UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board 2016 Annual Session:Item 10
Statement by Ms. Sofya Simonyan
Third Secretary, Permanent Mission of Armenia to UN
I join others in thanking you and other members of the Bureau for leadership and guidance you provide to the work of the UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS Executive Board.
2016 is a landmark year. It began with a common resolve to build a more sustainable future, at a crucial time following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs reaffirm that, despite a decrease of extreme poverty levels around the globe, inequalities continue to grow, especially in countries transitioning from low to middle-income countries.
As members of the Executive Board of the UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS since 2014, we are pleased that we have been able to sustain an active, constructive dialogue with these agencies on the SDGs and related matters in the previous years. We look forward to continuing such discussions.
The 2030 Agenda integrates the recognition in the ICPD Programme of Action that human beings must be at the centre of sustainable development. We recognize the vital role that UNFPA has to play in promoting a human-rights based approach to the realization of the SDGs.
By adopting the 2030 Agenda, the international community has reaffirmed the inter-linkages between sustainable development, peace, governance, human rights and the rule of law, while the recent unprecedented rise in humanitarian emergencies and the complex nature of many of these crises have highlighted the urgency of strengthening the integration of development and humanitarian efforts.
Humanitarian response consumes significant resources of the international community and takes growing prominence in the global agenda, including within the UN system and the regional arrangements.
The objective of compatibility, coordination and non- duplication of efforts within different internationally recognised and supported formats of crisis response is as significant as ever. It remains a priority for the UN system to advance its conceptual, normative and operational capacity aimed at strengthening and adapting its prevention function.
My delegation would like to thank Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the UNFPA Executive Director and his hardworking team for the report that has been presented. We take note of the findings that have been shared with the membership and we commend the UNFPA for its key achievements at the output level, including for the very strong results stemming from global and regional interventions. We commend the UNFPA’s efforts in scaling up its humanitarian work, and we welcome the evaluation findings, which report that, in a number of countries, the UNFPA has been highly effective in ensuring better access to reproductive health and family planning services.
We look forward to the implementation of the UNFPA’s current strategic plan and to the completion of the midterm review, which, in our view, can help the UNFPA mobilize its expertise and programme support around a number of SDGs. This exercise is a good opportunity to enable the UNFPA to continue to be “fit for purpose” and to be able to support Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We also look forward to the development of the next UNFPA strategic plan for 2018-2021, which can be a good tool to drive the human-rights based agenda forward while giving a due consideration to the financial health of the organization.
The UNFPA, together with other UN organizations, can be of an important assistance in strengthening national capacities of domestic resource mobilization and access to different external funding resources. As ever, funding remains a key priority, and there is wide cognizance of the fact that external resources for development co-operation in middle-income countries are decreasing. This necessitates a strengthened focus on quality and tangible results oriented programming. In this regard, our delegation shares the view that leveraging new and existing partnerships and networks is and should be an important driver of impact for UNFPA and we encourage the UNFPA to continue to expand and strengthen partnerships as well as inter-agency activities.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate my government’s appreciation for the UNFPA’s important engagement in Armenia. Since 1999, the UNFPA has contributed significantly to a number of important national policy areas, including reproductive health and rights, population and development strategies and gender equality. Last year, the Executive Board approved the UNFPA Country Programme Document for Armenia, which highlights the need for a shift from service delivery to more upstream policy work, such as advocacy and policy advice. It also aims at further institutionalization and sustainability in line with the requirements of middle-income countries. The CPD forms a foundation for a renewed and reinforced partnership between Armenia and the UNFPA, based on inclusive, people-centered and rights-based development approach.
Reiterating Armenia’s continued interest in strengthening co- operation with the UNFPA through a well-established partnership with the country office, we are confident that, in light of the UNFPA internal reorganisation, our relationship will be adapted adequately and to the satisfaction of all. We are therefore committed to jointly identifying and agreeing such solutions that would enhance our relationship through a direct link with the UNFPA headquarters.
We look forward to taking our partnership forward, and to cooperating closely as we embark on the next stage of our collective journey to ensure successful implementation, monitoring and evaluation of our CPD, in line with and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
I thank you, Mr. President.