17 February 2012
Deputy Secretary-General

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Feedback from Member States’ Critical in Determining Need for Independent


System-wide Evaluation, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Workshop


Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the workshop on system-wide evaluation of United Nations operational activities for development, in New York on 17 February:

It is a pleasure to be with you this morning.

As you recall, in its resolution 64/289 on system-wide coherence, the General Assembly provided guidance on the governance and funding of operational activities for development, “delivering-as-one”, and the harmonization of business practices.  That same resolution also created UN Women, a landmark step.

Much has been achieved, but our work continues.  As part of the effort to improve governance, the resolution asked the Secretary-General to commission a comprehensive review of the institutional framework for system-wide evaluation of the United Nations operational activities for development.  It also asked the Secretary-General to submit a report, with recommendations, to the Assembly at its sixty-sixth session.

In the same resolution, Member States affirmed that the establishment of an independent system-wide evaluation mechanism should be aimed at fully utilizing and strengthening the existing institutional framework and capacities.

In response to this mandate, in June of last year, the Secretary-General commissioned two independent evaluation experts to undertake the comprehensive review.  Angela Bester of South Africa and Charles Lusthaus of Canada are with us this morning to present the draft report.  They were asked to answer the following overarching questions:

First, what is the demand for independent system-wide evaluation, and how would it be used?  Second, what constitutes a good independent system-wide evaluation and what kind of mandates and capacities would be required to do one?  Third, what capacity exists within the United Nations system to manage, conduct and contribute to an independent system-wide evaluation?  Fourth, how can the United Nations system address capacity gaps in system-wide evaluation?

The two experts have conducted extensive analysis and consultations with Member States and United Nations system colleagues.  These consultations included two workshops last October at which the experts shared their preliminary findings.

As some of you know, the establishment of an independent system-wide evaluation mechanism was discussed in the General Assembly negotiations on system-wide coherence between 2007 and 2010.  However, despite considerable efforts, Member States were not able to reach agreement at that time.

Today’s discussion will help us take a step forward.  The draft report being presented today consists of 36 findings and seven main recommendations.  The recommendations aim to fully utilize and reinforce the existing institutional framework and capacities for system-wide evaluation within the United Nations system, as mandated in resolution 64/289.  Your feedback now will be critical in thinking through why we need an independent system-wide evaluation, how we would use such an evaluation and, eventually, how to put in place the relevant institutional arrangements.

Following this workshop, the report will be finalized and the Secretary-General will submit it to Member States in the spring for further intergovernmental deliberations and decision-making.  In the fall, the General Assembly’s quadrennial comprehensive policy review will provide an important opportunity to review the recommendations and make concrete progress on this issue.

This morning’s dialogue aims to promote better understanding of how to strengthen independent system-wide evaluation within the United Nations system.  I am afraid that, owing to prior commitments, I cannot stay for your dialogue.  I wish you a very constructive discussion and look forward to hearing the results.

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For information media • not an official record