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Denmark and the UN

Denmark supports effective multilateral development cooperation where Danish development assistance channelled through the UN system can reach out to the areas where the needs are greatest and have the most effect. We do this based on the principle that we can achieve more together than we can on our own. The multilateral organisations have the manpower and financial muscle to tackle global challenges such as poverty reduction, security, stability, respect for human rights and green growth.

A large share of Danish development assistance is allocated to multilateral development organisations, such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – better known as the World Bank – the European Development Fund and a number of UN agencies. Part of the multilateral support is earmarked for certain activities in certain countries, but the majority follows the strong Danish policy of providing core contributions to the multilateral organisations. The core contributions are general grants to an organisation’s key activities. They ensure that the organisations are able to engage in longer term strategic planning, and they also enable these organisations to respond quickly to sudden crises.

Access to fragile states

UNDP is the UN’s largest development organisation, which works for sustainable development within four main areas: poverty reduction; good governance; crisis prevention and reconstruction; and environment and access to energy. All four areas align closely with the priorities of the Danish strategy for development cooperation. As UNDP operates in more than 170 countries, Denmark is able to use the core contribution to support the development in fragile states, where it would otherwise be difficult and dangerous to operate. Denmark is currently the eighth largest donor to UNDP core activities and has long been among the top ten core donors. Denmark’s position as a major donor also offers us greater opportunity to influence the priorities in the organisation and to ensure increased focus on documenting the results of the programmes.
UNDP’s work is diverse and their actions deliver many results. These actions range from technical support for drafting Tunisia’s new constitution and longstanding efforts to eradicate inequality in Ethiopia, to information campaigns during elections, targeted at voters in different countries such as Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malawi and Sudan.

The latest annual report on the results of UNDP’s work shows that the Danish support to the organisation together with that of a number of other countries has contributed to:

  • Creating 6.5 million jobs
  • Broadening access to justice in 117 countries
  • Building resilience in 14 crisis-affected regions
  • Conducting elections – with more than 43 million newly registered voters
  • Providing social protection for 15 million people
  • Balancing natural resource use on 250 million hectares of land.