“Her Damla Değer Katar” Coca-Cola Bölgesel İşbirliği Başlangıç Buluşması02.Kas.2006
UNDP Resident Representative
It gives me great pleasure to be able to address this important gathering, which includes colleagues and friends from Coca-Cola, UNDP Country Offices, and UNDP’s Bratislava Regional Center. It is truly heartening to be a part of this kick-off meeting for this critically important “Every Drop Counts” regional partnership with Coca-Cola, which we are launching over the next two days both with concrete project discussions as well as with the visibility that will draw broader attention to the purpose of this partnership: to ensure greater access to safe water for the people of this region.
As the Millennium Development Goals clearly highlight, and as the 2006 UNDP Global Human Development Report clearly emphasizes, the prevalence of a large percentage of the population without access to safe drinking water—even in eastern Europe and the CIS region—is a development challenge that we must all face.
Today’s meeting represents the culmination of several months of work and preparation undertaken by colleagues in Coca-Cola, our Bratislava Regional Center, the Country Office in Turkey, and the participating Country Offices in this initial phase: Croatia, Romania, and Kazakhstan. Many of you have participated in the initial meeting in March, during which both UNDP and Coca-Cola reconfirmed their institutional commitment to increasing access to safe drinking water for communities and for individuals. At that meeting, we also committed ourselves to this unique and important partnership: that is, a global UN agency working hand in hand with a global private sector company to achieve a mutually shared goal and objective.
Allow me like to say a few words about this partnership. Firstly, Coca-Cola, as we have witnessed through our existing partnerships, is not a simple “donor” or a mere provider of financial resources. Rather, Coca-Cola has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment in engaging as a substantive partner with UNDP in identifying how we can collectively address the problematic issues in this region. Secondly, the colleagues in UNDP Regional Center in Bratislava have been continuously engaged in providing their technical expertise on environment and water-related issues, and giving guidance related to implementing regional initiatives from a management, operational, and advocacy perspective. Finally, and importantly, the UNDP Country Offices make up the third leg of this partnership,, as it is also very much at the national and local level in the pilot countries where we expect to see the concrete impact and results of this partnership.
As the lead Country Office for this initiative, UNDP/Turkey is committed to ensuring the successful implementation of this project by facilitating and coordinating the important work and inputs of each of you as partners. I am also very pleased to announce that we have recently finalised the recruitment of the new Regional Project Coordinator for this initiative, Mr. Bogachan Benli, who will be based with us in UNDP/Turkey but who will be very much part of the overall team, providing support and day-to-day leadership at the regional as well as national level.
The next two days arean important opportunity for all of us to genuinely “kick off” this new initiative, with not only words but also with the concrete projects that will be finalised through our discussions. I sincerely hope that by the end of tomorrow, we will together have reached agreement on the projects that will be funded to communicate to all of you, as well as to the media. This will confirm that Coca Cola and UNDP are committed to doing something—concretely—to address the increasing challenge of access to water.
Thank you very much, and good luck to the participants.