|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-seventh General Assembly
7th & 8th Meetings (AM & PM)
Millions Worldwide Deserve International Community’s Best Efforts, Stresses
Deputy Secretary-General in Second Committee
Debating Operational Activities for Development,
Speakers Urge More Core Resources, Need to Boost South-South Cooperation
Millions of poor people around the world deserved the best and most serious efforts from the international community, stressed United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today, as the Second Committee took up operational activities for development.
Presenting reports of the Secretary-General on that agenda item, Mr. Eliasson said the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of United Nations operational activities for development could be re-titled the “quite critical process for results”, adding that it had the potential significantly to improve the way in which the Organization delivered development assistance. Calling for the realization of that potential, he stressed that the development map had changed significantly, and it was crucial for United Nations operational activities to adapt to that change and fall into line with the new focus. Companies, civil society and other actors were joining States and international organizations as development partners, and it was vital to strengthen cooperation.
Emphasizing the need to strengthen the capacity-building role of United Nations entities, he also called for the reinvigoration of their normative roles. Long-run trends in the funding system showed a need for reform, he said, pointing to the stagnation of contributions and to the fact that growth was limited to non-core resources. The burden was not evenly shared, and a “critical mass” of core resources should be defined in the future, he said. The capacity of the United Nations system to work as one coherent body must be improved, he said, referring to the “Delivering as one” initiative and the lessons learned from the relevant pilot countries. Increased efficiency and reduced transaction costs were also essential, he added.
Also presenting a report of the Secretary-General, the Director of the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said it analysed new drivers of South-South cooperation, particularly the rise of the global South. That had resulted in a range of clear, qualitative changes to the world order, including rapidly growing middle classes in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, the resilience of countries like Brazil to the global recession and the spread of wireless connectivity in the South.
Citing increased regional, interregional and intraregional integration, especially in the economic sphere, he noted that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had reported in 2012 that African companies were taking up the slack following cutbacks in cooperation from Europe. The United Nations system as a whole had taken a more strategic approach to mainstreaming South-South and triangular cooperation, he said, adding that the Organization was convening policy dialogue and engaging donors in “triangular knowledge-sharing”. It was a facilitator and developer of partnerships, he said, adding that it was working to enable mutual learning on the part of partners.
While acknowledging the unconditional role played by South-South cooperation in the development of developing countries, many speakers said it must remain a complement to, rather than a substitute for, North-South cooperation. The representative of Antigua and Barbuda, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), emphasized that South-South cooperation should be integrated into the operational activities of the United Nations system whereby development programmes and activities would support and promote South-South, as well as triangular, cooperation. That was an important source of economic development amid the weak global economic conditions, he said.
Many other delegates underscored that South-South cooperation was not merely about business and technology transfer, but also a form of solidarity among the countries of the South. They also expressed concern over the growing imbalance between core and non-core resources in United Nations operational activities for development, saying it was so wide, that they were worried it would impact the development agenda promoted by the United Nations. Chile’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said the growing imbalance was particularly damaging to observance of the principle of universality and to intergovernmental governance that should be the basis for action by the United Nations on its development pillar. In 2011, he recalled, core resources for development activities had amounted to $6.4 billion, while non-core resources had reached $16 billion.
“Non-core sources are highly fragmented and tend to divert from the priorities set by programme countries,” he continued. Among the multiple contributions that made up the bulk of non-core resources, single-donor, as well as programme- and project-specific funding, were the biggest systemic and practical challenges, he said. They were not necessarily aligned with the strategic plans agreed in the intergovernmental process of each United Nations entity, and neither were they subject to each intergovernmental governance structures.
Speakers said the quadrennial comprehensive policy review should be viewed as an opportunity for Member States to engage in a thoughtful, constructive analysis of the governance, value, effectiveness and coherence of all United Nations operational activities in hopes that that would help development in the field, while setting system-wide policy guidelines for the Organization’s specialized agencies, funds and programmes.
The representative of the Russian Federation said his country attached high priority to the quadrennial comprehensive policy review, adding that in outlining how the United Nations had functioned over the last few years, it would be wise to take note of its successes and failures in order to better determine how the system should function in the coming few years. That would make a practical contribution to enhancing the Second Committee’s work, he said.
Many other delegates emphasized the importance of considering the needs of middle-income countries. Poverty eradication, sustainable development and issues such as health and climate change remained key challenges for all developing countries, including middle-income countries, the representative of Trinidad and Tobago emphasized. Citing statistics to demonstrate that almost three quarters of the world’s poor lived in middle-income countries, he said the importance of leveraging the United Nations development system to address the wide range of capacities and needs among those States could not be over-emphasized. It was vitally important that the United Nations development system take greater account of their structural challenges, while, in the same vein, also taking on board the unique and particular vulnerabilities associated with small island developing States.
Echoing that sentiment was Viet Nam’s representative, who, speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), shared the common concern of developing countries over the serious decline in resources for development activities. He called upon donor countries to honour their financial-assistance commitments for United Nations operational activities. While priority should be accorded to the countries most in need, particularly the least developed and the landlocked developing ones, middle-income countries also needed development assistance, including greater capacity-building, he stressed, pointing out that they faced new and numerous challenges that were specific to that category of countries.
Also speaking today were representatives of Algeria (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Australia (also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand), Benin (on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries), Norway, Switzerland, El Salvador, Bangladesh, Brazil, Belarus, Malaysia, Mexico, Haiti, Ukraine, United States, India, Japan, Peru, Ireland, Republic of Korea, Cuba, Jamaica, China, Morocco, Albania, Israel, Thailand, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Iran, Trinidad and Tobago, Indonesia, United Republic of Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Tunisia. A representative of the European Union Delegation also delivered a statement.
Others speaking today were representatives of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, World Food Programme, United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Development Programme.
The Second Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 17 October, to take up groups of countries in special situations.
As the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this morning to take up operational activities for development, members had before them five reports of the Secretary-General relating, respectively, to the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system, and South-South cooperation.
Dated 13 June 2012, the report Analysis of funding of operational activities for development of the United Nations system for 2010 (document A/67/94-E/2012/80) notes a 5 per cent increase in development-related funding compared to 2009, while funding for humanitarian assistance increased by less than 1 per cent. It states that 68 per cent of funding was directed to longer-term development-related activities against 32 per cent directed to activities with a humanitarian focus. Total contributions amounted to $22.9 billion, an increase of 3 per cent compared to 2009, and accounted for about 16 per cent of total official development assistance (ODA), excluding debt relief, as reported by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD-DAC).
According to the report, there was a growing imbalance between core and non-core funding, with some 74 per cent of total funding going to non-core activities in 2010 and thus characterized by varying degrees of restriction with regard to its application and use. Core funding declined by 3 per cent in real terms, while non-core funding increased 6 per cent, and longer-term funding trends were positive. Overall, contributions to operational activities grew by 131 per cent between 1995 and 2010; humanitarian-related activities by 108 per cent; and non-core development-related contributions by 350 per cent. Overall, contributions grew at a faster rate during this 15-year period than total ODA as reported by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). However, almost all this growth was in the form of non-core resources, resulting in the core ratio for operational activities declining from 53 per cent in 1995 to 26 per cent in 2010.
The report of the Secretary-General on Quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system (document A/67/93-E/2012/79) reviews efforts to enhance the coherence, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the operational activities for development pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 62/208 and 64/289, as well as Economic and Social Council resolution 2011/7. Dated 11 June 2012, it highlights a number of achievements and notes areas in which further progress is required. There is a need for the Organization to adapt to the changing development landscape and to reposition operational activities in order to better avail itself of partnership opportunities. Since the triennial comprehensive policy review in 2007, it says, progress has been made in enhancing the coherence and functioning of the United Nations development system, including by making the “Delivering as one” concept operational in countries voluntarily adopting this approach, and implementing and evaluating the “Delivering as one” pilot initiative.
