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Canada, Ireland and New Zealand pledge 11.7 million to One UN Initiative

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One UN Contributions Signing Ceremony of Canada, Ireland and New ZealandHa Noi, Nov 2, 2007 – The Governments of Canada, Ireland and New Zealand announced combined contributions of almost 12 million USD to support UN reform efforts in Viet Nam. The pledges, made at today’s meeting of donors, Government and UN officials - known as the Tripartite National Task Force – will help the UN to better respond to Viet Nam’s changing socio-economic development needs through more coordinated UN assistance.

“This is an outstanding show of support for the One UN Initiative in Viet Nam,” said UN Resident Coordinator John Hendra at the meeting. “The One Plan Fund is a direct response to the Government’s call for more flexible, responsive and coherent United Nations assistance here.”

New Zealand Ambassador Dr James Kember agreed, saying that Viet Nam is seen as a model country among the eight UN reform pilot countries and that, “Donor and developing countries all benefit from an integrated, streamlined operation and from greater effectiveness around the delivery of development assistance.”

The Charge d’ Affaires of Ireland, Mr Peter E Smyth, confirmed his country’s commitment to work with the UN to meet the changing development needs of Viet Nam, “This country is rapidly developing and the UN will work best through its comparative advantages to remain relevant. Business as usual will not be enough,” he said.

For his part Canadian Ambassador Mr Gabriel Lessard added that, “Canada will continue to work with the Government and UN system in Viet Nam to ensure that the most effective assistance is delivered for the people of Viet Nam.”

Today’s commitments include contributions of 5.6 million USD from Ireland and 4 million USD from New Zealand for the four year period 2007-2010, and a pledge of approximately 2.1 million USD from Canada for 2007 and 2008. All are direct contributions to the One Plan Fund, which is unique in that it is not allocated to specific projects, but rather to UN programme priorities. The current One Plan synthesises the development contributions of UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNV, UNIFEM and UNAIDS. The One Plan will be broadened to include the programmes of all remaining UN agencies and funds in Viet Nam, a draft of which is expected in December of this year.

In close partnership with the Government, the UN has been working to move beyond coordination efforts to a One UN presence to provide more effective support to Viet Nam. In December 2006, Viet Nam was officially announced as one of only eight countries in the world to pilot reform efforts.

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