|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
8th & 9th Meetings (AM & PM)
With Report Pointing to Slowing Pace in Development Funding, Delegates Stress
Importance of South-South Cooperation, as Second Committee Concludes
Total aid dropped 6.9 per cent, according to the latest United Nations operational activities development report, Assistant Secretary-General Thomas Gass said today, as the Second Committee took up that agenda item.
Presenting the report of the Secretary-General, Mr. Gass said that the contributions for operational activities for development of the United Nations system in 2011 totalled $22.8 billion, about the same as in 2010 in nominal terms but a decrease in real terms. Since 2006, total funding for United Nations development activities grew for the first time at a slower pace than total official development assistance (ODA), indicating a declining trend in the share of total assistance being channelled through the Organization system. United Nations organizations continued to face challenges of predictability, reliability and stability of funding by individual contributions.
Moreover, the reliance on a small number of donor countries for core funding to the United Nations system remained a concern. Ten countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had accounted for 64 per cent of total core resources in 2011, making the system vulnerable. The report also offered estimates on funding flows for United Nations operational activities for development in 2012 and indicated total contributions for these items were estimated to have increased by 5 per cent in nominal terms in 2012 compared with 2011. Regarding total expenditures of some $25 billion for Organization operational activities for development in 2011, $17 billion was spent on development-related activities with the other $8 billion going to those with a humanitarian focus.
Also presenting a report of the Secretary-General, the Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, Yiping Zhou, said that while ODA had dropped, South-South cooperation between least developed countries and emerging economies had increased. Between 2001 and 2011, trade had boomed — total trade between Africa and BRICS countries ( Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa) grew from $22.9 billion to $267.9 billion; total trade between African and OECD countries rose from $189.4 billion to $615.2 billion; and China-Africa trade grew from $10.8 billion to $166.2 billion. South-South trade and finance exhibited considerable dynamism with developing countries now providing 33 per cent of global investments. Trade in intra-South merchandise and manufactured products was at a historic high — exceeding such exports to the North, he said, noting 56 per cent of exports from developing countries went to other developing countries in 2011.
In some respects, South-South cooperation had been one of the only positive aspects in the economic life of the 48 least developed countries. BRICS had decided to establish a BRICS development bank, a BRICS contingency reserve arrangement and the BRICS Business Council to help address the financial, infrastructure, energy and information and communications technology needs of the South. The emergence of a number of developing countries as providers of development assistance had led member countries of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD to engage more deeply through South-South policy frameworks.
Several delegates stressed the importance of South-South cooperation, but reiterated that it must always remain a complement to, rather than a substitute for, North-South cooperation. Bolivia’s delegate stressed that the strength of the South lied within its sovereignty and the solidarity among its people. Strengthening South-South cooperation required formulating additional coalitions, signing additional treaties and sharing technology and best practices. The representative of Malaysia called South-South cooperation critical in ensuring the participation of developing countries in the world economy. While developing countries had the primary responsibility to promote and implement economic and technical cooperation, South-South cooperation was critical in the economic and technical cooperation among developing countries.
Other speakers also stressed the need to address the growing imbalance between core and non-core funding. The representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis, speaking on behalf of Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that that gap weakened the multilateral framework of development assistance. While non-core resources amounted to $16.5 billion, core resources were significantly less at $6.3 billion, a decline of 3 per cent over last year. Brazil’s delegate, also expressing concern over the significant reduction of core resources in total contributions in 2011, emphasized the need to address the specific needs of all developing countries, including middle-income countries.
Several speakers noted the negative impact of policy conditionality tied to donor-drive aid arrangements, with the representative of India saying that operational activities for development must feed into national development plans. Given the vast difference in development levels between countries of the North and those from the South, it was important that development projects under South-South cooperation were not “strait-jacketed” in terms of rigid rules and regulations, he added. Noting negative impact of policy conditionality that was tied into donor-driven aid arrangements, he said.
Many delegates underscored the need to implement the Quadrennial Comprehensive Periodic Review, including the delegate from Morocco, who said the Review was pertinent to harmonizing specialized United Nations institutions, simplifying procedures and taking into account the particular needs of Member States for the best outcome possible for operations for development. The representative of Norway said the Review required a clear call for accelerated reform from the United Nations system, providing a “golden opportunity” for the system to improve its own relevance. Follow-up of the “Delivering as One” standard operating procedures was required at the country level by all agencies, funds and programmes.
