Statement by Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens, UN Population Fund Executive Board Meeting Second Regular Session

Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens
U.S. Representative to ECOSOC 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
September 4, 2012




AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Mr. President and thank you, Dr. Osotimehin for your briefing, for your leadership and the leadership of your team and staff in their excellent work.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished colleagues, and friends, there have been many important foras in the past months, including the London Family Planning Summit in June, which concluded with great success due in no small part to the strong leadership of UNFPA. During the Summit, along with more than 20 developing countries, multilateral and bilateral donors and foundations, made commitments to improve country-led family planning programs, and substantially increasing services and supplies in order to reduce unmet needs for family planning by 120 million for women and girls worldwide. Countries also promised to address critical policy, financing, and delivery barriers that prevent women from accessing family planning and reproductive health information, services, and supplies. The success of this summit will have a strong impact on achieving MDGs 4 and 5, a core mission of UNFPA.

The United States applauds the work underway to ensure a successful and meaningful ICPD Beyond 2014 review. We appreciate UNFPA’s efforts to brief the Board on an ambitious agenda that will involve a series of global and regional conferences and require substantial planning and resources. An inclusive and transparent approach will ensure that we have strong outcomes to advance our common agenda of universal access to reproductive health and family planning.

We would also like to underscore the importance of a clear and well-managed evaluation process for the effectiveness and efficiency of UNFPA. Thank you Executive Director Osotimehin for the detailed briefing this morning. As we move to strengthen UNFPA’s evaluation capacities, we appreciate the Executive Director commitment to clarify respective roles and responsibilities of UNFPA’s evaluation and program functions, and we commend his intention to remain personally involved in strengthening an independent and effective evaluation capacity. We also underscore the importance of credible and reliable data and analysis on program performance and therefore robust program monitoring practices.

Mr. President, I would like to close by simply expressing our deep appreciation again for Dr. Osotimehin’s leadership in advancing UNFPA's important goals and objectives. The United States stands in strong solidarity with your mission, your efforts, and your dedication.

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PRN: 2012/179