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Dr. Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA,
I am speaking on behalf of the European Union as a donor. The EU has a long-standing partnership with UNFPA and is now one of the largest contributors to the organisation.
The EU supports UNFPA's mandate to ensure the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. Allow me to recall that the EU Consensus for Development (2017) stresses that upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is an essential part of realising human rights.
By partnering with UNFPA, the EU i.a. seeks to ensure people especially women and girls are able to exercise their reproductive rights.
On girls’ empowerment, the EU supports UNFPA's global programme to address son preference (EUR 2 million); as well as a global initiative with UNICEF against female genital mutilation in 15 African countries and in Yemen (EUR 11 m) and a joint programme on the elimination of child marriage in eight African and Asian countries (EUR 5 million).
With the 500 million Euros worth Spotlight Initiative we are teaming up with UNFPA, UNWOMEN, UNICEF and NDP to eliminate violence against women and girls.
Let me also mention, that at the start of the “decade for action” on the SDGs, we consider UNFPA's offer on population data and analytics, critical, as the results provide key inputs into the baseline data.
The EU is a strong supporter of UN Development System (UNDS) Reform. The UN agencies are a crucial element in this reform. We note UNFPA’s important contribution, notably progress on joint location, and are encouraged by UNFPA’s positive assessment of the implementation to-date and the impact on the agency.
We welcome the efforts demonstrated by UNFPA for increased joint action. This should be further enhanced, including with regard to the definition and measurement of joint results. We strongly encourage a system-wide approach to harmonisation in all possible areas, in line with the UN Funding Compact. We continue to strongly encourage agencies to strive for efficiency gains, ensuring a maximum of aid reaches final beneficiaries.
The EU supports the proposal of a annual joint session of the Structured Funding Dialogue. The joint programmes as well as the Humanitarian-development-peace nexus might be evident topics for this joint session to start with.
I was very pleased with the information provided on collaboration with the EU on your web-site: accurate, transparent, visible. You are indeed an exemplary partner in this respect - and we would express our appreciation for that.