Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ms. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York at the 2nd Regular Session of the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS- Midterm review of the United Nations Capital Development Fund strategic framework, 2018-2021, including the annual report on results achieved by UNCDF in 2019 on 4 September

I thank you, Madame President.

Let me begin by thanking and congratulating Executive Secretary Mrs. Judith Carl for her dedicated service and successful leadership in steering the important work of UNCDF, especially during this difficult period.  We wish her all success in her future endeavours.

Madam President,

We deeply value the work of UNCDF in the LDCs. Bangladesh has long-standing partnership with UNCDF, which has a good track record of pioneering initiatives that the government and other development partners help scale up.  Our collaborative work has good dividend in many areas including digital financing and inclusion, technology-based women entrepreneurship, climate change adaptation, and SDGs financing.  And that is now playing an important role in our pandemic response and recovery efforts.

UNCDF can play a vital role to support the LDCs during this pandemic. With the ongoing UNDS reform on the ground, UNCDF will have to bring important value addition to its work particularly in terms of forging more strategic alliance with other UN actors and the host governments.

I have some specific comments and questions about UNCDF’s possible role to help the LDCs recover better from the crisis:

First, the pandemic has pushed many MSMEs in LDCs out of business, with millions left jobless and forced into poverty. I would like to know how UNCDF’s LDC Investment Platform and Last Mile Investment Finance initiatives can help small entrepreneurs and small-scale businesses address the financing challenges better, especially now to recover from the Covid-19 shock.

Secondly, in many LDCs, SDGs implementation plans have been put on hold, with resources diverted to pandemic response. We need new kind of partnership and targeted support to help LDCs in this Decade of Action and the post IPOA journey. If UNCDF could share how it plans to tailor its current and next Strategic Framework (2022-2026) to mobilize more resources for SDGs financing in the LDCs.

Finally, Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the high importance of digital inclusion to close gaps between peoples and economies. How can UNCDF play a more effective role to help the LDCs in bridging the digital divide and unlocking the potentials for millions of peoples and entrepreneurs to integrate better with the global digital economy and financial market?

I will rest it there.  [Thank you once again Ms. Carl] I thank you, Mr. President.