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It’s a pleasure for me join you today for this reception and to open the excellent exhibition on cities that can foster sustainable human development and enable city-dwellers to live healthy and fulfilling lives. In particular, I would like to thank the UNDP for organizing this event in collaboration with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty.
I am honored to be here with you today to announce – on behalf of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on South-South Cooperation – the transfer of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty Secretariat to the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.
In 1989, Mahbub ul Haq was encouraged by Robert McNamara, the President of the World Bank to meet with Bill Draper, the UNDP Administrator. Mahbub’s objective was simple, to convince Bill and UNDP to support his ideas on development. The first meeting did not go well. A second meeting was hastily arranged which led Bill to support the initiative of producing a global report on human development.
I thank the Government of Switzerland for hosting this dinner. Switzerland is a committed development partner, both globally, and in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. At the UN in New York, Member States are deliberating on the post-2015 agenda and the sustainable development goals. A critical element in these discussions is to look at the kinds of partnerships and financing which will be needed to implement the next development agenda. That makes our topic this evening on how multi-stakeholder partnerships can contribute to financing the post-2015 agenda very relevant.
This Board meeting is taking place in the midst of very important times for UNDP. The new Strategic Plan is being rolled out across headquarters, regional centers, and country offices, where our programmes are being aligned to the plan. To be able to deliver better on the plan, and to be fit for purpose in a 21st century development context, we are also undergoing organizational change.