As prepared for delivery.
The Hon Minister of Budget and National Planning,
Senior Government Officials,
Excellencies, Heads of Diplomatic Missions,
Heads of International Development Agencies,
Dear friends from the media,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, let me express my most profound appreciation to the Federal Government of Nigeria for the very warm welcome received upon our arrival in Abuja this morning. Throughout the day, we have had very stimulating and fruitful discussions which demonstrate the solid commitment of the Government and Development Partners to realize Nigeria’s development potential. The UN, including UNDP, will continue to build on its strong partnership with the government of Nigeria to realize the 2030 Agenda, which commits to leaving no one behind.
Today, people, nations and economies are more connected than ever, and so are the global development issues we are facing. These issues span borders, straddle social, economic and environmental realms. From urbanization to the creation of jobs for millions of people, the world’s challenges will only be solved using approaches that take both complexity and local context into account. For almost thirty years, UNDP’s human development approach - with its emphasis on enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities rather than economic growth - has inspired and informed solutions and policies across the world. Nigeria’s 2018 National Human Development Report, being launched today, focuses on Achieving Human Development in the North-East through the Humanitarian – Development – Peace Nexus.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The interlinkages between the three elements of the nexus reinforce the inescapable reality that no single actor can deliver the totality of the response required in the region. The Report validates this and provides a conceptual and analytical framework, for operationalizing the ‘nexus’ approach in the context of North East Nigeria and the wider Lake Chad basin, the geographic space within which Boko Haram operates. The Report proposes a 3+5 Integrated Framework, which articulates three integrated response pillars (peace and security; humanitarian; and development) supported by five principles of good governance, effective partnerships, human capacities, predictable and sustained financing, as well as investments in reliable data.
This framework provides the needed impetus to further place the region on the path to recovery and sustainable development. I congratulate the authors of the report for not just examining how the crisis could be tackled in the short to medium-term, but also adopting a more holistic and longer-term approach. In this way, the report attempts to push the frontiers of knowledge and thinking, laying the basis for achieving the SDGs in crisis contexts. The Report emphasizes the need for all stakeholders to participate in developing and implementing integrated responses to the crisis.
In more specific terms, the report reminds us of some facts which are worthy of great attention. Allow me to single out just a few of these — (i) prevention remains the most effective weapon and antidote against conflict, violence and crisis as has been witnessed in North East of Nigeria; (ii) we must address, with urgency, the crisis-inducing factors, especially the combined problems of unemployment, particularly among the youth, and the vicious cycle of poverty and deprivation; and (iii) we need to empower, economically and politically, the youth, women and girls. I wish to underscore these facts as critically important.
The adverse effects and the corresponding ripple effects of the Boko Haram insurgency can, in principle, be mitigated by the positive and multiplier impact of reconstruction and restoration activities in the affected communities, including those on deradicalization, reintegration and resettlement of affected individuals.
We have just come out of the Berlin/Oslo II Conference during which additional resources were pledged precisely for these efforts. As the report emphasizes, there is a need for innovative funding and financing mechanisms, leveraging resources from a wide array of stakeholders, including the private sector. Ultimately, the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts, including creating economic opportunities and providing access to basic services, should enable a total restoration of individual households and whole communities to pre-crisis conditions and even further strengthen their resilience going forward. Such efforts must, in essence, integrate the cardinal principle of environmental sustainability. I am delighted to note that UNDP, through the physical presence of a sub-office in Maiduguri, has been involved in these and many other reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.
I hope that these ideas and the analytical frameworks outlined in this report will be further interrogated, debated and put into use as the Government and its partners, including humanitarian and development actors, continue with the stabilization, reconstruction, and rehabilitation efforts in the North East. I am personally committed to ensuring that UNDP brings to bear its global network of ideas, policy analyses and advisory services, programme management founded on probity, accountability and focus on results, and the convening power to ensure that the crises in the North East and the entire Lake Chad basin are conclusively addressed. We will continue to work closely with the Government, development partners, members of the UN family in Nigeria, other humanitarian actors and local communities to devise and implement innovative and durable solutions to the crises.
The ‘New Way of Working’ has been devised as the common-sense solution - recognizing common goals and optimizing existing resources and capabilities to help all people not only to meet their urgent humanitarian needs, but to reduce risk and vulnerability. It is about working better together to reach the furthest behind first. It is also about recommitting to a focus on results and holding ourselves accountable to fully articulating collective outcomes.
UNDP looks forward to working closely with the government of Nigeria in implementing the policy recommendations outlined in the report, within the framework of the New Way of Working, to further consolidate the gains of our joint response to the crises.