According to the report, the increasing imbalance between core and non-core funding is a growing concern, with adverse implications for several policy objectives. Discussions are pending on the issue of “critical mass” of core resources at the level of the executive boards of the funds and programmes. The primary responsibility for coordinating external assistance, including United Nations support, lies with national authorities, while the role of system-wide coordination processes is to ensure that the development work of the United Nations is effectively aligned with national development needs and priorities.
The report of the Secretary-General Quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system: recommendations (document A/67/320-E/2012/89), provides recommendations for consideration by Member States to facilitate the United Nations system’s activities for development. A companion report to that on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system (document A/67/93-E/2012/79), it provides an in-depth analysis of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 62/208. It takes into account the views and comments of Member States, as expressed during the segment on operational activities of the 2012 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council. Its recommendations aim to contribute to that process, both in the short and medium terms, by proposing a forward-looking reflection on the longer-term vision and direction of United Nations operational activities for development.
Also before the Committee was the report of the Secretary-General titled The state of South-South cooperation (document A/67/208), which calls attention to the recent surge in South-South economic interactions driven by fast economic growth, and how they have impacted development opportunities across the global South. Dated 30 July 2012, it highlights the expanding middle class, increasing connectivity and growing knowledge as promising new assets for developing countries to harness in their renewed efforts to achieve sustainable human development in such areas as food, health and energy security. It calls for multilateral forms of South-South cooperation that balance concern for growth, equity and protection of the environment. Describing South-South cooperation as a major factor in the decade-long fall of Africa’s poverty levels, the report says that that has come on the heels of similar reductions in Asia, creating a new middle class on both continents. The growing magnitude of South-South support for development at a time of declining grant aid from the North has attracted attention and comment over the past year.
The “rise of the South” over the last decade has, overall, advanced economic development in Southern countries, but job creation has been weak in many of them despite sustained and rapid growth in gross domestic product (GDP). Unemployment and underemployment are at historically high levels in areas of the South experiencing political unrest and conflict. South-South and triangular cooperation are not only increasingly relevant modalities for developing countries, they have become central, mainstream factors supporting the most vibrant growth pole of the world economy. This will require developing countries to adopt a strategic and inclusive approach to development that goes beyond traditional concerns in order to ensure that its benefits are shared more equitably. However, rising income inequality in fast-growing developing countries is a cause of instability, the report warns.
Also before the Committee was the Report of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation (document A/67/39), dated 24 September 2012, which summarizes the decisions adopted by that body at its seventeenth session. It also reaffirms the outcome document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, held in Nairobi from 1 to 3 December 2009, and reiterates support for South-South as well as triangular cooperation, which provides much-needed additional resources for the implementation of development programmes. It stresses that South-South Cooperation is a key means of reviewing and assessing the global and system-wide progress on and support for South-South and triangular cooperation.
JAN ELIASSON, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, introduced the Secretary-General’s reports (documents A/67/93, A/67/320, A/67/94 and A/67/516), saying the quadrennial comprehensive policy review could be re-titled the “quite critical process for results”. Given that United Nations operational activities helped millions of poor people around the world, they deserved the best and most serious efforts, he said, adding that he was looking for a result that would truly reflect current development challenges and opportunities.
With a significant evolution in the global development map taking place in recent years, United Nations operational activities for development must fall into line with the new focus, he said. Companies, civil society and other actors were joining States and international organizations as development partners and strengthened cooperation was vital. The quadrennial comprehensive policy review had the potential to significantly improve the way the United Nations delivered development assistance, and that potential must be realized, he said, underlining also the need for United Nations operational activities to adapt to change.
Emphasizing the need to strengthen the capacity-building role of United Nations entities, he also called for the reinvigoration of their normative role. Long-run trends in the funding system showed a need for reform, he said, pointing to the stagnation of contributions and the fact that growth was limited to non-core resources. The burden was not evenly shared, and a “critical mass” of core resources should be defined in the future. The capacity of the United Nations system to work as one coherent body must be improved, he said, referring to the “Delivering as one” initiative and the lessons learned from the relevant pilot countries. Increased efficiency and reduced transaction costs were also essential, he added.
ZHOU YIPING, Director, Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), introduced the Secretary-General’s report (document A/67/208), saying it analysed new drivers of South-South cooperation, particularly the rise of the South, which had resulted in a range of clear, qualitative changes to the world order, including rapidly growing middle classes in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, the resilience of countries like Brazil to the global recession and the spread of wireless connectivity in the global South. Pointing to increased regional, interregional and intraregional integration, especially in the economic sphere, he noted that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had reported in 2012 that African companies were taking up the slack following cutbacks in cooperation from Europe.
Among other efforts to broaden partnerships for development, he cited China-Africa relations and India-Latin America partnerships, saying they were just two of many gigantic intercountry and intercontinental developing alliances for development. Brazil had given $30 million to its development organization and was active in South-South development projects in 80 countries. The United Nations system as a whole had taken a more strategic approach to mainstreaming South-South and triangular cooperation, he said, adding that the Organization was convening policy dialogue and engaging donors on “triangular knowledge-sharing”. It was a facilitator and developer of partnerships, he said, adding that it was working to enable partners to learn mutually.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI (Algeria), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said it attached high importance to an ambitious outcome to the quadrennial comprehensive policy review in order to ensure strengthened United Nations operational activities for development. No parallel process should supersede or pre-empt the review, he stressed, noting that United Nations operational activities for development should bear their fundamental characteristics, including universality and multilateralism, and be carried out for the benefit of the recipient country, at their request and in accordance with their own development policies.
The review process should be guided by the vision of a stronger role for the United Nations on development issues with improved funding in terms of both quality and quantity. The worsening balance between core and non-core funding must be properly addressed, he said, underlining the importance of the regional dimension and of the mandates given to regional commissions. Recognizing the need for a focus on capacity-building to help developing countries tackle long-term development challenges, he said the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) should serve as an overarching strategic framework for agency programming, remaining flexible and able to adopt a case-by-case approach in the field.
He emphasized the role of resident coordinators, saying they must conduct their duties in a fair and transparent manner, and called for innovative solutions to reduce the excessive transaction costs of the United Nations development system. He underlined the need for concrete measures to continued mainstream support for South-South and triangular cooperation. Regarding the “Delivering as one” initiative, he said there was no “one-size-fits-all” approach, and noted that the independent evaluation of the initiative indicated a tripling of the cost of coordination in pilot countries. It was providing some insights on the modality, which should be discussed for better understanding and clarity, he added. “Voluntary adoption” should be the guiding principle of the initiative so that the United Nations could tailor its approach to partnerships with individual countries in a way best suited to their needs, realities, priorities and planning modalities, he said.
JOHN W. ASHE (Antigua and Barbuda), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), said there had been negligible improvement in the adequacy and predictability of funding for operational activities. Unfortunately, that had created a host of limitations that were being exacerbated by a number of old and new challenges, in particular the global economic and financial crisis. The quadrennial comprehensive policy review should be viewed as an opportunity for Member States to engage in a thoughtful, constructive analysis of the governance, value, effectiveness and coherence of all United Nations operational activities for development in the field, as well as to set system-wide policy guidelines for the Organization’s specialized agencies, funds and programmes.
Its genesis must be based on universality, neutrality and multilateralism, he stressed. “As we proceed, it is important to be mindful that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to development and development assistance.” United Nations operational activities for development must be flexible and responsive to the development needs of programme countries, he continued, saying they must be carried out for the benefit of programme countries, at their own request, and in accordance with their own national policies and priorities for development. Considerable emphasis must be placed on strengthening the multilateral framework for development, he added. The significant and growing imbalance between core and non-core funding continued to weaken the multilateral framework for development assistance by facilitating the imposition of conditions tied to funding, and promoting a disjointed approach to programme delivery that undercut the effectiveness of aid.
