Member States Commit to Providing More Than $400 Million at Pledging Conference in Support of United Nations Development Activities for 2011

8 November 2010
DEV/2845-SAG/434

Member States Commit to Providing More Than $400 Million at Pledging Conference in Support of United Nations Development Activities for 2011

8 November 2010
General Assembly
DEV/2845 SAG/434
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

2010 UN Pledging Conference

 for Development Activities

AM Meeting

Member States Commit to Providing More Than $400 Million at Pledging Conference

in Support of United Nations Development Activities for 2011

 

Concerned about Slump in Funding, Officials

Blame Global Economic Crisis for Slashing of Contributions by Major Donors

Twenty-one Member States pledged approximately $470 million today at an event in support of United Nations development activities for 2011.

Opening the 2010 Pledging Conference, Nikhil Seth, Director of the Office of Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said recovery from the global economic crisis was “losing steam” and the negative consequences of the downturn would remain for years to come, particularly among poor, vulnerable countries.

Noting that large gaps remained between aid commitments and delivery, he said assistance to Africa was falling well below pledges.  The Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicted a shortfall of almost $30 billion in country programmable aid, compared with 2010 commitments.

He recalled that participants in September’s Millennium Development Goals Summit had expressed concern that current aid levels would not enable developing countries to realize their targets and had called for the timely implementation of existing aid commitments.  However, multiple global crises had generated new demands and needs, which the United Nations was striving to meet, he said, adding that Member States had also taken steps to improve the coherence of the United Nations system.  For example, General Assembly resolution 64/289, adopted in July, had created the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and listed important measures to improve United Nations governance and funding.

Many United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks were being developed at the country level, and the eight “Delivering as One” pilot countries were charting new courses to ensure coherence, he continued, cautioning, however, that the Organization’s agencies were feeling the repercussions of the global crisis because some major donors had reduced their 2009-2010 contributions.  Trends for 2011 were uncertain, and the United Nations development system must grapple with that decline, which exacerbated the stagnation of core contributions.  “The Pledging Conference therefore could not be more timely,” he said.

Oumar Daou (Mali), President of the 2010 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities, said it was a unique mechanism to make the funding of operational activities for development more “predictable, stable and sustainable”, as well as an occasion to show strong solidarity among developing countries.  While the global economic situation remained fragile, the crisis must not become a pretext for reducing official development assistance (ODA) since needs had increased over the years.  “The collective will to implement — and indeed go beyond — aid commitments has to be revamped,” he said, noting that last year’s Pledging Conference had brought in some $58 million.  He suggested that Member States reflect on how to improve the Pledging Conference further so it could deliver fully on its potential.  “It is our shared responsibility to make the Pledging Conference more effective and inclusive,” he stressed.

Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett, representing UN Women, encouraged Member States to sustain and expand their support by translating political drive into financial pledges.  She said Under-Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet had embarked last month on a consultative stakeholder process to develop a strategy for implementing the agency’s ambitious mandates.  In that vein, UN Women’s priorities would be to strengthen coherence between the global and regional levels and to ensure stronger leadership, coordination and accountability on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Robust resources were essential in translating the agency’s mandates into results, she continued, emphasizing:  “We must reverse decades of minimal resources.”  In line with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Comprehensive Proposal, UN Women had set a resource target of $500 million for the 2011 start-up phase.  While 102 Governments had contributed to core resources in 2009, and the number of multi-year commitments had doubled between 2008 and 2009, approximately two thirds of the resource base came from only five Member States, she noted.

In closing remarks after the pledging, Romesh Muttukumaru, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director of the Partnerships Bureau of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said contributions to regular core resources had reached $1.01 billion in 2009, a decrease of 8 per cent and 19 per cent below the 2009 annual target set out in the UNDP strategic plan for the period 2008-2013.  Other non-core contributions to the Programme had remained almost unchanged in 2009, reaching $4.13 billion, compared with $4.16 billion in 2008.

He stressed that UNDP’s ability to deliver effective capacity-building support for development depended on a critical mass of core funding to support strategic and flexible management approaches focused on long-term effectiveness.  He expressed concern that UNDP continued to rely heavily on a limited number of donors, the top 10 of whom had provided nearly 80 per cent of total regular resources for 2010.  Broadening UNDP’s donor base was therefore a main priority, he said, adding that UNDP was committed to making the necessary changes to equip itself with the skills and systems needed to carry out its work effectively and efficiently.

