Helen Clark: Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 and China

28 Sep 2012

Remarks byUNDP Administrator, Helen Clark
on the occasion of the Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 and China
Friday, 28 September 2012
United Nations Headquarters, New York

Thank you for inviting me to address this Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 and China. UNDP has enjoyed a long and positive relationship with the Group, and your support is essential for the success of our work around the world.

Today’s meeting is taking place in the context of a number of important multilateral processes including the high level meetings associated with the General Assembly this week. Many of these affect the future course of development co-operation, and are of great importance to this Group and to the UN development system.

At Rio+20 in June, Member States unanimously agreed that sustainable development is the only viable path for development.

The conference’s outcome document highlighted how environmental protection and economic and social development are linked. It emphasised the social – or people-centered - dimension of sustainable development which is so important to human development and poverty eradication.

At Rio+20, Member States agreed to launch a process for establishing sustainable development goals.  The discussion on this is occurring as attention turns to how the global development agenda beyond 2015 should be refreshed.

The Millennium Development Goals, launched in 2000, have mobilised support for development, bringing diverse actors together around common objectives, and guiding development frameworks and national budgets to adopt people-centered policies.

For the post-2015 development agenda to succeed in the same way, it too will need to set targets against which progress can be measured, and be easy to communicate.

Goals and targets will need to be established across the economic, social, and environmental strands of sustainable development. Within that, the unfinished business of the MDGs should be prioritized. For example, the 2015 target for MDG1 aimed to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty. The success in reaching that target – which is estimated to have been achieved at the global level by 2010 – suggests that eradication of extreme poverty is indeed possible.

Meanwhile, it is important to keep momentum on the MDG goals and targets we presently have.  With three years to go until 2015, a lot can be achieved.  UNDP has been instrumental in launching the MDG Acceleration Framework, which is supporting countries to focus on the specific actions required to achieve the Goals.

Shortly, negotiations will commence in the General Assembly on the   Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) resolution.  In the UN development system, we take this member state process very seriously, as it sets the framework for our operations over the next four years.

In today’s challenging global environment, an effective and results-oriented UN development system, responsive to country priorities and needs, is more important than ever.

The UN development system’s universal presence, legitimacy, political neutrality, and convening power give us unique strengths in supporting development in diverse contexts.   

We hope that the QCPR will give us the mandate, guidance, and support we need to continue to play our distinctive role, and support us to become even more coherent, effective, and responsive to national needs.     

The design of the post-2015 development agenda and the negotiations on the QCPR occur in a very challenging environment. That has impacted on growth and development in developing countries, and it is impacting on resource mobilisation for development assistance, including on the core budgets of UN agencies, funds, and programmes.

Meanwhile the scale of South-South co-operation is steadily growing, and contributing to development around the world.

21st century development is very much about the exchange of ideas, knowledge, innovation, and best practice. South-South co-operation plays a big role in this, and linking with it and sharing experiences is very much part of UNDP’s work.  The strategic partnerships we are forming with a number of emerging economies are important in this regard.

UNDP is also pleased to continue hosting the now renamed UN Office for South-South Co-operation, which for more than three decades has played an important role in advancing South-South Co-operation.

Conclusion

Let me conclude by emphasizing again the great importance UNDP attaches to its good relations with the Group of 77 and China.

We are grateful for your continued support for our work, and wish the Group a fruitful 67th Session of the General Assembly.

Leadership
Helen

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.

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