It was therefore critical to ensure an equitable balance between core and non-core funding as well as a growing and even-handed base of development assistance from the United Nations system and other sources, he continued. As for increases in ODA, he said they had been negligible, and had even decreased in some cases, while major funding gaps persisted. In view of the current dire state of the global economy, unfortunately, most donors were not on track to meet their ODA commitments. Given the lack of considerable increases in levels of ODA for operational activities in support of development goals, basic but fundamental objectives that were universal to humanity would soon be lost, he warned. Emphasizing the importance of South-South cooperation, he said it should be integrated into the operational activities of the United Nations system whereby development programmes and activities would support and promote South-South as well as triangular cooperation. However, they must complement North-South cooperation and not be construed as replacements, he emphasized.
OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ (Chile), speaking on behalf of CELAC, underlined the central role played by the United Nations system in development, as well as the priority of ensuring sustainability in its economic, social, environmental and institutional aspects. The international development agenda must not be fragmented, but comprehensively strengthened, taking into account the central role of the United Nations in the global development agenda. In 2010 and 2011, contributions to United Nations operational activities had reached $23 billion, which represented a combination of core and non-core resources, he said. However, a detailed analysis of the structure of those contributions gave rise to serious concerns over the predictability, coherence and multilateral management of the model currently in use.
The main systemic challenge that must be addressed was the marked imbalance between core and non-core resources, he said, noting that it was so wide that it had a decisive impact on the development agenda promoted by the United Nations. It was particularly damaging to observance of the principle of universality and to intergovernmental governance, which should be the basis for United Nations action concerning its development pillar. In 2011, for instance, core resources for development activities had amounted to $6.4 billion, while non-core resources had reached $16 billion, he recalled. “Non-core sources are highly fragmented and tend to divert from the priorities set by programme countries,” he pointed out. Among the multiple contributions making up the bulk of non-core resources, single-donor, programme- and project-specific funding were the biggest systemic and practical challenges.
They were not necessarily aligned with the strategic plans agreed to in the intergovernmental process of each United Nations entity, he said, pointing out that they were not subject to intergovernmental governance structures of the relevant United Nations entity. Emphasizing that the 2012 quadrennial comprehensive policy review must be a result-oriented process, based on a management vision buttressed by the political will of all Member States, he said it should urgently address the imbalance between core and non-core resources, as well as the lack of institutional and intergovernmental governance for most United Nations funds for operational activities for development, represented by non-core resources. Lastly, he underscored that South-South cooperation had been “a cornerstone of the solidarity between the countries of the South”. While acknowledging the role played by South-South cooperation, without conditions, in the development of developing countries, he stressed that it must remain a complement, rather than a substitute for, North-South cooperation.
LE HOAI TRUNG (Viet Nam), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, reiterated that the nature of development cooperation was based on the United Nations Charter, which stipulated that the Organization’s main purpose included international cooperation in solving international problems. Describing development as one of the main United Nations activities, he said it was instrumental to international efforts to maintain peace, security and promote human rights. In reality, development cooperation and operational activities had expanded remarkably, bringing about tangible and significant results to socioeconomic development processes in many countries.
He said the quadrennial comprehensive policy review held the key to initiating the discourse on reforming governance within the United Nations development system, with the aim of promoting more balanced geographic and gender representation. ASEAN shared the common concern of developing countries that resources for development activities were in serious decline, and called upon donor countries to honour their financial assistance commitments for United Nations operational activities, particularly to narrow the enormous imbalance between core and non-core resources. While priority should be accorded to countries most in need, particularly least developed and landlocked developing ones, middle-income countries also needed development assistance, he stressed, including greater capacity-building, as they faced new and numerous challenges specific to that category of countries.
Based on actual implementation of the “Delivering as one” initiative across countries and on existing evaluation and assessment reports, he recommended that the United Nations development system promote success stories and address outstanding issues. He urged a reiteration of the principle of “no-one-size-fits-all” approach, while also emphasizing the importance of South-South cooperation because of the many common economic, geographical, regional and social characteristics that those countries share. However, South-South cooperation must not be a substitute for, but rather a complement to, North-South cooperation, he underscored, encouraging the United Nations to promote South-South cooperation and development partners to scale up knowledge-sharing; technology transfer and peer-learning; and strengthening of policy and institutional frameworks.
AMERICO BEVIGLIA ZAMPETTI, European Union delegation, said the quadrennial comprehensive policy review should focus on results-oriented, effective, coherent, transparent and accountable delivery. Emphasizing the importance of the establishment of UN-Women, he said that as one of the “key drivers of development, gender equality and women’s empowerment”, it should be fully equipped and its system-wide mandate implemented. Noting that the European Union collectively provided more than 40 per cent of all core funding for United Nations development-related activities, he said all its Member States should work to ensure adequate and predictable funding of the strategic plans that they approved. There was a need for more structured dialogue within the governing bodies on how to achieve that, he said, adding that he also looked forward to discussions on cost recovery.
Underlining the importance of the principles confirmed at Busan in December 2011, he said the quadrennial comprehensive policy review should encourage greater transparency on costs and instil a culture of cost- and value-awareness. He also stressed the need to focus on results to demonstrate the impact of development assistance, as well as the importance of incorporating “Delivery as one” principles across the United Nations system in support of more coherent and effective country-level programming and delivery while always recognizing that “one size does not always fit all”. The quadrennial comprehensive policy review could help improve the capacities of resident coordinators, especially in humanitarian situations and transition countries, he said.
PETER VERSEGI (Australia), speaking also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, said the quadrennial comprehensive policy review was essential for institutionalizing critical reforms to improve the results that the United Nations helped achieve for people in developing countries. During the Economic and Social Council debate on operational activities this year, there had been a “clear consensus” on the importance of results and value for money, he recalled, emphasizing the importance of integrating a “results focus” throughout the relevant draft resolution when it was eventually produced, and saying it should include “Delivering as one” provisions. The initiative should not be mandatory for all programme countries, but, should one country adopt it, the United Nations must be flexible enough to respond immediately and comply fully with its request, he stressed. Standard operating procedures, business practices, and results and reporting frameworks should be instituted quickly to ensure the flexibility needed for United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies to work more effectively, he added.
JEAN-FRANCIS ZINSOU (Benin), speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries and associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said the lack of progress in developing the concept of a “critical mass” of the core resources must be addressed properly. United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes should not spare any effort to broaden the donor base and increase the number of donor countries and other partners making financial contributions to the implementation of their core mandates in order to reduce the system’s reliance on a limited number of donors, he said. The contributions of other financing sources should also be sought with a view to diversifying potential sources of core funding.
Apart from traditional donor endeavours, he said he valued the increasing support provided by developing countries to the core regular budget of United Nations operational activities. That must be done in a manner consistent with their capacities and in accordance with the principle of shared but differentiated responsibilities. He stressed the importance of strengthening South-South cooperation, adding in that respect that he looked forward to the Secretary-General’s proposals for improving United Nations institutional arrangements and for funding system-wide coordination, advocacy and mainstreaming activities. He encouraged the Administrator of UNDP to maintain the level of funding allocated annually to the fixed line for South-South cooperation.
Calling upon Member States, as well as the United Nations system, to support the promotion and transfer of new and emerging technologies to programme countries, and in a broader sense to developing countries, he said the world body’s funds and programmes should mainstream support for South-South and triangular cooperation into regular country-level programming of operational activities for development, strengthening support mechanisms at the global and regional levels. Lastly, he said it was important to reduce the workload of national Governments and other partners, and to reduce the time necessary to prepare the relevant documents by ensuring alignment with Government planning cycles, improving the focus on results, and promoting a better division of labour within the United Nations system at the country level.
DMITRY I. MAKSIMYCHEV (Russian Federation) attached high priority to the quadrennial comprehensive policy review, saying that by outlining how the United Nations had functioned in the last few years, it would determine how the system would function in the coming few years. That would make a practical contribution to enhancing the Committee’s work, he said. During meetings on the review, it would be important to ensure that the negotiation process was based on the agreements reached during the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council sessions, he said. The international development process had drastically and dynamically changed due to a significant increase of non-State actors playing a major role, mainly in the business sector, he noted.