Also speaking today were representatives of Fiji (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Ethiopia (on behalf of the African Group), Viet Nam (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)), Cuba (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)), Lao People’s Democratic Republic (on behalf of the Group of Landlocked Countries), Benin (on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries), Malaysia, New Zealand, Belarus, Switzerland, Qatar, Brazil, Russian Federation, South Africa, China, Mexico, Germany, United States, Australia, Morocco, Thailand, Mozambique, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Iran, Ireland and Guatemala. A representative of the European Union Delegation also delivered a statement.
The Second Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 16 October, to take up its agenda items on the international financial system and development and the follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference.
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this morning to begin its general discussion on operational activities for development. Before it were two reports of the Secretary-General on the “Analysis of funding of operational activities for development of the United Nations system for 2011” (document A/68/97–E/2013/87) and “South-South cooperation” (document A/68/212).
Introduction of Reports
THOMAS GASS, Assistant Secretary-General, introduced the Secretary-General’s report, saying contributions for operational activities for development of the United Nations system in 2011 totalled $22.8 billion, about the same as in 2010 in nominal terms but 6.9 per cent less in real terms. This amounted to about 15 per cent of total official development assistance (ODA) when debt relief was excluded. Operational activities for development accounted for some 63 per cent of all system-wide activities in 2011. About two-thirds of contributions that year were directed to longer-term development-related activities in the system, with the other one-third relegated to activities with a humanitarian assistance focus. Contributions for operational activities in 2011 were also concentrated in a relatively small number of Organization entities, with the top ten accounting for about 88 per cent of all funding.
Since 2006, he noted, total funding for United Nations operational activities for development grew for the first time at a slower pace than total ODA, indicating a declining trend in the share of total assistance being channelled through the Organization’s development system. There was also a declining share of total multilateral ODA in the United Nations system in the three most recent years. However, the Organization remained the largest multilateral partner for Governments of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The reliance on a small number of donor countries for core funding to the United Nations system remained a concern. Ten countries of the OECD Development Assistance Committee accounted for 64 per cent of total core resources for development-related activities in 2011, which made the system vulnerable when it came to sustaining “critical mass”.
The report also found that the core ratio for total contributions, which included both development-related activities and humanitarian assistance, in 2011 was 28 per cent. For development-related contributions the core ratio was 32 per cent and for development-related contributions by OECD Development Assistance Committee Governments, the core ratio in 2011 was 47 per cent. United Nations organizations continued to face challenges of predictability, reliability and stability of funding by individual contributions, he said. Regarding total expenditures of some $25 billion for Organization operational activities for development in 2011, $17 billion was spent on development-related activities with the other $8 billion going to those with a humanitarian focus. The report also offered estimates on funding flows for United Nations operational activities for development in 2012, and indicated total contributions for these activities were estimated to have increased by 5 per cent in nominal terms in 2012 compared with 2011.
YIPING ZHOU, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on “The State of South-South cooperation” (A/68/212), saying that over the review period South-South cooperation had advanced on all fronts. At the political and strategic levels, the “Group of 77” developing countries and China remained the main focus in articulating common positions of the South. Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) had decided to establish a BRICS development bank, a BRICS contingency reserve arrangement and the BRICS Business Council to help address the financial, infrastructure, energy and information and communications technology needs of the South.
He said the emergence of a number of developing countries as providers of development assistance had led member countries of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD to engage more deeply through South-South policy frameworks. On the economic front, South-South trade and finance exhibited considerable dynamism with developing countries now providing 33 per cent of global investments. Trade in intra-South merchandise and manufactured products was at a historic high — exceeding such exports to the North, he said, noting 56 per cent of exports from developing countries went to other developing countries in 2011. According to the World Bank, South-South cooperation had been one of the only positive aspects in the economic life of the 48 least developed countries.
While ODA had dropped, South-South cooperation in science, technology and innovation between least developed countries and emerging economies had risen, he noted. Still, the poorest groups in the world were expected to triple by 2100, increasing from 1.2 billion to 4.2 billion, the report stated. Between 2001 and 2011, trade had boomed — total trade between Africa and BRICS countries grew from $22.9 billion to $267.9 billion; total trade between African and OECD countries rose from $189.4 billion $615.2 billion; and China-Africa trade grew from $10.8 billion to $166.2 billion. The report also found that traditional donors had continued to support initiatives that involved one or more Southern providers of development cooperation, with Latin America particularly benefitting from triangular partnerships.
