Today, 25 June, a meeting of the Executive Board of the UN Development Programme took place in Geneva, where Estonian Permanent Representative to UN Headquarters in Geneva Jüri Seilenthal took the floor to speak about the UNDP’s activities and future challenges.
In his speech, permanent representative Seilenthal emphasised the importance of addressing sustainable development issues in the world. Sustainable development was also the focus of the Rio+20 meeting that just ended in Brazil. “In Estonia’s view, stronger political commitment regarding these issues should have been shown in Rio, because there is no alternative to sustainable development,” he said. Seilenthal also said it is essential that the UN Development Programme and the UN in general set an example for directing the rest of the world to the path of sustainable development. “This is why we must actively work to make the entire UN system more effective and efficient,” he added.
Seilenthal also said that Estonia highly values the work of the UN Development Programme. “For example, the UNDP has done praiseworthy work in advancing gender equality and protecting women’s rights as well as empowering their position in society,” he said. The permanent pepresentative added that Estonia also feels the role of the development programme in protecting and implementing the principles of rule of law all over the world is very important.
In his statement, Seilenthal emphasised that the UNDP must continue to work to build resilience in vulnerable countries in crisis situations. “There are currently 18 million people suffering from famine and shortages in the Sahel region, and the UN Development Programme together with other development co-operation and humanitarian aid organisation should take more assertive steps to help alleviate peoples’ suffering,” he noted.
The permanent representative also confirmed that Estonia remains ready to support the activities of the UNDP. “We have supported the Development Programme since 2000 and feel it is important to continue our contributions,” he stated.
Full text of the statement: http://www.vm.ee/?q=en/node/14783