The global financial and economic crisis and worsening threats to food and energy security made it necessary to ensure flexibility at the international level, he said, adding that many conclusions of the “Delivering as one” initiative could be useful in the coming negotiations. It was important to maintain the independence of United Nations funds and programmes, he said, calling also for enhanced predictability of financing. To do that would require an increase in core resources. He also pointed out the actively developing ties between South-South and triangular cooperation, saying that was a major asset to the United Nations development system. “Developing countries are becoming key centres of growth,” he noted, expressing support for the United Nations in promoting South-South cooperation as a method of development and growth.
GEIR O PEDERSEN ( Norway) emphasized that the quadrennial comprehensive policy review must be forward-looking and reflect the changes that had taken place in the development cooperation landscape, including cooperation with new actors in the field. A strategic and results-oriented “One UN” should be recognized as the main modality at country level, he said, encouraging the Committee to discuss how the international community could ensure continuing and sustainable financing for “Delivering as one”. The authority of resident coordinators must be strengthened, he said, adding that there was a general need to strengthen United Nations country-level leadership so that it could function effectively and efficiently, including in its humanitarian-coordinator role. In addition, budgets should be results-oriented and each entity should be held accountable for delivering results, he continued. “We need fair burden-sharing in the financing of the operational activities of the United Nations system.”
Stressing that wealth must be shared both between and within nations, he said that meant emerging economies should contribute their fair share to financing United Nations development activities. Donor policies must improve, he said, expressing concern about the high level of strictly earmarked non-core funding currently supporting United Nations operational activities. That increased the fragmentation of the development system, he said, adding that core funding was essential for operational activities. It was also important to improve the quality of non-core funding, including soft earmarking at the programme or sector level, which hopefully would reduce transaction costs and make it easier to work in a more coordinated way. Describing gender equality and women’s empowerment as important preconditions and drivers of sustainable development, he said gender mainstreaming contributed to improved results.
PIUS WENNUBST ( Switzerland) said the quadrennial comprehensive policy review was a timely opportunity to agree on guiding principles for all United Nations development activities. Noting that a well-coordinated and organized system would function better than a fragmented one, he said the harmonization and simplification of business practices, as well as a revision of funding modalities, were means to that end. The review could clarify the importance of the operational system’s responses to particular challenges, he said, expressing support for an intelligent, flexible, coherent, supportive and strong United Nations operational system for the future.
CARLA ARIAS OROZCO ( El Salvador), associating herself with CELAC and the Group of 77 and China, stressed the importance of an ambitious outcome to the quadrennial comprehensive policy review discussions. Work on the ground, best practices and cross-cutting issues called for particular attention, and a strong emphasis on improving efficiency was needed to support national efforts effectively. She called for strengthening the role of resident coordinators and an emphasis on national development ownership with reduced costs. Development institutions should meet priority national development needs, she added. The ability of the multilateral system to provide flexible responses to the needs of developing countries had been undermined by changing circumstances, she said, emphasizing the need for tangible steps to support South-South cooperation. It should be complementary to, not a substitute for, North-South cooperation. Concerning middle-income countries, she said they had seen unequal economic growth and needed United Nations cooperation, expertise and technical knowledge. It was important to maintain and strengthen the role of United Nations funds and programmes in those countries, she stressed.
MUSTAFIZUR RAHMAN( Bangladesh) associated himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of Least Developed Countries, saying two thirds of United Nations development activities took place under the auspices of funds and programmes. Despite having undertaken many development programmes over the years, the United Nations had not always had the capacity to deliver in a satisfactory manner. The quadrennial comprehensive policy review should lead to an ambitious outcome to define the next four years, he said. To achieve a discernible difference in delivery in programme countries, their capacity to meet goals should be improved, which meant that resources were important. United Nations development activities were striving to meet the needs of States otherwise unable to address those needs on their own, which meant that those activities should remain voluntary, grant-based and universal, while catering to national needs on the basis of national ownership.
Expressing support for the Accra Agenda for Action, he said he was “dismayed” that the imbalance between core and non-core persisted. Non-core resources were unpredictable and transaction costs were higher, he pointed out, calling for an increase in the numbers of non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nationals at the chief executive level in the United Nations and expressing surprise that the Organization could not find anyone from the developing countries to lead bodies working on their behalves. Bangladesh had adopted several public-private partnerships to complement bilateral and multilateral development initiatives, but they often stalled due to a failure to bolster national leadership. He called for United Nations mediation to help build confidence and trust among development partners, saying that if the Organization did come forward, there was even a chance to mitigate the question of core funding.
FÁBIO MOREIRA CARBONELL FARIAS (Brazil), associating himself with the Group of 77 and CELAC, said United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes accounted for 63 per cent of all activities carried out by the system. That represented more than four times the amount spent on activities such as norm- and standard-setting, policy and advocacy, and almost three times as much as that spent on peacekeeping operations. It was fundamental that Member States have access to predictable, untied and increased funding to achieve a healthier balance between core and non-core resources while ensuring that agencies, funds and programmes were better equipped to deliver on the high expectations they inspired in the international community.
He said it was not his intention to change the way in which every country decided on the amount, timing and nature of their voluntary financial contributions to United Nations agencies, funds and programmes. “However, as the main stakeholders and managers of the UN system, it is our collective responsibility to reform it so that it incentivizes the kind of contribution that allows for more flexibility, predictability and alignment with national development priorities.” There was also a need to improve the governance structures of United Nations funds and programmes, so as to ensure that programme countries assume leadership and ownership, not only of projects, but more importantly, of the management of the United Nations development system.
In addition, the quadrennial comprehensive policy review must be used to improve the system’s functioning, especially in relation to the delivery of services at the country level. Underscoring the importance of the resident coordinator system in coordinating United Nations system activities at the country level, he expressed concern about the findings of the Joint Inspection Unit’s report, which said that most resident coordinators were from developed countries, while gender balance was very poor. The Unit affirmed that “impartiality is still perceived as being compromised for various reasons” and that “the role of UNDP as manager of the RC [resident coordinator] system and of UNDG [United Nations Development Group] in support of the system has created the perception of a conflict of interest.”
URIY YAROSHEVICH ( Belarus) said the international community was witnessing a changing development landscape that was highly influenced by the global economic and financial crisis. It provided challenges as well as opportunities, and required the United Nations development system to adopt a much-needed strategic plan. That was the main purpose of the quadrennial comprehensive policy review, he said, adding that its goal should be to assess operational activities and how they affected poverty and development in the world. It was obvious that persistent poverty would grow around the world, and the review should clearly and succinctly define a strategic development plan that would serve as a guideline for all organizations on the ground. Encouraging the Committee to address the growing imbalance between core and non-core resources, he also said that directing international assistance to middle-income countries should be a clear example of how the United Nations system would continue to cooperate with least developed countries after their graduation to the middle-income category. The review should also set modalities for the development of the conclusions set forth at the Rio+20 Conference on the development agenda in the post-2015 period.
HUSSEIN HANIFF (Malaysia), associating himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, referred to his country’s funding of a five-year programme to build South-South capacities, focusing especially on education and science. Least developed countries and small island developing States had been the main beneficiaries, he said, welcoming the decision by the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation to reaffirm the mandate of the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and rename it the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation with a view to strengthening its capacities. Encouraging trends of economic development were taking place within the South-South cooperation framework, proving the solidarity among nations of the global South, he said. Describing human capacity-building as a “cornerstone” of enhancing South-South cooperation through the sharing of expertise and experiences, he pointed to the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme as a sizeable contribution, given the country’s size and economic development. He also cited capacity-building in the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, which aimed to involve the private sectors of its more advanced Members States. He welcomed an increase in emphasis on triangular cooperation and opportunities that would afford more development partnerships.
JORGE LAGUNA ( Mexico), associating himself with CELAC, highlighted the importance of enhanced coherence and effectiveness to maximize the impact of resources. The review process must continue with a specific purpose, he said, stressing that the fragmentation of United Nations resources limited the effectiveness of development strategies. Coherent national-level efforts were needed, he said, adding that the quadrennial comprehensive policy review should eliminate parallel development agendas and integrate sustainability and all its dimensions, as well as decisions made at the Rio+20 Conference, into United Nations operational activities.