The United Nations had also begun to respond to the changing landscape of development by mainstreaming into agencies support to South-South cooperation through its inclusion in future strategic plans. However, to strengthen multilateral cooperation and its supporting architecture, the Secretary-General recommended upgrading the composition and working arrangement of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation. The Secretary-General also recommended fostering closer complementarities between traditional North-South and South-South cooperation. Also critical was involving civil society and the private sector.
PETER THOMSON ( Fiji), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, expressed concern over the continued challenges faced by developing countries in regards to poverty eradication and the impact of the worldwide economic decline. He noted that total contributions suffered a 6.9 per cent decline in real terms compared to 2010 and a 3 per cent decline in core funding for development-related activities. Core funding was the bedrock of United Nations activities and needed to be prioritized. The Group participated actively in the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review and was keen to see that development benefits went to those most in need around the world. It was important for the Group to stress that poverty eradication remained the primary objective for developing countries.
The Group looked forward to working with the development system to ensure the reporting by the Review was efficient during the upcoming Economic and Social Council transition. The report on South-South cooperation was welcomed, and the Group supported its policy recommendations. The Group reiterated its position that the United Nations must mainstream support for South-South cooperation since it had proven to be an effective strategy for helping developing countries. The Group encouraged the development system to use resources from the Office of South-South Cooperation to facilitate linkages since it was critical for the Organization to take a supportive role in this process.
Delano Frank Bart (Saint Kitts and Nevis), speaking on behalf of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and associating himself with the Group of 77, noted the insignificant improvements in the adequacy and predictability of funding provided for operational activities for development. CARICOM expressed great concern over the growing imbalance between core and non-core funding, which weakened the multilateral framework of development assistance. He added that non-core resources amounted to $16.5 billion while core resources were significantly less at $6.3 billion, a decline of 3 per cent over last year. The imbalance was intentionally fashioned to suit donor partners in favour of recipient countries.
He said that irrespective of the rationale for the increased conditions of non-core resources, what was apparent was that the funding was unstable, which served to increase costs and further fragment the United Nations system, including at the country level. Development assistance must be reactive to national policies and plans, and free of any conditionality that creates impediments to efficiency and effectiveness. Irrespective of the slow recovery of the global economy, a majority of donors were not on track to meet commitments to ODA. He emphasized the importance of South-South cooperation, calling for its integration in the United Nations system and activities. However, South-South Cooperation and triangular cooperation must remain a complement, not substitute for North-South Cooperation.
TEKEDA ALEMU, (Ethiopia), speaking for the Africa Group and associating his statement with the Group of 77, said the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review and the implementation of General Assembly resolution 67/226 had laid out the fundamental principles of how the United Nations system should work, as well as setting forth guidelines for how development cooperation should be handled within a multilateral framework. The Rio+20 outcome document and the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review had both emphasized the importance of eradicating poverty. However, although such efforts were the direct responsibility of those directly affected, the Organization’s development system had a critical role to play. That is why the growing imbalance of core and non-core resources and the issues surrounding cost recovery were so grave.
The “One United Nations” pilot initiative should be encouraged, he said. There were many countries beyond the eight initial countries that would like to take part. He stressed the potential benefits of South-South and triangular cooperation, particularly with regard to building the capacities of programme countries to achieve national goals and ensure ownership of their strategies through the development of human resources. Gender equality, as found in the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review, was also important, and he urged the development system to ensure that gender dimensions were systematically addressed in programme planning and the eradication of poverty.
LE HOAI TRUNG (Viet Nam), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and aligning the bloc with the Group of 77 and China, said strengthening development cooperation was instrumental to consolidating the other pillars of work of the United Nations. ASEAN looked forward to a comprehensive partnership with the Organization. He acknowledged the comparative advantages of the different United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies and stressed that operational activities must ensure and promote national and regional ownership in line with the programme countries’ own development policies and priorities. ASEAN was concerned about the decline in funding for United Nations operational activities for development and the overall decline in ODA over two consecutive years. He urged donor countries to honour their commitments in order to narrow the growing imbalance between core and non core resources to ensure that United Nations operational activities could remain neutral, voluntary, universal and multilateral.
