Hon. Minute Taupo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Fisheries and Trade
H.E. Ambassador Samuela Laloniu, Tuvalu’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Permanent Secretaries from the Ministries,
Deputies Secretaries and Senior representatives from the Ministries,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Talofa, good morning,
Welcome to the first Annual Programme Review between UNDP and the Government of Tuvalu. I am very grateful that you have agreed to this strategic discussion and I am indeed honoured by the senior-level representation.
While UNDP and Tuvalu engage continuously at the project level, and have frequent conversations on mutual efforts to support good governance, economic growth, and sustainable development, there has not, until now, been any formal mechanism to assess the overall impact of UNDP’s country programme.
I hope that today’s conversation provides all of us around the table with an opportunity to share our perceptions of the value of UNDP’s presence and activities in Tuvalu.
Purpose of the APR
This Annual Programme Review focuses on 2020 results and the lessons learned. As we are nearly halfway through 2021, we also welcome the chance to hear about your priorities moving forward and receive your feedback on the work carried out this year to date.
We hope to understand the extent to which the UNDP country and regional programme has assisted Tuvalu to achieve its national development goals and, if the answer is that it has been helpful but could be better, we hope that this conversation will highlight areas for improvement.
With that, I do firmly believe that this dialogue will strengthen our partnership. It is an excellent opportunity to assess how well we both have coped with the reprogramming that COVID-19 has required and whether or not we have been successful in maintaining course toward achievement of the SDGs.
Regional and global commitments:
Climate change, gender and SDGs
I will now make some brief remarks on climate change, women’s empowerment, and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. These are significant priority areas for UNDP’s assistance to Tuvalu.
First, much of our joint programme is linked to climate change adaptation and mitigation. UNDP is committed to using its technical expertise, wealth of experience, and innovative approaches to help safeguard the current and future wellbeing of the Tuvaluan people.
I assure you that UNDP is prepared to support Tuvalu in its preparations for COP26 and will assist in amplifying Tuvalu’s voice as much as possible on the global stage. We must ensure that the Paris Agreement is upheld.
In late February, UN Climate Change published an analysis of the NDC of 75 parties which represent 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. While most of those countries had increased their NDCs, changes in emissions would be less than minus one percent in 2030 compared to 2010. This is far short of the emissions reduction of minus-45 percent in 2030 versus 2010 that is required to meet the one-point-five-degree temperature target.
While some of the major emitters were not included in that report, it is clear that there is a huge gap - a crevasse, in fact between the emissions reductions that are required and those that are planned.
UNDP is committed to sharing Tuvalu’s compelling stories and to supporting practical mitigation measures in the hope that the world will commit to transformative action now. The climate crisis requires even greater global attention than the world has paid to COVID-19.
While Tuvalu’s development prospects are seen through the lens of climate change, I would also like to point out that the lens is not one dimensional. Climate change has important gender dimensions that have, in fact, been addressed well by the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project, for example.
To paraphrase the UN Secretary-General in the 2019 Annual Report on Women, Peace and Security, climate change and environmental degradation exacerbate complex emergencies that disproportionately affect women and girls.
That report was pre-COVID, and I believe that we can agree that COVID-19 qualifies as a complex emergency with gender dimensions and links to climate change. We must empower women and girls in every climate change intervention and promote gender equality as an essential precondition for sustainable development.
UNDP strongly supports Tuvalu as it grapples with climate change adaptation, works to empower women, and manages new challenges such as COVID-19. At the same time, UNDP shares Tuvalu’s determination to see progress made against the SDGs.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, adopted in 2015, aligns financing flows and policies with economic, social, and environmental priorities and has provided us with a strong foundation for this.
That agenda is consistent with UNDP’s commitment to aligning its development programmes with country priorities, regional commitments, and international agreements. We need to ensure that we are all moving in the same direction if we want to work productively and produce tangible results for Tuvaluans.
Willingness to adapt and upscale cooperation based on Government feedback
I expect that much of our dialogue this morning will consider how and where UNDP assistance might be refined, upscaled, or delivered via a different modality. Such discussions are warmly welcomed and will improve the outputs of our programme.
UNDP itself does not have a large pool of funding; instead we can strategically identify emerging needs and coordinate donors working in those spaces.
If this discussion identifies a funding or programming gap, we will work with you to determine how that gap can be closed through the securing of new funding, the reprogramming of our existing country or regional portfolio, or the accessing of a UNDP global offer.
I would like to end these introductory words by providing you with my assurance that we aim to support the achievement of your development plan, and to help you meet the commitments that have been made by your government. We are counting on this Annual Programme Review to be both an open discussion and a constructive performance evaluation.
UNDP aspires to be Tuvalu’s development partner of choice, and we sincerely thank you for your willingness to engage in this high-level discussion. Thank you for your commitment to strengthening the UNDP-Tuvalu partnership.
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