First Regular Session of the Executive Board 2024

January 25, 2024

As prepared for delivery

Mr. President, members of the Executive Board, colleagues and friends. I am honoured to join you today for this first regular session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board for 2024.

Allow me to begin by congratulating His Excellency Muhammad Abdul Muhith, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, on his election as the President of the Board. I also welcome all our new Bureau members for 2024.

I would like to express my gratitude to the outgoing Bureau members. In particular, I offer my heartfelt thanks to the outgoing President, His Excellency Martin Kimani, Permanent Representative of Kenya, for his unwavering leadership and guidance.

As we begin 2024, new faces have joined the UNDP family’s leadership team: Ms. Shoko Noda as the Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Crisis Bureau, and Mr. Marcos Neto as the Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support. 

Excellencies, let us take a moment to look back. A little less than four years ago, the world had to respond in unprecedented ways to collectively address the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 and create opportunities to ‘build forward better’.

Today, these opportunities have not yet translated into the transformational shifts required to address collective global challenges. Instead, conflicts are increasing, the impacts of climate change are accelerating, and economic disparities and social tensions are growing. 

  • Global economic growth is expected to drop to 2.4 percent in 2024, marking the third consecutive year of slowing rates. People in one of every four developing economies will be poorer than they were before the pandemic.
  • Global inequality has risen, becoming as large today as in the early 20thcentury, with technologies such as artificial intelligence expected to worsen the gaps.
  • The global risk outlook is negative, with expectations of greater turbulence and instability.

Excellencies, 2023 was the hottest year on record. The 28th Conference of the Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) highlighted that the world is significantly off track in reaching Paris Agreement ambitions. Global emissions must fall by over 40 percent by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 degree Celsius.

Last year saw more war, conflict, displacement and refugees than at any point since the second World War. Words fail to describe the human suffering, loss of life and scale of destruction, most recently in Gaza, which the Secretary-General has described as ‘unprecedented’ during his tenure. The horrific 7 October attacks claimed the lives of more than 1,100 Israelis and others] Over 100 hostages continue to be held captive by Hamas. About 1 in every 100 Palestinians in Gaza—more than 25,000 people—have been killed since the war began. The 152 UN staff killed in Gaza represent the largest loss of life in a single crisis in the history of our organization. They include our UNDP colleague killed on 22 December 2023.

Deep human suffering from conflict and instability continues in Haiti, Myanmar, the Sahel, South Sudan, Sudan, Ukraine and elsewhere. More than 114 million people have been forcibly displaced. Abandoning hope or succumbing to inaction is not an option. Instead, we must increase collective action and seize opportunities for development pathways out of crisis. 

This is part of UNDP’s core business. It is what we do every day as we stand with communities and countries in making choices to end poverty, uphold justice, realize equality and human rights, respect planetary boundaries and create the conditions for peace. 

It is what we do as we join our partners—local innovators, global leaders, the Group of 77 (G77) and Group of 20 (G20), our UN family, international financial and climate institutions, civil society, the private sector and more—to advance forward-looking ideas and policy options.

Excellencies, we have just passed the two-year midpoint of the UNDP Strategic Plan 2022-2025, which we agreed with you. I look forward to assessing this further in June when we present the Midterm Review. The last two years have tested UNDP, like everyone. They have also proven the value of the Strategic Plan in responding to turbulent times. 

Today, I will provide a snapshot of UNDP’s impact in three areas:

  • Crisis: Our investments in resilient development in fragile, conflict and emergency settings, including those related to natural disasters
  • Climate: Our country-driven and development-focused support to help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving no one behind
  • Inclusion: Our ability to combine long-established strengths with innovative approaches to realize inclusive development

I will highlight how UNDP’s country presence and global policy work bring local experiences to multilateral development dialogues—and support countries to translate multilateral commitments into local action.     

I will also speak to UNDP’s commitment, as a multilateral, public institution, to sound management, fiscal discipline and deliberate, strategic investments. Through these, we continue to build a UNDP, operating at the core of the UN development system, that is fit for today and tomorrow, and relevant as we gear up for the Summit of the Future.

Impact: crisis, climate, inclusion

Crisis, conflict and fragility

About a quarter of the world’s population and three quarters of people in extreme poverty live in fragile settings. With a dramatic spike in violent conflicts since 2010 and increases in extreme weather events linked to climate change, dependency on humanitarian assistance is growing. The 2024 global humanitarian appeal crossed $46 billion. 