He encouraged the United Nations system to continue assistance in areas such as poverty eradication, capacity building, South-South cooperation, general equality and women’s empowerment, and sustainable development. Development of national capacities in particular would contribute to the long-term ability of programme countries to address various development challenges. ASEAN strongly supported efforts to reform the United Nations system with a view to enhancing greater coherence, effectiveness and efficiency at all levels. The challenge of simplifying and harmonizing business practices required vigorous commitment from Headquarters. While South-South cooperation provided more policy space for developing countries to implement priority areas for development, he stressed that it should not be a substitute for North-South cooperation.
Emilio González(Cuba), speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), urged ensuring that operational activities were being carried out under the leadership of programme countries in a way that respected their national development priorities and aligned with the mandates of each organization involved. Full implementation of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review would allow the Economic and Social Council to strengthen its role in the overall coordination of funds, programmes and specialized agencies.
Reiterating concern about the lack of progress on critical issues, such as strategies to define and implement the concept of “Critical Mass of Resources”, he said agencies, funds and programmes must continue to address the unique needs of developing countries, including middle-income countries. The involvement of those entities in his region must be strengthened. Further, the strategic plans recently adopted by the respective executive boards must be implemented in a dynamic, flexible manner. With that, he urged finding innovative ways to enhance developing countries’ capacity to engage in intergovernmental decision-making structures, especially the Executive Boards of United Nations funds and programmes.
SALEUMXAY KOMMASITH (Lao People’s Democratic Republic), speaking for the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries and associating himself with the Group of 77, stressed that developed countries must prioritize core funding in support of the operational activities and address the imbalance between core and non-core resources. Non-core resources must complement core resources, not substitute them. In addition, it was necessary to ensure that the implementation of operational activities was in line with national development plans, policies and priorities. He noted the role of South-South and triangular cooperation, saying that the rise of the Global South had spurred innovation in bilateral partnership, regional integration and international cooperation. It had also supported development efforts and opened opportunity for South-South trade, investment, science and technology exchanges, industrial collaboration and humanitarian assistance.
Landlocked developing countries had increasingly become more dependent on their neighbours and other developing countries in the South, he continued. Transport and transit development issues were now being addressed within the national, regional and continental levels. Regional economic agreements continued to deepen intra-regional trade and tries, promote coherent policy and development vision. BRICS countries were now leading trading partners, as well as major foreign direct investment, technology and general development assistance providers. He welcomed the initiative to develop and launch a South-South and triangular transfer of viable, sector-specific technologies aimed at developing capacities and production in landlocked developing countries. However, South‑South Cooperation was a complement to, rather than substitute for, North‑South cooperation.
JEAN-FRANCIS ZINSOU, (Benin), speaking for the Group of Least Developed Countries, said there was grave concern about the declining amount of funding being given by the United Nations system, noting that the least developed countries had received only 55 per cent of the total expenditures of the Organization in 2010, as compared to 65 per cent in 2008. That trend had occurred at a time when bilateral support had declined by 12 per cent. That decreasing trend was unacceptable and needed to be reversed. Given their position as the most vulnerable countries in the world and due to their lack of access to additional resources, least developed countries had great need for support from the United Nations. He called for the United Nations development entities to integrate the Istanbul Programme of Action into their respective work programmes.
The credibility on the development system resided on access to core funding, which was the basis of operational activities for the Organization, he continued. The current lack of core funding represented an important constraint for those bodies charged with development and prevented the creation of a long-term approach to decision-making processes, which went against the Millennium Declaration. Further, the Organization’s activities at the country-level must be coherent and in accordance with national strategies for development. Each country must be able to have margins to create their own policies and there must be a balance between sovereignty and multilateral discipline and collective governance. As well, South-South cooperation had an important role to play for least developed countries’ development, particularly as the South had become a new beacon of hope for the international community.
IOANNIS VRAILAS of the European Union delegation said progress had been made on the implementation of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review of United Nations operational activities for development. All funds, programmes and specialized agencies should implement and monitor the cost-sharing arrangement in support of the resident coordinator system starting in 2014. They should also fully implement the standard operating procedures for countries wishing to adopt the “Delivering as One” approach. A robust and comprehensive framework for monitoring and reporting on the Review was crucial and the United Nations system should ensure that such a framework clearly articulated milestones achieved and progress made, while keeping transaction costs and reporting burdens to a minimum.