He went on to say that the review process must also contribute to systemic coherence and the strengthening of institutions related to sustainable development and United Nations system governance, including those focused on economic and social matters and the regional commissions. Stressing the urgent need for development financing for middle-income countries due to the structural gaps, poverty, inequality and lack of innovation they faced in spite of the progress they had made, he said that rather than judging those countries on the basis of GDP, he stressed the need to place emphasis on integral human development, saying that, as a middle-income country, Mexico was both a donor and a beneficiary of aid. He also emphasized the importance of South-South cooperation and the need for it to remain complementary to traditional sources, rather than a substitute.
ASTRIDE NAZAIRE ( Haiti), associating herself with the Group of 77, the Group of Least Developed Countries and CELAC, said the role of South-South cooperation was becoming increasingly important as ODA had decreased in the past year. South-South cooperation was providing Haiti with various kinds of support, including providing renewable energy. There was a new trend, as foreign direct investment (FDI) came to Haiti from other developing countries, she noted, adding that South-South cooperation would be strengthened as globalization increased and that her country would join more South-South partnerships. Although Haiti had enjoyed many benefits through South-South cooperation, including greater transparency and more systemization by avoiding the trap of bureaucracy, much more still needed to be done, she said.
YAROSLAV GOLITSYN (Ukraine), associating himself with the statement of the European Union delegation, commended the progress made in enhancing the coherence and functioning of the United Nations system since the 2007 triennial comprehensive policy review, saying it was all the more important that it had taken place in a time of serious economic turmoil, with the system challenged to meet growing demands for more varied assistance with a limited resource base. Expressing support for adapting the United Nations to the changing development landscape, he said he considered the 2012 quadrennial comprehensive policy review as a valuable opportunity to take action in furtherance of the greater effectiveness and efficiency of United Nations operational activities for development.
Commending the “Delivering as one” approach that had proven the system’s effectiveness in implementing development policy on the ground, he said it also represented the way in which the United Nations should operate in supporting future national development plans and priorities. Ukraine was pleased to note that the overall funding for operational activities had more than doubled between 1995 and 2010, but concerned with the 2.7 per cent decline in ODA funding during 2011. Urging greater attention to the growing imbalance between core and non-core funding, and to advancing the predictability, reliability and stability of funding flows, he said Ukraine appreciated the active involvement of all United Nations bodies in improving ways to empower women.
Ukraine also appreciated the “excellent” coordination and collaboration between its Government and the United Nations team in the country, he said, adding: “Highly important is the support in the field of implementation of programmes aimed at sustained economic growth and poverty reduction, social development, governance, environment and climate change.” He also commended the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the important work it had done in helping the authorities create a good environment for children, particularly in the areas of child health, combating HIV/AIDS, child protection and advocacy. Ukraine was also grateful for the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) involvement in supporting the authorities in areas such as reproductive health, gender equality and implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, among other things.
TERRI ROBL ( United States) said United Nations development agencies needed to prioritize persistent poverty and focus particular efforts on combating chronic impediments to development while supporting conditions, policies and actions that brought success. There was a need for the United Nations system to make “strategic choices”, she said, calling for a strengthened regional coordinator system, a simplified UNDAF, rationalized and harmonized business practices, and more innovative operational mechanisms.
She stressed the importance of “Delivering as one” and the need to dismantle parallel practices, while praising the benefits of partnerships between Governments and the private sector and civil society to achieve goals. The United States also welcomed greater South-South and triangular cooperation, she added. Pointing out a lack of progress on gender mainstreaming, she said no United Nations country team was on track to meet its targets, but applauded the increased transparency of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes. Beyond audits, there were opportunities for better results-based management, monitoring, evaluation and accountability, and a need for a consistent focus on outcomes rather than outputs.
DEREK O’BRIEN, Member of Parliament from India, associated himself with the Group of 77 and China, saying it was time to plan the road map for realizing “the future we want”. The United Nations development system should focus solely on development, with poverty eradication at the heart of operational activities for development. It should find ways to respond to the particular needs of developing countries, with special emphasis on harmonizing programming activities with the budgetary and planning cycles of recipient Governments. He also called for strengthening institutional capacity, stating that many countries could achieve more if additional finance and technology were available.
The economic crisis had led to great pressure on financing for development, he continued, stressing the danger that posed to fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals. Especially critical now was ODA, which, alongside the promotion of investment and trade, must be a key element of the development policies of developing countries. He called for an end to policy conditionality, urging the United Nations to build development plans that steered clear of it while stressing national ownership and leadership. He said South-South cooperation required “more muscle” from the United Nations system, adding that flexibility was essential to its success.
JUN YAMAZAKI ( Japan) said “human security” was an effective approach to enhancing capacity-building and empowering people and communities. He called for operational activities to be based on that approach, and welcomed the “tangible progress” realized in the “Delivering as one” pilot and self-starter countries, stressing the importance of the resident coordinator system in ensuring wider coherence in the United Nations system. It should be owned by the United Nations system as a whole and should be further strengthened, he stressed.
He said it was important to ascertain the nature of core and non-core resources, rather than merely looking at the aggregate figures, ratios and aggregate stereotyped statistics. The single-donor programmatic and project-specific contributions that Japan provided were aligned to programme-country priorities and formulated as joint efforts between the country offices of United Nations funds and programmes and Japan’s embassies. They responded to the specific needs of programme countries, he added. He called on the United Nations not to miss the opportunity to be part of South-South and triangular cooperation efforts, saying cooperation on a system-wide basis was imperative.
MILAGROS MIRANDA ( Peru), associating herself with the Group of 77 and CELAC, said the quadrennial comprehensive policy review brought more opportunities to achieve efficient and sustainable results. It was also a good opportunity to discuss the development goals adopted at the Rio+20 Conference. That would assist in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and in planning ahead with respect to the sustainable development goals for the post-2015 era. It was important to address the growing imbalance between core and non-core resources, she said, calling for a holistic approach.
South-South cooperation was not only about financial and technological benefits, but based on the principles of solidarity and national sovereignty with a view to national empowerment free of conditionality, she said. While distinctive, it should not be a substitute for North-South cooperation, she stressed. Turning to middle-income countries, she said that in spite of the economic and social progress made in the last two decades, they faced challenges such as climate change, inequality, and dim economic environments. That clearly affected how middle-income countries cooperated with South-South and triangular cooperation, as well as their ODA pledges.
The representative of Ireland, associating himself with the European Union delegation, said innovative partnerships remained essential, and there was a need to examine more closely how to share practices and knowledge among countries. Translating financial resources into social benefits depended on a results-based model, he said, adding that with a greater emphasis on that, the United Nations would be better equipped to lead to better monitoring. Accountability also had an important role to play in the areas of poverty reduction and gender equality, while UN-Women had already provided effective tools for accountability that had paved the way in promoting gender equality. The global challenges of poverty and social insecurity were more concentrated in the South and it was therefore very important to promote South-South as well as triangular cooperation, he said.
SUL KYUNG-HOON ( Republic of Korea) said that with only three years to the target year for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, it was important to revamp efforts, adding that the Secretary-General’s report (document A/67/320) provided various useful recommendations. The quadrennial comprehensive policy review should provide concrete guidance on facilitating the active engagement of the United Nations system with diverse development actors, based on its comparative advantage. The Republic of Korea fully recognized the importance of predictable, reliable, and stable core resources for the effective functioning of the United Nations development system, he said, adding that the growing imbalance between core and non-core resources needed to be addresses in the quadrennial comprehensive policy review’s deliberations, he said.
He urged the Committee to continue to enhance system-wide coherence in United Nations development activities, building upon the experiences of the “Delivering as one” initiative pilot countries. Calling for its further refinement and integration into United Nations development operations as a whole, he said that doing so would require clear guidance on strengthening the coordination role of resident coordinators. The quadrennial comprehensive policy review should focus on enhancing coordination and coherence in transition countries, which would be critical to strengthening the role of humanitarian coordinators in order to ensure country-level coherence. It was necessary to encourage the operational partnership between the United Nations and other entities working in transition countries. The Republic of Korea also agreed with the Secretary-General’s report on mainstreaming South-South and triangular cooperation into the regular programming of operational activities.
