UNDP Administrator Calls for a “New Deal” to Address Climate Change and Poverty

26 May 2009: Addressing the opening session of the annual meeting of the Executive Board of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which is taking place from 26 May-5 June 2009 at UN Headquarters in New York, US, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark called for developing a new deal of global solutions to tackle climate change and poverty reduction.

Clark underscored evidence that the world's poorest are bearing the burdens of the financial crisis and climate change, and stressed that gains made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should not be rolled back. Clark said UNDP will continue to support the scaling up of assistance to countries dealing with environmental threats, in particular climate change. In this regard, she noted that UNDP provides financial support through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to projects that connect natural resources and livelihoods and have a direct impact on poverty reduction.

Clark highlighted UNDP's commitment to support developing countries to achieve an outcome consistent with the principles of sustainable development and the achievement of the MDGs at the climate change conference to be held in Copenhagen in December 2009. She stressed that the deal to be sealed at Copenhagen must be also a development deal, since the finance mechanisms under discussion have direct implications for development financing and could potentially surpass the current flows of official development assistance (ODA).

More specifically, she reported that UNDP has been providing direct support to 20 developing countries to assess the implications for their countries' development of the climate change negotiations. Finally, she highlighted the potential of South-South cooperation in addressing development challenges through the exchange of lessons learned and technologies among developing countries. [UNDP News] [UN News Centre]