History teaches us that development investments break the cycle of fragility. UNDP ‘stays and delivers’ these investments. Half our resources go to fragile contexts. We operate in all 60 countries defined as fragile by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2023, UNDP supported 17 active crises, including conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics—the highest number in recent times. We are a key and integral part of the international community’s capacity to respond to crises across the world. 

Our Crisis Offer operationalizes the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in partnership with local, national and international partners. We address the root causes of crises, invest in prevention and build resilience in tandem with humanitarian and peace operations. 

UNDP continues to play a key role in conducting joint post-disaster needs assessments and developing recovery plans under the tripartite EU-UN-World Bank Partnership, most recently in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Syria, Türkiye and Ukraine. 

Our Nexus Academy is a learning platform available to all bilateral, multilateral and civil society organizations. Launched in 2021, it has equipped 485 people with the knowledge, skills and capacities to achieve development impacts in humanitarian and conflict-affected contexts. 

Some highlights of our current and future work:

  • Early recovery and reconstruction: UNDP, with the Government and our partners, is protecting development gains in Ukraine while backing reconstruction and recovery. Equipment to generate energy has kept electricity flowing to 1 million people. Assessments of building damages in over 350,000 settlements are aiding recovery planning and debris removal. The clearance of mines and unexploded ordnance helped 1.5 million people return to their homes in 2023. 
  • Building on our experience through the Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1978, UNDP is engaging with partners to develop an early recovery and reconstruction plan for Gaza. 
  • Stabilization: Our stabilization and livelihood programmes in Niger have improved prospects for 400,000 people, including in formerly insecure areas around Lake Chad. In tandem, UNDP has supported a strong national development plan to reduce crisis risks through better governance. 
  • Area based approaches: In Afghanistan, UNDP’s decision to stay and implement a ‘development in crisis’ response after 2021 has benefited over 11.4 million people, a quarter of the population, to rebuild livelihoods and regain dignity. Small grants and training have been a lifeline, with a strong focus on reaching 75,000 women-owned enterprises who have created 900,000 jobs. A new UNDP report highlights how Afghanistan's recovery hinges on international assistance to revive productive economic sectors and reinstate women's rights.
  • In Myanmar, UNDP has reached 2.1 million people since February 2021, directly supporting communities with improved basic services and resilient livelihoods.
  • Development solutions to forced displacement: In Mozambique, UNDP, in partnership with local authorities, has restored livelihoods and essential services, allowing the safe return of over 500,000 internally displaced people. In line with our pledge at the Global Refugee Forum and our support to the Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement, UNDP will expand its assistance to at least 30 host and return countries. 
  • Disaster management and preparedness: A lasting return from UNDP’s investment in disaster management and preparedness is evident in declining numbers of deaths. In Nepal, devastating earthquakes took some 9,000 lives in 2015. In 2023, when two other earthquakes hit, 154 people perished. Between these shocks, UNDP worked with the Government of Nepal to rebuild infrastructure and bolster disaster risk management. 


Excellencies, UNDP plays an important role in supporting global and national efforts to advance climate policy and integrate climate action in every development and investment decision. We are the partner of choice for most developing countries accessing the vertical funds, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Global Environment Fund (GEF) and Multilateral Fund for the Montreal Protocol. Our portfolio, including multilateral and bilateral assistance, currently supports over 140 countries through $2.2 billion in grants across mitigation and adaptation action. 

UNDP’s Climate Promise, started in collaboration with many of you in 2019, has supported over 125 countries to design and deliver their Nationally Determined Contributions. More than 90 percent of the plans increase goals to mitigate emissions and adapt to climate change.

