Executive Board of the UNDP and UNFPA
On behalf of the Government of Romania, I would like to thank the Regional Director for Europe and the CIS for the presentation of the 2005 - 2009 Draft Country Programme Document (CPD) for Romania (DP/DCP/ROM/1).
Country Programme Document (CPD) builds on the recently completed United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and on the Common Country Assessment (CCA) formulated by the UN system in Romania together with the national partners. Furthermore, CPD/UNDAF/CCA process was conducted in synergy with the formulation of Romania's first Millennium Development Goals Report lunched last February. A permanent dialogue and interaction were developed, by the active assistance of the UNDP Resident Representative and the UN Country Office in Bucharest, Romania. The consolidation of such a dialogue and partnership is meant to increase not only the efficiency and a better coordination but also the visibility of and perception on UN activities.
We would like to underline that the recent review of the Common Country Assessment for 2003 has highlighted a number of lessons. Some of the key findings and recommendations of the CPD include, inter alia, approaching development holistically by strengthening inter-sectoral linkages and programmes, designing well-defined exit and replication strategies, mainstreaming of the gender agenda, and greater convergence - both thematic and geographic - in its programmes.
The CPD presents in a concise form, UNDP's commonly agreed strategy for supporting Romania's national priorities during the next five years, including its efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals and fulfill the requirements to EU accession. Build on the priorities and needs of the people of Romania, at the core of the programme are three main clusters: capacity building for democratic governance; environmental governance and economic growth and poverty reduction.
The implementation of this cooperation framework is meant to put in the limelight a fresh approach to the partnership between Romania, as a future EU member, and the UN agencies, in the context of fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals. This partnership relies both on the new vision of the UN agencies directed to supporting the EU accession process of Romania, and on our country's assuming in the near future the status of donor for development assistance.
The Romanian Government had in the last three years the very difficult task to consolidate the economy at the macroeconomic level, to restart the engines in terms of growth elements. Romania succeeded an economic growth of 5.7% in 2001, 5% in 2002 and 4.9% in 2003 and this year, probably, 5.5%. Such rates mean a GDP growth of EURO 7, 3 billion. Inflation decreased to approximately 9% at this moment from 40% four years ago. We succeeded to clarify the property status. The revised Constitution guarantees property in Romania. We managed to restore to claimants 97% of the agricultural land and almost the same percentage of forests. We have started and we are closing to completion the restitution of real estate. All these contributed to a stable development of the business environment.
Socially, the most important thing is that we succeeded in establishing the support mechanisms to reduce poverty and to secure an increase in salaries of 53% in real terms compared to 2000. This is also reflected in the banks' and companies' results. As the reduction in unemployment is a genuine satisfaction for the Government, social security saw an increase in its percentage of GDP.
Privatization in industry and services finalized to a large extend. These days the Authority for Privatization and Management of State Ownership merges with The Authority for Bank Assets Resolution, which is a sign that the mass privatization ended in Romania. What is left is the privatization of utilities, in a difficult international environment. But we are decided to transfer the property over them to private operators. We are also decided to make more use of the public-private partnership in the management of health and education services, in the urban services and in the investments in infrastructure.
On the basis of the EU accession priority measures Plan, the Government of Romania set up the actions for the next future, aimed at obtaining concrete progress in critical key-areas, considered as vital for completing the negotiations process in 2004 and becoming an EU full member in 2007. These areas will be focusing on improving market economy mechanism, democratic governance and justice reform, fight against corruption, public administration reform and administrative capacity, child protection, energy, environment.
In fact, developing institutional and human capacities represents the core of our efforts oriented towards the reform of the central and local administrative structures, with a view to fully taking advantage of the opportunities of European integration.
Therefore, we are convinced that UN agencies' support, advisory services and technical assistance, guided by the 2005-2009 CPD, will help Romania to make further progress in social and economic areas, particularly in mobilizing resources for the benefit of the most disadvantaged regions and groups.
We also underline the special focus of the new CPD on social, health and educational services - in order to effectively combat poverty that affects vulnerable social categories, through efficient social inclusion policies - as well as on the importance of keeping up the positive trends of annual economic growth.
In view of the limited resources available to UNDP, we will pay a particular attention to mobilizing additional resources to support the achievement of national programme objectives, particularly through the cost-sharing mechanism.
We would like to use this opportunity to express our gratitude to the governments of the Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Switzerland, Canada and Norway, as well as to the European Union and World Bank for their generous funding support and hope that these countries, and other donors, will continue to assist our projects.
We appreciate the work of the Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS, UN Resident Coordinator of Romania, and the representatives of the UN agencies (UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS) and wish to express our appreciation for their professionalism and commitment in supporting the social and economic development of our country, in full compliance with the priorities of the Romanian society.
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