Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity for sharing some comments on the statement made by Dr. Babatunde Osetemehin , Executive Director of UNFPA at this 2016 Annual Session of the Executive Board substantively covering the findings and lessons from the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan .
Let me begin with a high appreciation for the excellent quality of documentation provided by UNFPA for this session. In particular, the Midterm review pf the Strategic Plan is very succinct, factual and results focused. The sharpened strategic focus and the clarity of the ‘bull’s eye’ strategy amply mirrors itself in the presentation and narrative of the report. PPD commends the Executive Director and his team for initiating and leading this significant organizational change and transformation reflecting substantial upward performance in most outcome areas.
In the last fifteen years, there has been improvements in many areas like number of extreme poor declined by more than half; contraceptive prevalence increased from 55 per cent to 64 per cent; births assisted by skilled health personnel increased from 59 per cent to 71 per cent; and the maternal mortality ratio declined by 44 per cent. There are also deficits in some other areas. Income inequality has widened, reducing maternal mortality target by 75 per cent was not met, and child marriage and adolescent pregnancy remain high.
As the global community embarked on to implement the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, demographic diversity is rapidly sweeping across the countries with deep social, economic, political, developmental and environmental implication. UNFPA’s all-round efforts to respond to this changing global context, as underpinned in the statement of the Executive Director, is indeed reassuring and sobering. PPD commends UNFPA for achieving tangible results in all its outcome and would like to express its full solidarity and support to UNFPA’s advocacy and capacity building initiatives to support the programme countries in achieving the ICPD goals and the SDGs.
PPD takes note of the pace of implementation and achievements of the Strategic Plan with appreciation. Of the fifteen development outputs, nine achieved fully the midterm targets, five outputs achieved targets by 60-99 per cent with only one output achieving less than 60 per cent. Particularly noteworthy is the pioneering and pragmatic business model which makes a distinction between programme countries in terms of their needs and their ability to finance their development. It affords the country offices much needed flexibility of differentiated programming approach which enhances development effectiveness.
Mr. President ,
PPD is an inter-governmental organization of 26 developing countries, committed to the promotion of South-South cooperation in the field of population, and reproductive health and rights. Since 1994, PPD has been a development partner working closely with UNFPA in support of the implementation of the ICPD PoA and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In parallel with UNFPA’s priority outcome areas, PPD is active on the ground on the issues of reproductive health and rights, population dynamics, demographic dividend, family planning services, gender equality and commodity security.
PPD records its appreciation for UNFPA’s commitment to promote South-South cooperation in population and reproductive health programmes and the progress in work of the special South South Cooperation project. It is relevant to mention here the High Level Ministerial level strategic dialogue held in Beijing in March 2016 on ‘South-South Cooperation for Population and Development’ jointly organized by the Government of China, UNFPA, and the PPD. The meeting adopted a consensus declaration entitled ‘The Beijing call for action’ which agreed on a number of key actions to be pursued by its members.
Family planning, reproductive health and population are areas where many developing countries have acquired substantial amount of experience and expertise over several decades and which offer excellent ingredients for South-South cooperation. PPD notes from the report that UNFPA has already allocated appropriate priority and space for this dimension of cooperation in its Strategic Plan. PPD looks forward to continuing partnership and cooperation with UNFPA in supporting the member countries for achieving SDG.
Thank you for your kind attention.