Other results include:

  • UNDP’s $1.6 billion adaptation project portfolio, with partners including the Systematic Observation Facility, Risk-informed Early Action Partnership, the Alliance for Hydromet Development and the Adaptation Research Alliance, is putting adaptation at the centre of national development. For example, Bhutan’s $14 billion plan seeks to climate-proof agriculture, protect biodiversity and improve health.
  • In the Sahel, a recent UNDP-brokered agreement among seven countries to coordinate climate, peace and security efforts stands to benefit over 340 million people, including by tackling complex cross-border issues around sustainable land management. 
  • In Ugandaour Accelerator Labs responded to concerns about rapid deforestation by devising a digital management system, while an energy audit probed dependence on wood for fuel. A finding that burning wood costs more, on top of destroying forests, led national regulators to lower electricity tariffs and incentivize a shift to cleaner power. 
  • UNDP supported the Armenian Ministry of Environment to link decarbonization with more inclusive energy. Leveraging a $20 million GCF grant as well as $16 million in public and private investment, Armenia made hundreds of public buildings more energy efficient. It now expects a 1 million ton cut in emissions over the next 20 years, while energy bills are lower for 280,000 low-income people; 65 percent are women.
  • UNDP routinely integrates disaster and climate risks in development planning, including in Egypt. Low-lying lands in the Nile Delta are now better protected against coastal flooding due to the construction of 69 kilometres of sand dune dikes along five particularly vulnerable hotspots. 

UNDP is shaping new international markets for sustainable green, blue and climate finance by bringing partners together for collective action at scale. The European Commission and UNDP are collaborating with UNDP to unlock capital for developing countries through its Global Gateway and has sought UNDP expertise to support countries in developing their own green bond frameworks. In Mexico, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) bonds now total $10 billion with the latest 2 billion euro bond issued earlier this month. UNDP supported the Government to devise its original SDG bond framework in 2020 and in producing allocation and impact reports.

At the global level, following COP28, UNDP will play an integral role in operationalizing the interim secretariat for the new loss and damage fund.

We are learning from our work on climate. UNDP’s new Nature Pledge aims to repeat the success of the Climate Promise by supporting over 140 countries to achieve the 23 targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the related goals of the 2030 Agenda. In close partnership with the UN Environment Programme, GEF and others, UNDP is supporting and advising a shift in how we value nature, make economic decisions, and pursue nature-based solutions for people and planet. 


Excellencies, the world is not inclusive. Poverty, inequality, discrimination, digital exclusion—all are barriers to fair and inclusive societies. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a rise in the unequal distribution of wealth.  

A recent after-action review of our COVID-19 response highlighted that UNDP’s institutional flexibility and agility enabled us to be a ‘first responder’ when the pandemic struck. This is fundamental to UNDP’s approach to leaving no one behind, enabled through our partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which since 2003 has contributed to saving more than 7.3 million lives. 

UNDP’s lasting impact on national health and development outcomes is evident in a $2.3 billion collaboration with the Global Fund in Zimbabwe that has cut HIV incidence in half over the last 15 years. Partnerships on digital health, including with the World Health Organization, Global Fund and Gavi, are addressing pressing challenges, from data collection to disease surveillance and service delivery. More than 45,000 digital and smart health facilities in 13 countries stand to offer a 3-to-1 return on investment.

UNDP’s investment in improving national health outcomes reflects our commitment to go beyond income to understand and tackle the multiple dimensions of poverty through our global policy work:

  • Our collaboration with the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs seeks to shape development metrics that go ‘Beyond GDP’, leveraging UNDP’s accumulated expertise in multidimensional human development indices. 
  • UNDP’s SDG Insights and Human Development Reports offer analysis and forecasting tools that countries need to make informed choices. 

At the country level, to deliver our integrator role, UNDP’s SDG Push Framework has provided policymakers and UN country teams with analytical, modelling and financing tools to identify and assess national SDG gaps, priorities and investment opportunities. 

Last year, UNDP continued to combine long-established strengths with new investments to advance inclusive development. For example, in Liberia, UNDP strengthened the capacity of the electoral management body to conduct credible, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections, which enabled almost 2.5 million people to vote. In Vanuatu, comprehensive electoral reforms are modernizing fragmented electoral laws.

New directions in our governance work draw on interdisciplinary expertise. UNDP has set a target to channel $100 billion of public finance towards gender equality, in part through gender-responsive fiscal policies and tax reforms. Sixteen countries are already defining fiscal reforms through UNDP’s Gender Seal for public institutions. Another 15 countries are in the pipeline, and there is strong potential to scale up within 90 countries through the integrated national financing frameworks. 

