Statement by Estonia at the UNDP Executive Board Second Regular Session
Mr. President, Madam Administrator, Excellencies, Distinguished colleagues,
I would like to thank Madam Administrator for the comprehensive overview of the recent achievements and challenges in UNDP, as well as the annual financial review of the year 2011. We are glad to recognize the progress made in many areas during the past year, especially the firm commitment to accountability and transparency, one example of which is the Executive Board decision in June to disclose internal audit reports. As the UNDP itself is advocating - accountability, transparency and fair treatment of all stakeholders help to ensure the sustainability of change initiatives. Estonia urges UNDP, as the advocate of good governance, to talk to its stakeholders in a transparent and comprehendible manner at all occasions.
In the Administrator's report on the UNDP 2011 financial situation, we witnessed the decrease of overall income and expenditures - as we know, the decrease of donor contributions is the result of unfavourable world economic climate during last years. We note that funding from programme country governments has increased by 25%, predominantly for their own countries and regions. We also note a slight increase in core resources, mainly due to favourable exchange rates. Regardless of economic downturn also in my country, Estonian government has continued to provide voluntary regular resources to UNDP, as well as the Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund.
As the pace of recovery of the world economy is yet to be seen, the existing resource base should be used as effectively and efficiently as possible. One example is the programming arrangements of UNDP core resources that we are negotiating this week. Estonia is not a big stakeholder in that debate, yet for my delegation there is still the question whether UNDP physical presence is indeed needed in higher income countries, or could those resources be used more effectively for the most vulnerable and the LDCs. Estonia commends UNDP's additional investments in the areas of crises prevention and recovery activities. But we also believe that the use of innovative solutions enables to reduce the overall expenditures for management and coordination activities, such as, for instance, documentation and travel costs.
Lastly, my delegation has followed with interest the QCPR briefings and reports and awaits for the upcoming negotiation in the General Assembly. I thank the Administrator for the update and views on the UNDP expectations on the QCPR process. The Delivering as One independent evaluation group report has given us feedback on progress and shortcomings of the UN coherence reform. Estonia believes that Delivering as One should become a norm, rather than exception, in the UN operational activities, and we urge the membership in the same vane.
Estonia is a small donor and has supported UNDP activities since 2000 with annual core funding and is committed to continue to do so also in future.