Statement by H.E. Margus Kolga at the First Regular Session of the Executive Board of UNDP
Thank you, Madame Chair,
First I would like to congratulate the Ambassador of the Czech Republic Madam Edita Hrdá for the election as the President of the Executive board. As this is the first time Estonia participates in the work of the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS, allow me to say that we are keen to be here and we are looking forward to an effective and productive year. At the outset, I would like to thank UNDP for delivering development results in 2010, and for the hard work done with the preparation of the MDG Summit.
We appreciate the frank attitude that you laid out in your “Agenda for Change” on the challenges that the UNDP is facing in the changing developing landscape. Estonia firmly believes that good governance, rule of law and democratic participation are key requirements for economic growth and sustainable development, and we support your strive towards it.
We are looking forward to your report on the implementation of the gender equality strategy. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls continues to be one of the priorities of Estonia’s development and human rights related activities, and we appreciate UNDP’s systematic efforts to promote and mainstream gender equality. The creation of UN Women was of particular importance for us, and we urge UNDP to work closely with UN Women to advance gender equality.
We note the revised UNDP evaluation policy and the large number of evaluations presented to this board, and we are looking forward to the thematic discussion.
As Madam Clark indicated, the development landscape has changed – new and emerging donors and contributors play an increasingly important role in financing the UN operational activities. Estonia has supported UNDP since the year 2000 by core and thematic voluntary contributions. Our core contribution to UNDP for 2011 was already transferred at the end of last year. As Estonian Foreign Minister assured to Secretary General during their meeting last week – in 2011 Estonia is committed to increase development assistance, including core funding to UNDP.