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THE united nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations' (UN's) global development network that assists developing countries in managing and funding sustainable environmentally sensitive global and national development and, as such, is the world's largest multilateral development source. The UNDP was created (1965-71) by merging the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance with the UN Special Fund. The UNDP currently works in 166 countries, with the UNDP Resident Represen tative in each generally serving as the resident coordinator of the UN development activities. The UNDP is an executive board within the UN General Assembly. The UNDP administrator is the third-ranking position in the UN, following the secretary-general and deputy secretary-general. Headquartered in New York City, the UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from member nations. The UNDP annually publishes local, regional, national, and global Human Development Reports. The UNDP concentrates on five development challenges: democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, energy and environment, and HIV/AIDS.


The umbrella goal of the UNDP is to cut world poverty in half by 2015; that goal is supported by seeking to achieve in the same year eight subsidiary Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), so named because they were derived from the September 2000 UN Millennium Summit. The MDGs are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop the Global Partnership for Development endorsed at the March 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, and reaffirmed in August 2002 at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.

The goal of achieving environmental sustainabil-ity is rooted in the idea that developing and impoverished countries are those countries that are most damaged by environmental degradation and by the use of expensive polluting energy sources. The UNDP's goal of ensuring environmental sustain-ability concentrates on effective water governance, access to sustainable energy services, sustainable land management targeting desertification and land degradation, the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and national/sectoral policies controlling emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) and persistent organic pollutant (POP) emissions. The UNDP seeks to accomplish these objectives by linking its developing country client states with environmentally sensitive development projects that produce long-term jobs. The UNDP

also helps these same countries develop and adopt policies that encourage and sustain these projects and assists in developing other governmental policies and action plans that might positively affect environmental sustainability. The UNDP also helps these countries develop the capacity to manage their environment, energy resource use, and sustainability while reducing poverty, sustaining their advancing development, and integrating the local communities and women into this management.

The UNDP promotes the effective use of the client state's water resources by developing policies and programs integrating the sustainable use of marine, coastal, and freshwater resources; adequate and accessible clean water sources; and the sanitation services necessary to sustain and improve these water resources. The UNDP supports these integrated water resources management programs by initiating and then requiring transboundary waters management within a water governance framework uniting local, national, and regional governmental entities.

The UNDP promotes access to sustainable clean energy services by supporting sustainable and integrated transboundary energy resource development and energy use targeted at reducing the poverty in the client state. The UNDP promotes the use of energy technologies that are climate change neutral or abating. The UNDP facilitates these programs by providing access to funding sources that include, but are not limited to, the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) program. All of the funding sources accessible through the UNDP support projects that mitigate climate change and support indigenous sustainable livelihoods.

The UNDP promotes sustainable land management, contending that land degradation and desertification are two of the major causes of rural poverty in developing countries. The UNDP concentrates on educating and helping its client states and their composite communities maintain the integrity of the indigenous land-based ecosystems by developing or revising land governance policies that protect the land, sustain livelihoods, and mitigate or adapt to climate change. The UNDP also supports the creation of infrastructure projects that prevent or retard land degradation and desertification. These projects are funded for the most part by integrated multistakeholder relationships symbiotically uniting local, national, regional, and global entities.

The UNDP promotes conservation and sustainable biodiversity by helping client states and their composite communities maintain and develop the capacity to manage their indigenous biodiversity and ecosystems. This process not only seeks to sustain the indigenous biodiversity and ecosystems but also seeks to manage them so as to provide more food, fuel, sustainable livelihoods, and medicines in addition to better security and shelter. This process sometimes entails the development of clean water systems, improved disease control, and better preparedness for and reduced vulnerability to natural disasters. The UNDP helps these countries develop and then manage their agriculture, fisheries, forests, and other resources in a pro-poor approach oriented to developing marketable self-sustaining biotechnology.

The UNDP's Montreal Protocol and GEF programs are designed to support the reduction and elimination of ODSs and POP emissions on the national and sectoral levels while maintaining the economic competitiveness of the client states through alternative technologies and increasing indigenous capacity.

sEE ALsO: Clean Development Mechanism; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Kyoto Protocol; Sustainability; United Nations.

bibliography. Stephan Klingebeil, Effectiveness and Reform of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (Taylor & Francis, Inc., 1999); Craig N. Murphy, The United Nations Development Programme: A Better Way? (Cambridge University Press, 2006); United Nations, Basic Facts about the United Nations (United Nations, 2004); "United Nations Development Programme," www. undp.org (cited November 2007); United Nations Development Programme, Generation, Portrait of the United Nations Development Programme (United Nations Publications, 1995); United Nations Development Programme, UNDP for Beginners: A Beginner's Guide to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2006); "United States Committee for the United Nations Development Program," www.undp-usa.org (cited November 2007).

Richard Milton Edwards University of Wisconsin Colleges

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