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Jóint Nordic Statement: Interactive Dialogue with the UNDP Administrator and New Strategic Plan

Nordic Statement
delivered on 30 August
by PR Eneström, SWEDEN

I am delivering this Statement on behalf of the Nordic Countries: Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and my own country Sweden.


We welcome and support UNDP Strategic Plan for 2022 – 2025. The new strategic plan highlights UNDP’s comparative strengths with its unique combination of global and local presence; sector competence; partnerships; and integrated whole of society approaches. We rest assured that UNDP will remain the lead UN agency of international development and that the new strategic plan and its annexes will prove useful for UNDP in the next fouryear period.

We are also pleased with the consultative spirit in which the new Strategic plan has been developed. We express our gratitude to UNDP staff for the hard work in the preparation of the documents now in front of us. 

The pandemic has shown us that adaptability and flexibility is needed. Recognizing the devastating effects of the pandemic, we are encouraged by the view expressed in the new strategic plan that the future is challenging but not preordained.

Furthermore, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of Democratic Governance, which we expect to continue to be the backbone of UNDP.

We need the inclusion and meaningful participation of all stakeholders to achieve our common goal of a sustainable and peaceful world. Human rights and democratic governance are not only ends in themselves, they are also means to achieve the SDGs. Realizing the true potential of partnerships therefore require inclusion and rights. This is where UNDPs efforts on democratic governance is crucial. And we firmly expect UNDP to continue to lead by example, providing the much-needed thought leadership and implementing capacity support to partners around the World.

We share UNDP’s analysis of the current development landscape with the planetary emergency and increased poverty, where Covid-19 both exposes and reinforces existing inequalities within and between countries, and where multilateralism is under pressure. UNDP’s new strategic plan is well-tuned to these trends, positioning UNDP as a crucial international development partner, in accordance with the intentions expressed in the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system.

We appreciate UNDP’s high ambitions and note how UNDP underscores the importance of integrated solutions. While realizing that a main function of the strategic plan is to provide the overall strategic direction, we would have liked to see more elaboration on how UNDP will work, including how it will materialize integrated approaches, working towards systems change.

We are pleased to note how the strategic plan reaffirms that poverty eradication remains at the core of the work of UNDP, with the emphasis on leaving no one behind, founded on a human rights-based approach.

We commend UNDP for the overall approach to human development within planetary boundaries, mitigating and adapting to climate change, protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, and ensuring just and equitable development for all. Facing the climate emergency, we encourage UNDP to seek and support holistic solutions that combine adaptation and mitigation efforts. To the extent possible, we support special attention to the Least Developed Countries, Small Island Development States, and the most vulnerable countries when supporting climate resilience and climate change adaptation. In this regard, we see sustainable blue economies as part of integrated solutions to climate adaptation and food security. We expect an increase in joint programming with other UN agencies to reduce the fragmentation of climate and environmental projects. We would have liked to see information on how UNDP will work with its own environmental footprint during the next strategic plan period.

The strategic plan highlights the need for designing all interventions for deliberate impact on gender equality and putting equality at the centre of dialogues with partners. We are however concerned for the lack of adequate investments and resources to match the ambition. We ask UNDP what concrete measures will be taken to truly prioritize gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls during the next four-year period?

Let me conclude, Mr. Administrator, by reiterating our support to UNDP.

Thank you.


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