Afshan Khan, Director of the Public-Sector Alliances and Resource Mobilization Office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said its core resources accounted for 33 per cent of total resources, down 5 per cent from 2006, the year in which UNICEF had launched its Medium-term Strategic Plan.  She expressed “great concern” that since 2000, regular resources had made up less than half of the Fund’s total income, directly affecting its ability to implement core activities, respond quickly and effectively to humanitarian crises, and help fulfil the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The tightening of public and private budgets due to the economic crisis had made 2009 a difficult year for sustaining growth in UNICEF’s voluntary contributions, she said, noting that total income in 2009 had fallen 4 per cent to $3.2 billion.  Lessons from the crisis and the volatility of exchange rates called for more predictable, steadier growth in UNICEF’s resources generally, and core resources, particularly.  Improving core funding in 2011 was crucial for predictable programming to benefit children, she stressed.

Heimo Laakkonen, Chief of the Resource Mobilization Branch of the Information and External Relations Division of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said contributions to its programmes were essential for improving the lives of millions of people in the developing world.  Since the agency was voluntarily funded, advance planning and early distribution of resources were crucial.

UNFPA estimated that contributions to its core resources for 2010 were approximately $470 million, a slight increase over the previous year, he said, pointing out, however, that without the recent strengthening of the euro and other currencies, the 2010 projection would actually have reflected a decrease from 2009.  UNFPA had received contributions from 132 donors, and efforts to maintain a wide donor base continued.  In 2009, the Fund had received $270.2 million in earmarked contributions, down from $322 million in 2008, he said, noting that the figure would fall further to between $260 million and $270 million in 2010.

A strong, secure and predictable funding base was critical to UNFPA’s work he said.  Despite the Fund’s efforts to broaden its donor base, a full 98 per cent of regular contributions came from the top 20 donors, which were given in national currency terms and were subjected to exchange rate volatilities.  But UNFPA’s needs were significant, particularly to achieve the fifth Millennium target related to universal access to reproductive health, which was closely linked to reducing maternal mortality.  He appealed to all to give an early indication of 2011 commitments and beyond and to pay as early as possible to ensure a robust, predictable funding base.

Moez Doraid, Deputy Director of UN Women, said the support and financial commitments of Member States reflected their political will and sent a strong signal for applying the statement often heard during the recent Millennium Development Goals Summit that gender equality and women’s empowerment were goals in their own right and central to all other development goals.  “Partnership and guidance will help make this statement more than a mantra; it can become a reality in the lives of women, girls, men and boys worldwide,” he asserted.  In order to implement the UN Women’s ambitious mandate, commitments must advance far beyond the funding baseline, he said, emphasizing that collective efforts must be sustained and further strengthened to ensure that the change demanded actually happened.

Deborah Saidy, Senior Adviser at the World Food Programme (WFP) New York Liaison Office, said the agency’s 2010 programme of work currently stood at $6. billion, of which it expected to receive $3.7 billion, 7 per cent below the contributions for 2009.  She thanked all Member States that had remained committed to the world’s most vulnerable people, noting that WFP had received $3.23 billion thus far this year from 76 funding sources, including 69 Governments.  Challenges such as natural disasters, conflict and the continuing volatility of the food and economic situations notwithstanding, WFP’s funding requirements for the next two years were presently forecast at about $11.8 billion, she said.  There was therefore a crucial need for generous, flexible and predictable funding to ensure uninterrupted food and nutrition assistance in early 2011 for the more than 100 million people the agency served.

Tony Nwanze, Chief of Partnership and Technical Cooperation in the Cabinet Office of the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), lamented that only “a couple of countries” had pledged support for the Commission and urged others to do so.

At the outset of today’s event, the Conference elected Mr. Daou its President.  Jarmo Viinanen (Finland), Gheorghe Leuca (Moldova) and Shang Mo Kim (Republic of Korea) were elected Vice Presidents of the Pledging Conference for Development Activities, and of the 2010 United Nations/Food and Agriculture Organization Pledging Conference for the World Food Programme.

The Conference also adopted the draft reports for both Pledging Conferences, as Mr. Seth pointed out that they would be governed by the Rules of Procedure for United Nations Pledging Conferences (document A/33/580).

Mr. Daou also called attention to the report of the Secretary-General on comprehensive statistical analysis on operational activities for development for 2008 (document A/65/79-E/2010/76); a note by the Secretary-General on operational activities for development of the United Nations system (document A/CONF.208/2010/1); another note on contributions pledged or paid at the 2009 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities as at 30 June 2010 (documents A/CONF.208/2010/2); and background information on programmes and funds.

Representatives of the United States, Norway, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Qatar and Ireland said they would announce their pledges at a later date.

