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Statement on behalf of Canada, France, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand and Belgium at the First Regular Session of the Executive Board of UNFPA

01.02.2011

Madam President,

Mister Executive Director,

On the occasion of your first statement to the Executive Board as the new Executive Director of UNFPA, Canada, France, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand and Belgium wish to congratulate you for your nomination and welcome you wholeheartedly at the helm of UNFPA.

We thank you for sharing your vision for UNFPA with the Executive Board. As you know, UNFPA has a solid capital of trust among partners and stakeholders. UNFPA is especially recognized for its constant and genuine efforts to enhanced operational effectiveness. We are confident that under your leadership UNFPA will stay a vibrant, results oriented and accountable organization with motivated and dedicated staff as well as a champion for system wide coherence, collaboration among UN organizations and Delivering as one.

There is no doubt that the ICPD agenda and the Cairo Program of Action remain as relevant in 2011 - the year in which the world population will grow to over 7 billion people - as they were almost 20 years ago. The Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health offers a new opportunity to position UNFPA’s work. Family planning is crucial, in particular in the least developed countries. It is crucial not only in relation to fertility rates, but also because it helps young people, men and women alike, to give direction to their lives, for example by providing more opportunities for education. We look forward to the integration of your ideas on youth, the “adults of tomorrow”, in the work of UNFPA. We must indeed increase the awareness of young people about efficient family planning.

The ICPD agenda, gender equality and empowerment of women are very much interwoven. Therefore, gender equality must remain a high priority for UNFPA. Special attention needs to go to sexual and gender based violence, in particular in situations of fragility and conflict and in humanitarian settings. We need to involve young men earlier, more intensively and better in order to prevent sexual and gender based violence.

We know that Funds and Programs are working on gender equality in a complementary way, and not in competition. We think that the establishment of UN Women and the Mid Term Review of the Strategic Plan of UNFPA are very useful opportunities to refine more clearly who will be doing what in terms of gender equality. We stand ready and look forward to further discuss with partners on this “division of labour” with partners.

Last but not least, we would like to highlight, as you did, the issue of strengthening results reporting and accountability. In this respect, we count on you, Mr Executive Director, to further  strengthen evaluation as well as foster evidence-based decision making at all levels of the organization and to pay due attention to risk management and mitigation in the operationalisation of programs.

Mister Executive Director, please rest assured of the support and collaboration Canada, France, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand and Belgium to help you realize the important mandate entrusted to UNFPA. We look forward to a continued open, frank and constructive dialogue with you and the executive board.

 

I thank you for attention.

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