The representative of Cuba said that developed countries — directly responsible for the economic, financial and environmental crises — paradoxically used those crises as a pretext to withhold their financing-for-development commitments, particularly the delivery of core resources to the United Nations system. Countless resolutions and decisions resulting from summits and high-level conferences had called on them to meet their commitment to allocate 0.7 per cent of GDP to development assistance, and it was therefore striking that the Secretary-General’s report did not advise them to fulfil that important commitment. “Worse yet, he did not even mention it as one of the outstanding objectives set out by General Assembly resolutions 62/208 and 64/289,” he added. Stressing the need to make the resident coordinator system more participatory, collegial and accountable, he expressed support for the idea of that responsibility being rotated among representatives of the various agencies, funds and programmes in the field, upon agreement by recipient-country Governments. That would allow all members of the United Nations system in the field to better understand the priorities of recipient countries, while preserving and respecting their mandates and raisons d’être. Another advantage was that they would have more time to effectively mobilize resources to implement programmes under their mandates, he added.
RAYMOND WOLFE (Jamaica), associating himself with the Group of 77, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and CELAC called on the international community to take steps to strengthen the effectiveness of United Nations operational activities for development, including providing financial resources for the implementation of programmes addressing the development needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. The United Nations country team in Jamaica worked on sustainable development, social empowerment and equity, and violence prevention, among other areas, he said, adding that it aligned UNDAF with Jamaica’s national development priorities, as set out in its national development plan, “Vision 2030”.
As a middle-income country, Jamaica still required a United Nations presence on the ground, he said, stressing that middle-income countries should not be pushed to the margins of the development agenda, and that the focus should remain on determining the best model of engagement for the particular circumstances of a given country. The quadrennial comprehensive policy review would ensure that the United Nations was provided with clear policy guidance, he said, underscoring the importance of predictable, stable, long-term funding for operational activities, with a particular emphasis on core funding. Steps were needed to remedy the growing imbalance between core and non-core funding with a view to ensuring that the universal, grant-based and voluntary nature of United Nations operational activities for development was not compromised.
WANG MIN ( China), endorsing the statement of the Group of 77 and China, spoke of the “critical transition period” in which the United Nations development agenda found itself. That gave great significance to the quadrennial comprehensive policy review, he said, stressing that its primary aim should be supporting the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals. Noting the downward spiral of financing of development, the uneven resource structure, and the fragmentation of resources, he said they undermined effective operation of the United Nations development system. There was a need to increase core funding and the quality of non-core resources should be improved, he said.
Stressing the need for the quadrennial comprehensive policy review to result in an improved resident coordinator system, he said that would ensure that they could fully and effectively perform their mandated duties and coordinate between Headquarters and the resident offices and agencies. As the ultimate goal for improving operations of the United Nations development system was to better support developing countries, reform was “not the end but the means”, he said, calling for the formulation and implementation of a UNDAF in strict accordance with the principle of “national ownership and leadership”. Noting that South-South cooperation was a supplement rather than a replacement for North-South cooperation, he said the United Nations development system should earnestly review and sum up the experiences of South-South and triangular cooperation and support the sound development of South-South cooperation.
The representative of Morocco, associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said the economic crisis was still affecting budgets in developing countries, and soaring food prices were further limiting their capacity to respond. The situation required repositioning of the United Nations system’s operational activities for development, he said, adding that it was essential that they focus on achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and promote an agenda for sustainable development wherein the three pillars would be integrated. The poorest regions should be prioritized, he said, adding that coordination was essential, especially on Africa. There was a particular need to pay attention to countries in transition and middle-income countries and the specific needs and situations they faced, he said. The United Nations would not meet its development goals while core resources were diminishing and other gaps in resources still needed to be met, he cautioned, pointing to the decline in core resource levels from 53 per cent of the total in 1995 to 26 per cent of the total in 2010. Reforms were necessary for better coherence, effectiveness and impact, he said, urging an end to duplication and loss of resources, and calling for the strengthening of national capacities in recipient countries.
FERIT HOXHA ( Albania) reiterated that an overly fragmented and sometimes cumbersome United Nations country team could no longer respond to the “reality check” of development needs. National Governments sought enhanced coordination so that activities on the ground could be results-oriented and aligned with national priorities, thereby leading to the desired development impact. The “Delivering as one” experience had been examined closely in many countries and it was now time for it to be backed up by the entire United Nations membership for the simple reason that what had worked in some countries could also work elsewhere, he said. The second generation of “Delivering as one” should be a standardized process of coordination and common results at the country level. Calling for empowered resident coordinators, he said they should represent the entire system and be valued for their performance. Standardizing “Delivering as one” must be one of the goals of the 2012 quadrennial comprehensive policy review, he said, adding that it should be the new way in which the United Nations delivered development assistance. He encouraged the Committee to make sure “we are planting the necessary seeds for the indispensable reform of the development activities system in this direction” by making “Delivering as one” a ready-to-go and easy-to-implement process.
DAVID GOVRIN ( Israel) said results orientation was a key tool in ensuring the United Nations development system’s accountability, efficiency and effectiveness. The Organization should demonstrate its results and impact by investing more in tools that could reinforce results-orientation. In addition, Israel attached great importance to the “Delivering as one” approach. Findings from the pilot programme indicated that it had greatly increased the ability of the United Nations system to respond to the specific needs of programme pilot countries, as well as to address cross-cutting issues such as child mortality and gender equality. Despite those successes, however, vertical lines of accountability continued to hinder collaboration between United Nations offices in pilot countries, he said.
He emphasized that the resident coordinator system offered great potential for better inter-agency coordination and collaboration, as well as for increasing efficiencies. However, its effectiveness had so far been limited by the agencies’ separate lines of accountability and the voluntary nature of their participation in the coordinating effort. Calling for a strengthening of the resident coordinator system, he said it was necessary to ensure that it was equipped with the necessary tools for effective country-level coordination. The role of the resident coordinator should go beyond United Nations internal coordination efforts, and must include strong coordination with programme countries, the donor community and other actors in the area of development cooperation and emergency relief, he said. Furthermore, it was important to note that cooperation between the resident coordinator and the regional development mechanisms could also be strengthened.
NORACHIT SINHASENI (Thailand), associating himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said the top current priorities in development were accelerating global efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and formulating the post-2015 development agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals. Implementation of the Rio+20 Conference outcome required a coherent, effective and efficient United Nations development system, he said. The quadrennial comprehensive policy review was timely and necessary to identify the shortcomings of the current system, as well as the new and emerging issues that needed to be addressed, such as strengthening the coordination and coherence of United Nations funds, programmes and agencies at Headquarters and in the field; accelerating harmonization of business practices; strengthening core resources of operational activities for development; and addressing the decline of ODA.
Financing for development should be aligned with national priorities, he said, calling for close consultation with host countries to ensure the success of programmes. That would have a positive impact on project continuity and long-term success. He expressed hope that the newly founded United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation would be endowed with adequate resources to fulfil its mandate, he said, adding that he expected it to play a leading role in coordinating South-South cooperation programmes among United Nations agencies by synergizing inter-agency efforts and preventing wastes in effort and resources. He also encouraged greater coordination between United Nations country teams and resident coordinators. He noted that South-South cooperation was integral to the United Nations Partnership Framework Thailand 2012-2016, saying that partnership would focus on expanding his country’s South-South networking linkages with international development partners.
LE HOAI TRUNG (Viet Nam), speaking in his national capacity while associating himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said that the quadrennial comprehensive policy review was an opportunity to reflect on the experience of the past five years with a view to taking new steps and seeking new solutions to address new developments and demands. Viet Nam recognized the declining funding of United Nations operational activities for development, whereby financial resources had decreased for the first time in 2011 and could decline further. The Government of Viet Nam was strongly committed to enhancing the coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of the United Nations development system, as it had volunteered to be one of the eight “Delivering as one” pilot countries, he said.
