New UNDP head to seek links between agency goals and World Bank strategies
The newly appointed Administrator of the United National Development Programme (UNDP) said today that one of his top priorities for the remainder of 2005 would be the linking of his agency’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with poverty-reduction strategies often sponsored by the World Bank.
“I think these two things need to be put together so that the poverty-reduction and growth strategies in the countries really incorporate the MDG targets and that the fiscal measures and expenditure analyses that have been put in place really focus on the achievement of the MDG,” Kemal Dervis, who took office at the UNDP on Monday, told journalists during a press briefing.
The MDGs comprise a strategy to cut poverty and hunger by half, reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensure that children are attend primary school, by 2015.
He also said that the UNDP could play a stronger role in helping poorer countries develop the capacity to benefit from trade liberalization. “We know that for the poorest countries to take advantage of open global markets and of world trade, they have to have the capacities from infrastructure, to incentives and policy-making, to customs procedures,” he said.
With a view toward the next phase of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha round of trade negotiations aimed at lowering barriers to trade, Mr. Dervis said he looked forward to working with others to achieve this goal and he had already been in touch with incoming World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy in this regard. “We’ve agreed to work very closely on this,” he said.
Mr. Dervis also said that in addition to concentrating on the transition from disaster and conflict to economic development, he would place increased emphasis on gender within the context of the agency’s post-conflict activities. “One has to really mainstream the focus on gender in all our activities,” Mr. Dervis said. Rather than a special bureau for gender, UNDP has taken the view that the agency should be thinking about woman and their special problems in all areas of development, he added.
Mr. Dervis, a former Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs, Member of the European Convention and World Bank executive, officially began his term on Monday.
He succeeded Mark Malloch Brown, who was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff in January.
Video of press briefing [52mins]