In the last year, UNDP’s commitment to rapid digitalization for inclusive development has gone to scale, including our support to Member States on the Global Digital Compact. A major advance has come from supporting the G20 Digital Economy Working Group, in collaboration with the World Bank, on a groundbreaking consensus to make digital systems secure, interoperable and available to all. UNDP and the G20 India Presidency developed practical resources, the first of their kind, on how countries can develop inclusive, rights-based digital public infrastructure. 

With the G20 and UN partners, we are galvanizing a global drive for digital infrastructure linked to more dynamic and inclusive economies and poverty reduction. UNDP and the International Telecommunication Union have mobilized governments, philanthropies and multilateral organizations behind a pledge to build digital public infrastructure in 100 countries by 2030, one of the SDG Summit’s High-Impact Initiatives. The pledge has already attracted $400 million in commitments. 

Digital development solutions increasingly feature as a new core competency in UNDP that is in high demand, as reflected in our country programmes, such as:

  • A digital social innovation platform in Indonesiawith a 100-village pilot slated to inform a nationwide scale-up to 75,000 villages. It aims to improve the targeting of $5 billion in national development finance.
  • A biometric citizen registry database in Honduras, used to register 5.5 million citizens. To leave no one behind in the diaspora, eight mobile consulates registered 20,000 citizens in the United States. 

Continuous learning 

The vision of UNDP’s Strategic Plan guides our strong performance in a difficult operating environment. Equally important has been the capacity and willingness to continuously learn and adapt, now central features of our organizational culture and codified in our knowledge management strategy. To share a few recent examples:

  • SDG 16: The UN Board of Auditors highlighted opportunities for strengthened management of our work on SDG 16, on peace, justice and strong institutions. We have introduced a new project quality assurance dashboard and are bolstering regional oversight. This supported a partnership with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights to issue the first global progress report dedicated to SDG 16.
  • Energy: A recent perception survey of nearly 400 external stakeholders viewed UNDP as ‘very effective’ in supporting the SDGs. UNDP scored well on gender equality and human rights but less so on affordable and clean energy. This finding affirms our focus on energy through our Sustainable Energy Hub, which connects issues related to policy, finance and the integration with multiple SDGs.
  • Digital: A recent evaluation of UNDP support for the digitalization of public services affirmed that we have set the stage for more equitable and accountable digitalization. We need to do more, however, in scaling up technical capacities in the least developed countries and crisis situations.

A commitment to sound and transparent management 

Excellencies, as of January 2024, UNDP is largely on track to achieve the results we agreed in the Strategic Plan. We have an increasingly robust ability to embrace complexity, manage risks, innovate and learn while doing, and deliver, consistently, at scale.

Financial performance 

Though the books have not yet closed, while we anticipate exceeding our 2023 target for delivery—$5.0 billion, the highest in 10 years—provisional data indicate that UNDP continues to experience the effects of the continued downward pressure on official development assistance. Total annual contributions, to date, of $4.6 billion received in 2023 were 7 percent lower than in 2022. Core contributions decreased 5 percent from $591 million in 2022 to $561 million in 2023. 

Despite a decrease in core resources, I am heartened by the continued commitment of several of you to core funding, particularly: 

  • Our top 10 core contributors by amount: Germany, the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom and Denmark
  • Our non-Development Assistance Committee (DAC) contributing partners by amount: Qatar, India, China, Saudi Arabia and Türkiye
  • Our 10 core donors who increased their contributions in 2023 by total contribution amount: Germany, Japan, Norway, France, the Republic of Korea, Ireland, Spain, Austria, Liechtenstein and Andorra.
  • Our donors who maintained core contributions in 2023 by amount: the United States, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia, Qatar, Italy, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Thailand, Kuwait, Singapore, Iceland, Indonesia, Portugal, Cambodia and the Philippines. Slovak Republic and Samoa returned as core contributors in 2023.
  • Our core donors with multi-year agreements for 2023: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland and Türkiye.

Government cost-sharing is up 5 percent, signalling strong support from our programme countries. But most other resource flows are trending downwards, a sobering contrast and reminder of the power of choices, for better or worse. 

Return on investment in efficiency and strategic investments

UNDP has a year-on-year trendline of improvement in bringing down overhead since 2018. We now deliver 91 cents of every dollar on development programming and services, up from 88 cents in the Strategic Plan period before 2018. 

Our portfolio approach, which shows how different development and financing solutions best fit together, illustrates this momentum. It has generated nearly $400 million in investments by demonstrating impacts and reducing transaction costs. 