Almost all six components of “One UN-Delivering as one” were now in place in Viet Nam, he continued. The plan had been developed on the basis of key national priorities and the comparative advantages of the United Nations. The key factors in promoting “One UN-Delivering as one” in Viet Nam were Government ownership; active participation of United Nations entities, especially the country team; support from development partners; and hard efforts to deal with various technical issues. With regard to South-South cooperation, he said his delegation considered it an important approach to facilitate the efforts of developing countries to meet internationally agreed development targets, adding that South-South cooperation should complement and not replace North-South cooperation.
TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of Least Developed Countries, said the emergence of multiple new crises, coupled with the adverse impact of climate change, posed enormous impediments to developing countries, particularly of the least developed among them. Despite the progress made in lifting millions of people out of poverty, close to a billion others remained malnourished. “Moreover, although the recent report of FAO [Food and Agriculture], WFP [World Food Programme] and IFAD [International Fund for Agricultural Development] gives us some hope, the absolute number of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa has in fact increased in the last two decades,” he said.
Calling for the rebalancing of core and non-core resources, and for improving the quality of non-core resources by easing earmarking to at least a broader, sector-specific level, she said that harmonizing requirements was critical for the predictability, reliability and stability of funding, as well as for ensuring ownership of programmes and strategies by programme countries. The role of the resident coordinator system must be enhanced by taking concrete action so as to make the system fully and effectively functional. There was also an urgent need to harmonize and simplify financial reporting formats, including the use of a single type of software, he stressed, adding that Ethiopia, as a “Delivering as one” self-starter, was committed to the reform of United Nations operational activities.
ANTÓNIO GUMENDE (Mozambique), associating himself with the Group of Least Developed Countries and the Group of 77 and China, affirmed that the global development cooperation landscape had changed dramatically since the 2007 triennial comprehensive policy review and that his country would engage actively in the negotiations that would take place under the quadrennial comprehensive policy review, inspired by recognition that United Nations operational activities remained part of the “valid and relevant solutions” that responded to Mozambique’s development needs. He agreed that the Secretary-General’s report on the review contained recommendations that could enhance the relevance, coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations development system.
Highlighting his country’s success as one of the “Delivering as one” pilot countries, he said he counted on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review to concur with the finding of the independent evaluation on “Delivering as one” that there was “no turning back” to doing business as it had been done before. The initiative’s second generation must have a greater focus on monitoring results, providing qualitative capacity development and policy support. As for South-South cooperation, he said development cooperation had lately undergone significant changes, including the “development discourse”, which had come to involve a very complex network of actors, among them new donors, the private sector, parliaments, civil society and individuals.
Another change was that international development cooperation was increasingly complemented by growing domestic-resource mobilization in beneficiary countries, with the advent of strong economic performances within those countries and increased exploitation of their natural resources. Cooperation was also influenced by globalization and growing interdependency, as well as by cyclical economic, political and social international crises. Despite such changes, it was important to ensure that development remained the main goal of cooperation, he said. The changes also presented challenges for all stakeholders, but mainly for the developing world and recipient countries, such as Mozambique. The multiplicity of donors, and the distinction between traditional and non-traditional donors, was one such concern, he said, adding that there were three main categories of cooperation — North-South, South-South and triangular, with each complementary to the others. Citing an example of the third category, he said an agricultural and rural development project in Mozambique had brought together know-how and technology from Brazil, considered an emerging donor, with financial and technical resources from Japan, a traditional donor.
AUNG KYAW ZAN (Myanmar), associating himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said United Nations development work should always be guided by the principle of national ownership of the development process. Further, the availability of adequate, stable and predictable core resources was both the foundation of operational activities and fundamental to reinforcing the global partnership for development. Urging donor countries to honour their financial-assistance commitments to United Nations operational activities so as to narrow the imbalance between core and non-core resources, he further suggested that development partners consider multi-year financing frameworks.
He said that although his country had been listed as a least developed country, it had been deprived of the UNDP normal country programme and had not benefitted fully from the Organization’s operational activities for development over the past two decades. Myanmar therefore deserved a substantial increase in assistance, he said, adding that, in a time of democratic transformation, it urgently needed international assistance in human resource development and capacity-building for public institutions so as to implement its complex reform measures in an effective manner. He welcomed the decision by UNDP’s Executive Board to resume Myanmar’s normal country programme for the period 2013-2015, and called for strengthening of the main United Nations coordination processes.
The representative of Iran said he would like to see operational activities for development strengthened, particularly their capacity to help developing countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. South-South cooperation was essential and an expression of South-South solidarity and self-reliance based on commonly held objectives, he said, adding that it allowed developing countries to play a more active role in international policymaking on sustainable development. It was based on the recognition of sovereignty, mutual benefit, multilateralism and an action-oriented approach, he said, calling on the United Nations system and the international community to effectively support the South-South agenda so as to promote greater integration of the agenda into the system’s entities.
RODNEY CHARLES ( Trinidad and Tobago), associating himself with the Group of 77, CARICOM and CELAC, said his country was committed to maintaining a strong in-country United Nations presence. “As host to the UNDP and eight other agencies within the United Nations family, we are constantly seeking ways to improve our engagement and achieve greater synergy between the national development agenda and the UN system deliverables,” he said. With assistance from the Office of the Resident Coordinator, the Government was reviewing the effectiveness of United Nations operations with a view to addressing the need for enhanced communications, collaboration and coordination at country-level, he said.
He said poverty eradication, sustainable development, and health and climate change remained key challenges for all developing countries, including middle-income countries like Trinidad and Tobago. Statistics showed that almost three quarters of the world’s poor resided in middle-income countries, he said, emphasizing that the importance of leveraging the United Nations development system to address their wide range of capacities and needs could not be over-emphasized. It was vitally important for the United Nations development system to take greater account of the structural challenges of those countries while also taking on board the unique and particular vulnerabilities associated with small island developing States, which the international community had acknowledged as a special case in terms of both the environment and development. Consequently, a “one-size-fits-all” approach could not be applied to development activities, he stressed.
ANDY RACHMIANTO (Indonesia), associating himself with ASEAN and the Group of 77 and China, pointed to significant progress since the 2007 triennial comprehensive policy review and stressed the importance of some strategic principles as the process began again, including the primacy of national development efforts, which should always lead and drive international development assistance. The United Nations development system should be able to respond to the varied development needs of Member States and tailor its approach on the basis of Member States’ development needs, priorities and strategies. He called for an emphasis on capacity-building with a focus on poverty eradication, and underlined the need for consistent measurement on the basis of their impacts on national efforts. Urging strengthening of the United Nations development system, he called for institutional and financial support for the resident coordinator system.
TUVAKO MANONGI (United Republic of Tanzania), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of Least Developed Countries, called for negotiations on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review to reflect the reality of the current economic and aid situations rather than the bargaining positions of Member States. Stressing the importance of United Nations programming, he cited his country’s collaboration with the United Nations in the launch of its United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP) in June 2011, saying it defined his country’s cooperation with 20 agencies, funds and programmes in the areas of economic growth and poverty eradication.
He said he was glad that the 2012 quadrennial comprehensive policy review coincided with the culmination of the “Delivering as one” pilot phase in his country, and hoped the findings of the independent evaluation of the initiative would continue to inform the review process. Country-led and independent evaluation of “Delivering as one” had provided successful cases of harmonizing business practices and demonstrated that working methods needed improvement, he said, calling on the governing bodies of all funds, agencies and programmes to review their respective working methods, in the spirit of “Delivering as one”, so as to enhance coordination and cooperation while reducing transaction costs. He also emphasized the voluntary nature of “Delivering as one”, stressing that there was no “one-size-fits-all” approach.
