2015 a ‘Once in a Generation Opportunity’ for Sustainable Development

Jan 26, 2015

New York – The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said today that while there is tremendous volatility and turmoil around the world, this year presented a unique opportunity to eradicate poverty and agree on a path for sustainable development.

“At UNDP, we see 2015 as a huge opportunity to advance the global sustainable development agenda,” said Helen Clark at the opening session of UNDP’s Executive Board meeting in New York. “The Millennium Development Goals are set to expire at the end of this year and UN Member States will meet in September to agree on the new Sustainable Development Goals, which will guide global development priorities for the next 15 years.”

She also cited other events this year that would be critical to global development: the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March, in Sendai, Japan; the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and the UN climate change conference in Paris, France, in December.

“The combined outcomes of these major processes are a once in a generation opportunity to set a transformational global agenda for sustainable development,” she said.

In her statement she also outlined UNDP’s work in response to current crises around the world such as the refugee crisis in countries neighboring Syria, and the crises in Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ukraine, and many others.

“Through our work on early recovery we aim to support countries to move from the relief phase to recovery as quickly as possible,” she said.

She also discussed UNDP’s implementation of its new Strategic Plan and its ongoing reforms to make the organization more effective and efficient.

She also welcomed Fernando Carrera, Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the UN, on his election as President of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board and thanked outgoing President Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations.

"This is an exceptional time for the development community", said Carrera, "The months leading up to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals offer a unique opportunity for all of us to shape a global agenda for the next generation that will ensure a reduction of poverty and inequality for the world's poorest and most vulnerable."

"Likewise, in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, this year is equally crucial for the international community's combined efforts to counter the effects of climate change."

"The Executive Board will continue to oversee and support UNDP in the coming year, in particular in the Organization's ongoing efforts to strengthen oversight and accountability amongst partners and donors."

Concluding her remarks, Clark said: “UNDP is fully committed to playing its part in making 2015 a launch pad for stepped up efforts to advance human, sustainable, and resilient development for all countries and peoples. We look forward to working with the Board to this end, and thank you once again for your support for our work.”

Contact information

Christina Lonigro
Tel. +1 212 906 5301
Email christina.lonigro@undp.org

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