New York - 23 January 2002
Mr. President, Members of the Bureau, Distinguished Delegates:
We are here to mark the opening of our third Pledging Event - an occasion that is as central a part of the MYFF as it is of UNICEF's resource mobilisation strategy.
This year's Event comes at a crucial time, for we are in the process of rolling out the Medium-term Strategic Plan for the next four years, focused as it is on five organisational programme priorities.
Mr. President, it is through this strategic framework that we will deliver the results-oriented programme that we have promised - and the Executive Board has every reason to expect.
Results, of course, hinge on more than strategic intent. A crucial element is the amount of available Regular Resources.
Over the last year, I have elaborated on why these core resources are so essential to the success of UNICEF programmes - and, in numerous meetings with donors and partners, I have stressed the urgency of reversing the declining trend in Regular Resources.
I think there is reason for hope. For while donors continue to face challenges in increasing core support for UNICEF, there are innovative efforts under way to address the issue.
Indeed, preliminary figures for 2001 indicate a small but significant upturn in Regular Resources from Governments. It is only a beginning - but with your pledges today, we can ensure that they will continue to rise in a sustained and increasingly powerful trajectory.
Mr. President, as I reported at the Annual Board meeting last June, our 2001 Pledging Event was very constructive.
We had 11 more countries announcing pledges than in the previous year. We had 30 countries indicating multi-year pledges, a trend that has given us greater financial predictability than in previous years. At the same time, we received improved information on payment schedules from 15 countries.
For 2001, total estimated Regular Resources from Governments is US$ 357 million from 27 donor governments and 64 programme countries . This represents an estimated increase in Government contributions of US$ 14 million, or 4 %, compared to the 2000 income. It includes contributions from 11 governments that did not contribute in the year 2000.
Mr. President, I am deeply grateful to all those Governments that have provided crucial support for UNICEF by contributing to Regular Resources. And I want to thank all those donors who increased their contributions last year, including those who found it possible to provide an additional contribution at year's end.
We saw increased contributions from 17 donor Governments: Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Sweden.
Let me also extend special thanks to Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland and the Republic of Korea, all of whose contributions represented an increase of 7 per cent or more. Indeed, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands all increased their own contributions by more than a third.
The six donor Governments (Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Republic of Korea and Spain) that announced that they would provide additional Regular Resources toward the end of last year have set a powerful example. While UNICEF understands that these donors may not be in a position to sustain additional donations over time, the fact that additional RR was provided is of great importance to UNICEF. It would be a wonderful practice, indeed, if all our donors would consider using end-of-year unallocated resources for the purpose of strengthening UNICEF's ability to deliver the results foreseen in the MTSP.
I would also like to express deep appreciation for the contributions made to UNICEF's Regular Resources for 2001 by the 64 programme countries. They are essential as a demonstration of the broad support that UNICEF enjoys - and the burden-sharing that exists among all our partners. The fact that 14 programme countries have also made increases of more than 7 per cent and 11 more programme countries contributed in 2001, only serves to underline this principle of partnership.
With respect to today's pledging event, I look forward to learning your intentions for 2002. In the lead-up to the pledging conference, we have received, as of 21 January, pledges totalling US$118.4 million from 36 countries. This corresponds to 34.5 per cent of the MTSP Financial Plan for RR.
The target for 2002 is to achieve a 7 per cent annual growth in Regular Resources, which will provide a stable base for vibrant country programmes of co-operation. For our part, UNICEF will ensure effective use of the Regular Resources in a results-oriented manner throughout the organisation.
Finally, Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates: Last year, UNICEF's total income, according to preliminary figures, reached a new high of US$1.19 billion - a 4.6 per cent increase over the previous year. This, I believe, is a sign of confidence in UNICEF. It tells us that our partners and supporters share our vision of building a better world, one in which every child's right to dignity, security and self-fulfilment is achieved. It tells us that we are an effective organisation that is having a significant impact at the field level - and that we are a valued partner both within the UN System and beyond.