Pledges Made for 2011

Finland

UNDP

$27,830,040

UNICEF

$22,959,783

UNFPA

$39,658,484

UNCDF

$8,349,155

China

UNDP (including for the UNFSC)

$4,600,000

UNDP local office

$374,028

UNICEF

$1,300,000

UNICEF local office

$74,806

UNFPA

$1,050,000

UNFPA local office

$44,883

WFP

$3,500,000

WFP local office

$59,844

UNIDO

$710,000

UNIDO local office

$142,130

UNCTAD

$140,000

OHRLLS

$20,000

UNCDF

$30,000

United Nations Volunteers

$30,000

Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for Economic and Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries

$20,000

OCHA

$30,000

Central Emergency Response Fund

$500,000

Singapore

UNDP

$300,000

UNICEF

$50,000

UN Women

$50,000

OCHA

$20,000

UNHCR

$10,000

UNFPA

$5,000

UNDCP

$5,000

G-77 Account for Economic Cooperation

$5,000

UNEP

$40,000

Trust Fund of the East Asian Seas

$10,000

Indonesia

UNITAR

$10,000

UNIFEM 

$50,000

INSTRAW

$20,000

UNCITRAL

$20,000

UNFPA

$35,000

UNDP

$50,000

UNICEF

$100,000

Montenegro

UN Women

$6,958

Kuwait

UNDP

$570,000

UNICEF

$200,000

UNFPA

$10,000

UNITAR

$20,000

UNEP

$200,000

UNDCP

$5,000

UN-Habitat

$347,505

United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture

$10,000

UNIFEM

$20,000

Central Emergency Response Fund

$300,000

Australia

UN Women

$7,400,000

Luxembourg

UNDP

$4,105,727

UNDP — thematic contributions

$13,966,550

UNFPA

$3,688,852

UNICEF

$1,252,818

UNCDF

$900,000

UN Women

$1,399,031

WFP

$1,974,311

Turkey

UNDP

$1,300,000

UNICEF

$150,000

UNFPA

$150,000

UNDCP

$600,000

UNHCHR

$100,000

UN Women

$250,000

United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Fund

$200,000

United Nations Volunteers

$10,000

United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture

$10,000

United Nations Youth Fund

$10,000

United Nations Voluntary Fund for Disability

$10,000

United Nations Trust Fund for Ageing

$10,000

United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

$6,000

Thailand

UNDP

$865,112

UNDP local office

$527,911

UNICEF

$112,500

UNICEF local office

$70,216

UNICEF local office — Thailand administrative expenses

$69,355

UNFPA

$96,000

UNDCP

$30,000

UNCDF

$2,500

UNITAR

$2,000

United Nations Volunteers

$1,687

UNIFEM 

$10,000

UN Women

$3,000

India

UNDP

$4,500,000

UNICEF

$900,000

UNRWA

$1,000,000

UNEP

$100,000

UN-Habitat

$80,000

WFP

$1,920,000

UNODC

$500,000

UNFPA

$500,000

United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Fund

$3,000

UNIFEM

$20,000

INSTRAW

$1,100

Belgium

UN Women

$1,739,541

Bangladesh

UNDP

$400,000

UNDP local office

$15,613

UNICEF

$345,000

UNFPA

$25,000

UNFPA local office

$3,000

UNEP 

$653

UNDCP

$1,000

United Nations Volunteers

$1,000

United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation

$1,000

Afghanistan

UNICEF

$1,000

UNIFEM

$800

UNDP 

$1,000

United Nations Volunteers

$500

CERF

$500

OCHA

$500

UNFPA

$500

WFP

$1,000

FAO

$500

UNHCHR

$500

United Nations Trust Fund for Disaster Relief Assistance

$500

UN-Habitat

$500

Argentina

UN Women

$5,000

Malaysia

UNIFEM

$10,000

Russian Federation

UNDP

$1,100,000

UNICEF

$1,000,000

UNFPA

$300,000

UNEP

$900,000

WFP

$20,000,000

UNODC

$500,000

UN-Habitat

$400,000

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

$20,000,000

Sierra Leone

UNIFEM

$500

Sweden

UNDP

$104,000,000

UNICEF

$72,000,000

UNFPA

$67,000,000

UNCDF

$5,300,000

UN Women

$3,900,000

Bhutan

UNDP

$15,570

UNICEF

$15,435

UNCDF

$4,000

United Nations Volunteers

$2,000

UNFPA 

$5,950

UNEP

$1,450

Central Emergency Response Fund

$1,500

UNIFEM

$500

Canada

UN Women

$9,900,000

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.