National Statement of Germany during the 2024 Annual Session of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UNFPA Segment, 5 June 2024

05.06.2024 - Speech

The Statement was delivered by Ambassador Thomas Zahneisen, Deputy Permanent Representative

Mister President,
Distinguished Executive Director,
Members of the Executive Board,

I would like thank ED Dr. Natalia Kanem for her inspiring statement.

2024 is, indeed, a special year, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ICPD Programme of Action.
This is the appropriate moment to commend UNFPA for their strong leadership
in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as gender equality.

The ICPD30 process clearly demonstrated, that inclusive sustainable development is not possible without prioritizing women’s and girls’ rights and their bodily autonomy.
Yes, we do see pushback, but this year’s Commission on Population and Development reaffirmed our commitment to the ICPD agenda by adopting a strong political declaration.

This is a great accomplishment.
UNFPA, and you, ED, have been instrumental in achieving it.

Allow me to make three short remarks.

First on the Strategic Plan:

the Midterm Review and the annual report underscore UNFPA’s vital role in transforming lives and communities worldwide, as reflected in the positive global trend of decreased levels of teenage pregnancies, child marriage and female genital mutilation.

We especially appreciate the strong results achieved by programs supporting adolescents and young people.

We commend UNFPA for making the promotion and protection of the health and rights of adolescents – especially girls – a top priority.

Progress on maternal mortality rates, however, remains stalled.

We encourage UNFPA to expand existing, successful approaches to improve maternal and newborn health, such as investing in midwives, access to quality pregnancy
and delivery care.

My second point is on adequate and sustained funding.

We highly appreciate UNFPA’s willingness to explore new financing and partnerships models, such as the collaboration with the Global Financing Facility and the Strategic Investment Facility.

Finally, on the Headquarters optimization process.

We welcome the decision of moving closer to programme countries.
But the process is complicated and will put strain on the staff.

We encourage UNFPA to carefully mitigate these risks, especially with regard to the loss of human talent, which is undoubtedly UNFPA’s most valuable resource, and keep the Executive Board informed thereof.

In conclusion, let me thank again the ED for her leadership and the entire UNFPA staff for their dedication and outstanding work.

Germanys will continue to fully support your important mandate to ensure that no woman and no girl is left behindand that we collectively accelerate progress towards the Three Zeros.

Thank you.

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