At a certain point, however, the continued pursuit of efficiencies and cost reductions will produce diminishing gains. We need to make sure we can retain and enhance the agility and resilience that, for example, proved so important during COVID-19.  

Overall, sound fiscal management has enabled UNDP to invest in becoming a future-ready organization. Today, those investments are showing returns. 

  • The Accelerator Labs have become the largest learning network on sustainable development, operating in 115 countries, sourcing over 6,000 development solutions and galvanizing over 1,500 partnerships.
  • Our investment in a UNDP Chief Digital Office allowed us to support more than 50 countries on inclusive digital transformations in 2023, including 22 least developed countries and 15 small island developing States.
  • Since the creation of the Sustainable Finance Hub in 2019, a seed investment of $15 million has raised $174 million for UNDP’s work on sustainable finance. This in turn, through collaboration with governments, multilateral development banks, financial institutions and the OECD, has enabled UNDP to help countries raise $17 billion in additional investment in the SDGs, mostly private capital leveraged from bonds and public tax revenue.

A culture of oversight and accountability

UNDP’s organizational culture embodies our values as an internationally owned organization. Our 18th clean audit opinion affirms strong governance and a culture focused on managing risks and upholding accountability. Through a continued drive for excellence on gender equality, we exceeded 94 percent of UN-SWAP indicators in 2023, well above the 83 percent on average across organizations. UNDP has one of the most comprehensive in-house carbon footprint monitoring systems in the United Nations and has cut electricity-related emissions by 13.3 percent while realizing an expected $22 million in savings as part of its commitment to halve carbon dioxide emissions by 2023. 

In January 2023, UNDP launched our first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy, part of our journey to becoming a safe and truly diverse anti-racist organization, free from all forms of harassment. A new DEI Committee guides personnel on how to integrate these principles in all our work. New tools such as the Anti-Racism Skills Building Workbook, the Disability Inclusion Learners Corner, an LGBTQI+ inclusion course and the 2023 “Speak Up Culture: Safe Space” pilot are designed to help. 

I am pleased that in 2023, we saw a 78 percent increase in participation in training related to ethics and an approximately 25 percent increase in requests for guidance and advice from the Ethics Office. This demonstrates UNDP’s commitment to nurturing a culture of ethics, integrity and accountability, enhancing trust in, and the credibility of, the United Nations.


Excellencies, we strive to care for our greatest asset at UNDP: our incredible personnel. Nearly 12,000 colleagues spoke up through the new UNDP Listens survey in 2023, the highest response rate in nearly two years of global staff surveys. The results are clear: UNDP remains an employer of choice for good reasons, namely, our purpose, the clarity of our goals and confidence in UNDP leadership teams across the world. 

We are also learning about what works and how to continuously improve. For example, offices with graduates of the Leaders for 2030 Programme are twice as likely to be among the top performers. Areas for more attention have surfaced as well, such as through the finding that in a number of offices, women staff are significantly less likely than men to feel cared about in the workplace. Together with my Executive Group, we are taking action to respond to identified areas of improvement.

Risk management 

UNDP is often called upon to operate in high-risk, complex environments in an effort to serve both countries in crisis and the international community in leaving no one behind. We remain diligent and proactive in preventing, detecting and mitigating risk and have a zero-tolerance against corruption. But, Excellencies, in challenging environments, zero tolerance does not mean zero risk. When risks do materialize, we take action, holding ourselves accountable and continuously improving our risk management systems. 

For instance, when UNDP, with the Government and support of the international community, established the Funding Facility for Stabilization in Iraq in 2015, rigorous and additional systems were put in place to prevent and mitigate risk, monitor and evaluate results, and conduct independent audits and investigations. In addition, detailed analysis by UNDP’s Office of Audit and Investigation highlighted specific anticipation and mitigation improvements in response to the risk of procurement fraud, which UNDP acted upon in Iraq and incorporated in the design of other stabilization programmes.   

The UN Board of Auditors’ recommendations and an independent review have challenged us to reflect on strategic internal and external risks to the Strategic Plan. Accordingly, we strengthened the Secretariat of the Risk Committee to systematically flag potential issues. A new performance app for management will bolster risk management and oversight at senior levels.

