Albania welcomes UNDP’s new draft-strategic plan and presents its concerns

Speech by H.E. Ms. Besiana Kadare, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Albania to the UN, at the Executive Board of the UNDP/UNPF/UNOPS

Mr. Chair,

I would like to thank Administrator Steiner for his holistic and thought provoking presentation on the global context in which UNDP is operating, its financial challenges and the support the agency is committed to offer to issues of the global agenda. Albania welcomes the upcoming draft-strategic plan 2018-2021 to be released on September 15, and will constructively engage in the negotiations, with a view to adopt it in November.

What Albania particularly appreciates in the new draft-strategic plan it’s the effort to describe the full range of development situations that countries find themselves in. The label “middle income” masks significant inequalities in many countries, and many of the world’s poor reside there. The protection and sustainability of the world’s environment in many ways also depends upon the development pathways that these so-called ‘middle income’ countries take. Certainly, the noble aspiration of Agenda 2030 ‘to leave no one behind’ will not be achieved if global development institutions lessen their attention towards middle income countries.

That being said, development institutions like UNDP need to also adapt their style of working. More support is needed to gather and analyze data, in order to assist governments in making the right decisions about trade-offs of different policies.

Many countries are working hard to integrate economically on a regional or even sub-regional basis. In the case of Albania, for example, we are keen to expand our ability to collaborate with the Western Balkan region, helping to move it out of a period of instability and into an integrated market with intra-regional trade. And of course, we are on track to join the European Union. These are priority objectives for my country, and I guess that other countries in other regions are also involved in similar kinds of cooperation. The UN should think about how support to SDGs also fits in with regional or even sub-regional objectives. In other terms, it’s not just a single-nation-state-to-global-level vertical line.

Outlining integrated poverty and crisis solutions for the new realities will need structural transformations to respond to the complex and highly interdependency of the SDG-s goals and targets. In this regard, some of the concerns of Albania for the new draft-strategic plan are as follows:

1. Firstly, how will the new Strategic Plan ensure that UNDP continues to contribute to UNDAF planned results?”

2. Secondly, what will the draft-strategic plan foresee concretely in order to simplify and reduce workload, thus refocusing energies to a results culture?

3. Thirdly, it was mentioned that UNDP will continue to be an indispensable facilitator and coordinator for the UN system at country level. My question is what does this practically mean for countries like Albania, which operate on the “Delivering as One” model? In other terms, what will be the relation of UNDP with the other UN agencies operating in these countries and also with the Governments of the host country.

Finally, I would like to make a comment about funding. A more efficient UN development system is needed, and this means financial systems need to be configured to incentivize a more joined-up UN system, for example through more joint UN funding, including the funds coming from UN headquarters.

In closing, I would like to reaffirm that the implementation of the QCPR mandates should be the backbone of the new draft-strategic plan

Thank you.