Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme on 17 April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.
Joint Statement by EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark
The EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have been working together for 15 years, and engaged in a strategic partnership since 2004, sharing the objective of fighting against poverty all over the world. Our cooperation takes place at the policy, advocacy, knowledge sharing and programmatic levels, each feeding the other. Today, we met to review our Strategic Partnership, and to look at the way forward. We reaffirmed our wish to develop our cooperation in areas of common interest, and to continue working together towards the objective of establishing solid foundations for peace, development and recovery from the economic crisis and to promote the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development.
It is a fact that our two organisations play a relevant and complementary role within the development architecture. The strength of our partnership resides firmly at country level. We are present in more than 150 developing and transition countries where the comparative advantages we have developed over the years provide an important added value in the development arena. Some of the results achieved are illustrated in the yearly “Improving lives” reports, which highlight the joint EU/UN efforts in more than 100 countries in support of national development. The UNDP’s development coordination role in the UN, globally and at country level, provides an additional productive angle to our collaboration.
The areas of governance, conflict prevention and post conflict reconstruction will continue to be the main pillars of the partnership. Human rights and gender play an important role as cross-cutting issues, while cooperation also includes other relevant areas for sustainable human development, such as environment, energy, integrated border management, local area development and migration and development
Our cooperation in the field of electoral assistance has been showing good results. We agreed to work together to further improve our performance and develop our role. The different instruments such as the Joint EC-UNDP Task Force on electoral assistance, joint trainings and policy dialogue on emerging issues have proven their utility. Within the Strategic Partnership's democratic governance pillar, a further effort should now be made towards broadening electoral assistance to deepen democracy support. This should help sustain the results of elections, and integrate issues such as constitutional reform, parliamentary development and rule of law.
Crisis prevention and recovery has also been an area of successful cooperation. In recent years, EU and UNDP have both worked to further improve their responses to situations of fragility, as we have seen in Haiti, Sudan, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. The "New Deal" adopted in the Aid Effectiveness Conference in Busan last year provides the opportunity for development partners to work together to improve our joint response in situations of conflict and fragility. During this conference, we also endorsed the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. We will make a shared effort to encourage all stakeholders, including emerging economies and private sector actors, to be actively involved in this Partnership.
Our cooperation is oriented towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It remains a priority for both organisations to ensure that as many of the MDGs as possible, are met in as many countries as possible, by 2015. We recognise the power that the MDG framework has had in catalysing action on development. The importance of issues such as inclusive green growth, food security, equity, energy, environment and climate change, in achieving poverty eradication, need to be better emphasised in the debate leading to the post-2015 MDGs..
We agreed to continue to nurture our partnership in order to deliver aid better and more efficiently. We encourage our respective country offices to sustain and further develop their extensive on-going policy and programmatic collaboration.
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