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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06USUNNEWYORK1908 2006-10-04 15:14:00 UNCLASSIFIED USUN New York
Cable title:  

WRAP-UP OF UNDP/UNFPA EXECUTIVE BOARD SESSION,

Tags:   UNDP UNFPA ECON SOCI 
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					  UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 001908 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNDP UNFPA ECON SOCI
SUBJECT: WRAP-UP OF UNDP/UNFPA EXECUTIVE BOARD SESSION,
SEPTEMBER 11-13, 2006




1. The Executive Board of the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA) met in New York September 11-13, 2006. This cable
reports on the UNDP segment. UNFPA segment will follow
septel.



2. Begin Summary. Twenty-seven program documents
(www.undp.org/execbrd/adv2006-second.htm) were on the Board's
agenda for comment. The U.S. spoke on the North Korea
program in support of the Japanese statement that drew a DPRK
response. The U.S. and other donors delivered a joint
statement on the Zimbabwe program. U.S. rallied 16 countries
to issue a joint call on UNDP to place independent audit
reports on future Board agendas. The UNDP Executive Board
adopted seven decisions covering management and programming
issues. End Summary.

Country Programs



3. UNDP presented 27 country program documents (CPDs) to the
Board for comments. Posts may find them at
www.undp.org/execbrd/adv2006-second.htm. Prior to the
meeting, IO asked relevant State desks and posts to review
them and provide comments. USUN and Department appreciate
posts' input, particularly the detailed and constructive
comments on the Senegal CPD, which we have conveyed to UNDP.
Absent serious reservations or objections by five board
members, the Board will approve these country programs at the
next Board meeting.

DPRK Program



4. Japan delivered a statement on UNDP's DPRK country
program, condemning DPRK's nuclear and missile activities and
kidnapping of Japanese citizens, demanding a "responsible
explanation" from the DPRK and calling such an explanation
"indispensable" for Japan to determine its position on the
DPRK program at the next Board meeting. The DPRK responded
by saying that it is the DPRK's sovereign right to develop
missiles and nuclear weapons, and that by bringing these
issues to the Board Japan was politicizing it. The DPRK also
said that the abduction question has been settled in the
Pyongyang Declaration.



5. The U.S. delivered a short statement in support of the
Japanese. USDEL pointed out that while UNDP was meant to
help the most vulnerable populations, the DPRK had
unconscionably made its population more vulnerable by
devoting national resources to building weapons of mass
destruction rather than to meet people's basic needs. USDEL
called for UNDP to continue to strengthen its monitoring
mechanisms to ensure that aid is not diverted. USDEL also
pointed out that the United States has been a major donor of
food aid to the DPRK people.

Zimbabwe Program



6. Based on prior discussions in Harare and New York, a
group of 20 Western donors delivered a statement aimed at
addressing growing concerns about the Zimbabwe country
program. The statement, although not mentioning Zimbabwe by
name, raised concerns over the lack of meaningful


participation by civil society members and donors in the
country program drafting process, and called for improvement
in the future.

U.S. Rallies Board Members



7. UN Board of Auditors (BOA) periodically issues
independent audit reports of UNDP finances and management.
Although the Board reviews and discusses UNDP's responses to
BOA's findings and recommendations, it does not receive the
BOA reports to which UNDP responds. To introduce greater
transparency in UNDP's handling of BOA reports, USDEL
initiated an effort, and rallied 16 delegations in support of
a request that these BOA reports be formally placed on the
Board's agenda for future meetings.

Decisions



8. The Board adopted two notable decisions on cost recovery
and on the country program review and approval process:

-- Cost Recovery (recouping overhead costs associated with
work that UNDP does for third parties): Most donors at the
Board Meeting agreed that UNDP has not responded to the
Board's previous requests for information and transparency in
its cost-recovery practices. Developing countries, however,
objected to a draft presented by the donors that prescribed
the cost recovery rates UNDP should use in different
situations. The Board adopted a compromise text that did not
establish rates, but specified the timeframe and type of
information that UNDP has to report to the Board.

--Country Program Review and Approval process (the decision
sought to shorten the time between the comment and approval
stages, and to simplify the presentation, discussion and
approval process): Under the new decision, UNDP and UNFPA
country programs presented to the Board at the Annual Session
in June will now be approved at the September Session rather
than January of the following year. The U.S. was concerned
that certain language in the decision could be misinterpreted
as limiting Board members' ability to speak when the Board is
considering country programs for approval. USDEL sought and
received clarifications and assurances that the decision does
not change the current practice with respect to placing
country programs on the Board's agenda and Board members'
ability to comment on them before final approval.



9. Upon the adoption of the programming process decision,
the head of U.S. delegation, USUN ECOSOC Ambassador Terry
Miller, made the following statement explaining our concern
and position:

-- While the United States supports efforts to streamline the
country program approval process and make it as efficient as
possible, we have some reservations about this decision,
which adds a degree of automaticity to the process that may
have the effect of reducing this Board's voice in the
approval process. This is regrettable. Indeed, approval of
country programs is the most important responsibility of the
Board. The approval process may occasionally be contentious,
involving tough programmatic or political questions. Indeed,
it should occasionally be contentious if we are doing our


job. To the extent that this Board mutes our consideration
of such issues, we will be shirking our most fundamental
responsibility. My delegation hopes that others will join us
in ensuring that this does not happen.
BOLTON