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UNDP allocates US$25 million to capable and inclusive states

By UNDP Newsroom

Dakar, Senegal, 19 February 2010—Following the outcome of a global governance meeting in Dakar, Senegal, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has pledged US$25 million towards strengthening credible national institutions like parliaments, human rights organizations and anti-corruption commissions in developing countries, during 2010. The funds will also go toward promoting inclusive governance programmes such as access to information and channels that allow stakeholder voices to be heard in governance processes.

This decision comes at the end of a week-long conference of more than 200 governance experts and delegates including former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, and former Prime Minister of Canada, Joe Clark. Some $13 million of this amount will be spent on supporting election processes in Sub-Saharan countries during 2010-2011.

“This week has shown us that there's a very strong consensus that capable, inclusive, responsive states are a prerequisite for development, including for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,” said Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, UNDP's Democratic Governance Practice Director. “Therefore we are fully committed to harnessing and optimizing our resources to that end.”

The Dakar conference was held against the backdrop of new global challenges that are threatening development gains, such as the economic crisis and climate change, and which the conference participants said called for a renewed focus on the role of the state.

It is generally accepted that lack of governance, insufficient governance or outright bad governance at both global and national levels have contributed heavily to the ongoing global crises and challenges facing humanity at the moment. For UNDP it is therefore important to ensure that democratic governance —with its focus on inclusive participation, responsive institutions and values regarding human rights, gender equality and women's empowerment— becomes a critical and strategic part of the response.

The conference also dedicated significant attention to Sub-Saharan Africa where some 20 countries are scheduled to conduct legislative or presidential elections over the next two years.

“Sub-Saharan Africa has a very promising future if we can promote inclusive states that speak and act on behalf of citizens, and that are capable of confronting the challenges and complexities most nations in the region face today,” said Fraser-Moleketi, adding at the same time that the need for capable states reaches far beyond Africa and there are best practices to be shared through South-South cooperation.

For more on what UNDP is doing in Governance, visit: http://www.undp.org/governance/

For further information, please contact:
New York: Sujala Pant, [email protected], Tel: +1 212-906-5129, +221-70-2000356

Dakar, Ngoné Sow, ngoné[email protected], Tél. +221-77 569 9605

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UNDP is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.