At the same time, we continue to enhance staff capacities to anticipate and manage risks well. For example, UNDP released new data privacy standards, tools and process to guide our teams on assessing privacy impacts, upholding data rights and responding to data breaches.

We need strong risk management systems and instincts because we continue to work when and where others cannot. Helping to save the FSO SAFER tanker and avoid a potentially catastrophic environmental disaster in the Red Sea—against the odds—was an example of UNDP’s unique partnerships and programmatic and operational agility. 

Contributions to the UN development system and partnerships with the multilateral financial institutions

UNDP continues to be fully committed to a cohesive UN development system. We provide the highest cost-sharing of any UN entity for the resident coordinator system, doubling our contribution since 2019. The UN Board of Auditors highlighted that UNDP anticipated and successfully implemented a complex transition on short notice.

UNDP continues to invest in system-wide planning, risk management and comprehensive support across the SDGs. One hundred percent of country programme document outcomes are derived from UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks. 

In our wider UNDP family, we are proud of the work of our hosted entities. 

  • In 2023, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation brokered collaborative initiatives involving over 100 countries. 
  • The United Nations Volunteers broke records for a fifth consecutive year, deploying almost 13,000 volunteers across the UN system. 
  • While the numbers are not yet final, the United Nations Capital Development Fund expects to deliver over $100 million in 2023 for the third consecutive year, and has built new partnerships with the UN family, receiving about $29 million from nine UN entities to deploy loan and guarantee instruments. 
  • The Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office administered over $1 billion in UN inter-agency funds for SDG achievements involving 107 programme countries, 54 UN entities and an increasing number of non-UN actors. Innovative features included enhanced tools to work with international financial institutions.

UNDP has scaled-up partnerships with the international financial institutions, including a new chapter of collaboration with the European Investment Bank. In 2023, UNDP received $346.1 million from 14 international financial institutions, through direct grants and government financing, to support development initiatives in 42 countries.

The moonshots: moving at speed and scale  

Before I close, I will speak briefly about the four moonshots in UNDP’s Strategic Plan. Some of you have asked: How is UNDP, with an operating budget of under $5 billion, talking about a moonshot for aligning $1 trillion in finance towards sustainable development? Or about 100 million people leaving multidimensional poverty, 500 million people gaining access to clean energy and 800 million people supported to take part in elections?

The moonshots are important because they reveal new opportunities and choices. They push us towards the possible—not just the immediately doable. They also show how UNDP’s development contributions can and do add up with its partners, on a massive scale.

Acting across the multiple dimensions of poverty, UNDP, in collaboration with governments and UN entities, including the UN Children’s Fund, International Labour Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, UNHCR and others, has over the past two years supported 97 countries to generate much-needed jobs and livelihoods, benefiting over 20 million people. We assisted 63 countries to strengthen social protection systems and over 30 countries to deepen financial inclusion. 

On sustainable energy, early calculations show that against a moonshot of 500 million, which is a UN Energy pledge, up to 200 million direct and indirect beneficiaries stand to benefit from 330 active UNDP-supported sustainable energy projects. These build on public and private partnerships, such as $452 million in grants and $4.5 billion in co-finance through the vertical funds.  

From 2022 to 2023, UNDP, in partnership with the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and UN country teams, supported elections with over 400 million registered voters, surpassing 50 percent of our moonshot target. In 2024, the biggest year for elections in history will influence politics and development for years to come. 

UNDP with government and private sector partners has taken strides towards aligning over $200 billion dollars in finance with sustainable development. This encompasses our work on public financial management reforms and SDG impact management and measurement with the private sector. 

All these achievements were made possible with the support of our partners, including our core contributors.

Excellencies, we are living in a moment where nothing feels safe, secure or straightforward. But the hope, the effort and the impact of development give us the courage to remain positive and keep pushing towards the SDGs, even in dark times. I witnessed firsthand what is possible last month in Rwanda, where investments in health, education and digitalization have been transformational only 30 years after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. 

It is a privilege to share some highlights of UNDP’s work with you. UNDP is an organization with its feet on the ground and its eyes on the future, both seeing the possibilities for change and equipped to deliver it. We look forward to your feedback and guidance today, and to continuing the conversation as we gear up to further advance UNDP’s Strategic Plan and support countries in tackling some of the greatest challenges of our times.