On 8-10 January, UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, was on official mission to Geneva to call for global solidarity for the people of Pakistan and to engage in a series of high-level meetings with Geneva-based partners and the Swiss government.
UNDP Administrator travels to Geneva for its first mission of 2023
January 9, 2023
Calling for global solidarity for the people of Pakistan
Held on 9 January 2023, the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan, co-hosted by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations, gathered the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif, the Swiss Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis, and high-level government representatives from around 40 countries, international financial institutions, and other international organisations.
The Conference marked the beginning of a structured process of support for Pakistan’s recovery, aligning humanitarian relief and early recovery with broader long-term sustainable development in a resilient manner. See the Outcome document here.
Highlighting that “historic climate events are becoming the new normal”, the UNDP Administrator urged partners to increase their “support to long-term, systems-based approaches to recovery when disaster strikes”. On that day, delegations announced commitments of more than $9 billion in financial support to the realization of the objectives and priority areas outlined in the Pakistan 4RF, the Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework, supported by UNDP.
Highlighting that “historic climate events are becoming the new normal”, the UNDP Administrator urged partners to increase their “support to long-term, systems-based approaches to recovery when disaster strikes”. On that day, delegations announced commitments of more than $9 billion in financial support to the realization of the objectives and priority areas outlined in the Pakistan 4RF, the Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework, supported by UNDP. Interviewed by Al Jazeera after the conference, Achim Steiner welcomed the generosity and the willingness from the international community to step up in this moment of tragedy, offering a ray of hope for the people of Pakistan.
Meeting with representatives from the national and provincial governments of Pakistan, he also discussed how UNDP’s flood recovery programme is designed to restore housing and community infrastructure, and livelihoods and government services, while also building disaster resilience and ensuring environmental protection.
Strengthening partnerships with WHO, UNHCR and Switzerland
While in Geneva, the Administrator also met with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros, stressing the importance of investing in development to achieve health-related SDGs and deliver on the United Nations’ commitment to leave no-one behind was highlighted. Practical collaboration between WHO and UNDP around vaccine equity and COVID-19 response and to maintain provision of health services in various crisis settings were also discussed.
With the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi (UNHCR), the Administrator welcomed the new UNDP-UNHCR Global Collaboration Framework (GCF) on Inclusion and Solutions (2023 – 2025) signed in December. He exchanged on ways to further bring the comparative advantages of the two organizations to advance development solutions to displacement, including in partnership with International Financial Institutions (IFIs). Specific country-level collaboration in Afghanistan and in response to the Syria Crisis (3RP – Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan) were also discussed.
Concluding the Administrator’s agenda, a meeting with the Swiss Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Jürg Lauber, reaffirmed the close partnership between UNDP and Switzerland (the 5th top governmental donor to the organisation in 2022), in particular around conflict prevention and building sustainable peace, key areas of work for UNDP which are aligned with Swiss priorities in the UN Security Council. The global work of UNDP around sustainable finance and the future of development were also discussed. Specific contributions of UNDP to inter-governmental processes and innovative multi-stakeholder initiatives, for instance with the finance sector through the Building Bridges coalition, as well as through other flagship programmes on science diplomacy and anticipatory governance were also discussed.
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