countries meet the MDGs to tackling climate change, working on democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery and the AIDS response,” Derviş said.  “And we continue to make progress on reform, working with the rest of the UN family towards a common good. To this end, each and every one of you has played an important role, and I thank you.”

In speaking about the current economic downturn, Mr. Derviş acknowledged that it posed very serious threats to development around the globe that sound policies were needed to address it.  

“While a worsening of the economic situation in the immediate future is perhaps unavoidable, the speed and strength of the recovery will depend on the policy responses and their effectiveness,” Derviş said.  “The policy responses need to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable populations and countries as the impact of the crisis will be too overwhelming for poor countries to respond on their own.”

“Even stronger collaboration between UNDP, the UN family, the World Bank and other partners will be critical to both identify the most vulnerable situations, as well as to design and implement an effective response. Second, the response to the crisis can be made consistent with launching the foundations for a renewed impetus towards long-term sustainable development. In striving to meet these challenges, I remain convinced that perhaps more than ever the world needs the UN family to deliver results as effectively, coherently and efficiently as possible.  And without doubt it needs a strong UNDP, as the UN’s key coordinating development network.”

Mr. Derviş concluded by saying that he would continue to be involved in global and development issues and that he looked forward to remaining connected to UNDP.

“Saying goodbye is certainly not easy,” he said.  “But as I said before: once UNDP, always UNDP.”

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Christina LoNigro in New York at christina.lonigro@undp.org or 212-906-5301.