EMMANNUEL OGUNTUYI ( Nigeria), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, called for operational activities that were better geared to the needs of developing countries. The current imbalance between core and non-core resources, alongside the decline in ODA, negatively impacted efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals, he noted, urging the international community to embrace fully the conceptual framework of South-South cooperation in order to further strengthen it. Citing the result-oriented and constructive relations Nigeria had built with emerging markets such as Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, South Africa and others, he said they had contributed greatly to his country’s goal of diversifying from an oil-dependent economy.
He went on to list several examples of Nigeria’s involvement in specific South-South cooperation projects, emphasizing their key roles in the creation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union. Under the management of the African Development Bank, Nigeria had established the Nigeria Trust Fund, which had been used to finance national and regional projects through low-interest loans and to support the heavily indebted poor countries, and the Nigeria Technical Cooperation Fund, which accounted for 60 per cent of the donor fund at the African Development Bank and was integral to several development projects in Africa.
The representative of Burkina Faso, associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Group of Least Developed Countries, said the role of resident coordinators should be increased and greater synergies among country-level agencies found. Welcoming the “interesting and fruitful” exchanges on operational activities for development in the Economic and Social Council, he cited many speakers who had referred to respect for national development priorities and a more development-oriented approach, as well the need to integrate new actors into development assistance, harmonizing ODA and increasing cooperation among United Nations entities. He welcomed progress in South-South cooperation over the last decade, particularly the last three years.
He went on to say that those countries were increasing their roles, adding that their knowledge and know-how were growing, particularly in the fields of political, social and economic governance, and environmental sustainability practices. However, gains were not equally shared, though knowledge-sharing had contributed to meeting certain challenges faced by least developed countries, he said. The emerging economies of the South could play a greater role in supporting fragile economies, he said. To achieve that, better financing was needed, in addition to maintaining the principle that South-South and triangular cooperation were supplements, not alternatives, to North-South cooperation, he said, expressing hope that the newly established Office for South-South Cooperation would receive the necessary resources to promote cooperation.
KHAM-INH KHITCHADETH (Lao People’s Democratic Republic), associating himself with the Group of 77, ASEAN, and the Group of Least Developed Countries, stressed that the quadrennial comprehensive policy review should address the concerns and development needs of programme countries, especially the most vulnerable ones, such as least developed countries and landlocked developing countries. That was achievable if the role of United Nations operational activities was strengthened. Equally important was enhancing the capacity to help developing countries attain internationally agreed development targets, including the Millennium Development Goals, on the basis of their own national development policies and priorities. He underscored the need for effective implementation of UNDAF and how it reflected cohesively and harmoniously the United Nations system’s work at the country level.
In the case of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Government and the United Nations system were implementing the third cycle of UNDAF (2012-2015), which coincided with implementation of the Seventh National Socioeconomic Development Plan, he said. While UNDAF was a useful tool to enhance coordination and United Nations system accountability, the planning process was time-consuming and heavy, he said, adding that countries needed to be afforded the flexibility to ensure that the planning process and final plan were practical and fit for the purpose. UNDAF was intended to reduce transaction costs but had in many ways increased them, he said. Finally, he emphasized that the process of moving towards “Delivering as one” was driven by the Government, not donors, and expressed hope that resident coordinators would support collaboration between the United Nations and the Government, as well as with other partners.
The representative of Tunisia, associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said he hoped for an ambitious outcome to the quadrennial comprehensive policy review in order to determine the course of operational activities for development over the next four years. Hopefully they would include a strengthened role for United Nations operational activities and no change to their fundamental characteristics, he said, hoping also that the United Nations development system would have an enhanced role in supporting national efforts to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals and would address new and emerging challenges.
Stressing the need for adequate funding for operational activities, in terms of both quantity and quality, he urged donor countries to substantially increase their voluntary contributions to the core regular budgets of the United Nations development system. He called upon resident coordinators and United Nations country teams to strengthen consultations with relevant stakeholders under the leadership of national Governments in order to ensure the alignment of United Nations planning and programming with national development needs and priorities. Speaking of his own country’s recent transition, he said the United Nations system had given Tunisia widespread support, and he looked forward to enhanced cooperation in the years ahead to help with ongoing reforms.
MIGUEL ANGEL BERMEO ESTRELLA, Permanent Observer, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), said parliaments could be viewed as development partners in their own right, as it was they, in the case of donor countries, that must adopt budgets for development cooperation. It was also parliaments in both programme and partner countries that had the unique mandate to demand accountability for development results on behalf of their citizens. For those reasons, over the last few years, IPU had worked closely with the United Nations to engage parliaments both in the field and in global consultations of the Development Cooperation Forum, he said. IPU visits to United Nations field operations brought to light the need for resident coordinators and United Nations country teams to regularly apprise parliaments of the overall picture of United Nations national operations, showing, among other things, how such operations aligned with national development plans.
Highlighting the need to develop clear and uniform guidelines for engaging with parliament in each country, and making sure that lessons learned were shared with others across the United Nations system, he said that such measures could help support country ownership of United Nations assistance, in keeping with international commitments that very clearly assigned a strong role to parliaments in that regard. Turning to capacity development, he said there was clearly greater interest on the part of the international community as a whole, including the United Nations, in investing in parliaments. However, the reality was that funding remained disproportionately skewed towards other governance sectors. Parliaments remained a weak link in the complex architecture of development cooperation, which the United Nations and IPU were well positioned to help strengthen together.
KARIN MANENTE, World Food Programme (WFP), said WFP’s engagement in South-South and triangular cooperation was geared towards supporting the efforts of national Governments effectively to establish and manage Government-led food-based programmes aimed at reducing hunger and chronic undernutrition. One of WFP’s flagship initiatives was the WFP Centre of Excellence in Brasilia, which leveraged the expertise of WFP and the Government of Brazil to promote capacity development for national school feeding, nutrition, and food-security programmes addressing hunger. Since the Centre’s official launch in November 2011, it had hosted a total of 16 study visits involving 14 countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
She went on to say that WFP also fostered other opportunities to promote South-South cooperation, such as a joint work plan devised in cooperation with Chile, Honduras and Guatemala for 2012-2013 on the issues of food and nutrition security. Another example was the Purchase from Africans for Africa initiative between the Governments of Brazil and Mozambique, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The initiative aimed to contribute to food security and income-generation projects of small-scale farmers by implementing local food-purchase schemes. Multi-donor partnerships, such as “twinning”, wherein an in-kind food contribution from one country was matched with the cash commitment of one or more partners, had also promoted South-South cooperation among developing nations, she said, adding that twinning broadened WFP’s base of non–traditional partners.
The representative of United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity, described that entity as a unique United Nations-wide effort to coordinate the trade-related development contributions of different entities to the global Aid-for-Trade, Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals and post-2015 development agendas. It contributed to system-wide coherence by providing coordinated technical assistance at the national and regional levels in the area of international trade and productive capacity. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development facilitated coordination between those United Nations entities with a view to avoiding duplication and unifying the diverse experiences existing in the United Nations system. The Cluster’s development impact at the field level was wider and deeper than that achieved by the operations of agencies acting alone, he said, emphasizing that the Cluster was a strategic instrument in effectively making system-wide coherence operational, that acting together would allow better alignment between the United Nations and national development strategies, and that support for the Cluster was critical to ensuring sustainable, predictable and timely assistance from United Nations agencies.
MOHAMED ELKEIY, Officer in Charge, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said that strengthening South-South cooperation was the key to more balanced global development. UNCTAD had been asked to continue providing technical support and research on South-South cooperation, and had been doing so since the 1960s, he said, adding that its unit on economic integration for cooperation had taken charge of its work in providing social, political and economic assistance. He pointed to various reports that focused on the creation of a South-South cooperation unit, noting that a recent one had looked at changes and new challenges facing developing countries.
Mr. ZHOU, Director, Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, United Nations Development Programme, said he had been inspired by the unwavering commitment shown and the great ideas he had heard for moving South-South cooperation forward. He had also been moved by the positive words and high expectations for the new Office, he added, offering his team to help with the informal discussions and provide useful information in making informed decisions going forward.
* *** *For information media • not an official record