He said that while the recent growth in financial flows to the United Nations system had been concentrated in the non-core category, core resources remained the bedrock. Additional non-core resources — aligned with national priorities and strategic plans of United Nations agencies — could complement core funding. Member States shared a collective responsibility to ensure adequate and timely funding of the work plans and budgets approved by the governing bodies of United Nations development agencies. All funding — core and non-core — should be delivered in a way that promoted coherence, was responsive to the needs of programme countries in line with the mandate of implementing funds and programmes, and delivered the maximum development impact.
RAJA REZA BIN RAJA ZAIB SHAH ( Malaysia), associating himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said that South-South cooperation was critical in ensuring the participation of developing countries in the world economy. However, it must not be a substitute to North-South cooperation. While noting that developing countries had the primary responsibility to promote and implement economic and technical cooperation, he reiterated the need to expand South-South cooperation through economic and technical cooperation among developing countries. Moreover, triangular cooperation had assisted much of the efforts by more advanced developing countries in realizing the required development programmes. As one of the significant players in South-South cooperation, his country had contributed in the area of capacity-building and human capital development, through, among other, the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme.
JIM MCLAY( New Zealand) said that the positive response to the Common Action Plan from States and United Nations agencies had driven reform. He welcomed the response by the Organization’s funds and programmes to the Quadrennial Comprehensive Periodic Review, calling their 2014-2017 strategic plans a “big step forward” in terms of aligning planning cycles and integrating operational activities across organizations. He also welcomed the Action Plan’s focus on results-based management tools for monitoring and reporting, while the new standard operating procedures for the second generation of “Delivering as One” would ensure that country experiences could be shared. The challenges included fulfilling the Review’s mandates, securing the commitment of all agencies to the implementation of the Action Plan, and shedding light on how the Plan of Action for the Harmonization of Business Practices had been integrated into the reform process.
Evgeny Lazarev ( Belarus) said all international commitments for development aid must be upheld. Belarus found it unacceptable that many States cited the financial crisis as a way to rationalize decreasing their aid amounts. The United Nations should widen the donor base by attracting new or non-traditional contributors to ensure the financing of programme activities, while it simultaneously decreased expenditures and freed up resources. Targeted international aid, including that dedicated to middle-income countries must follow two main objectives — it should be a clear example of how the United Nations system continued to cooperate with least developed countries after they achieved a higher level of development, and aid to middle-income countries must be designed to help them transition to developed countries. Middle-income countries should not be punished for reaching their development goals, and operational entities of the United Nations should develop a single approach to dealing with such countries.
PIUS WENNUBST ( Switzerland) said that Member States had taken stock of the impact of operational activities and had provided clear policy guidance in all relevant areas for the development system. The process of developing the standard operating procedures had shed light on a number of supporting measures to be taken at Headquarters level, and he urged the United Nations Development Group members to fully implement them. As well, the United Nations Development Group and the High-level Committee on Management should continue their efforts to implement Member States’ requests on the simplification and harmonization of business practices. However, he expressed concern that the overall structure of funding did not provide the right incentives for a better coordinated and more effective development system. The shrinking level of core resources was worrying. Turning to the implications of the recent reform of the Economic and Social Council, he said he would like to hear from the Secretariat on how a monitoring framework could be ensured that was both comprehensive and up-to-date.
MERETE DYRUD ( Norway) said the Quadrennial Comprehensive Periodic Review required a clear call for accelerated reform from the United Nations system, providing a “golden opportunity” for the system to improve its own relevance. Follow-up of the “Delivering as One” standard operating procedures was required at the country level by all funds, programmes and specialized agencies, while governing bodies must establish new routines for approving joint programmes. All agencies must ensure that mutual accountability mechanisms between the Resident Coordinator and the country teams were established. Further, substantial efficiencies could be gained by Headquarters’ decisions to harmonize business practices. Finally, agency funding must move towards core funding and “softly earmarked” funding.
Jassim Al-Thani ( Qatar), associating himself with the Group of 77, said that nations of the South had greater economic weight than in the past, noting the Secretary-General’s report had highlighted how such cooperation could impact development. The report also highlighted the importance of funding from developing nations and the contributions had increased over time. The international community must seize the opportunity to promote South-South cooperation and recognize its contribution to international trade and investment opportunities. The transfer of technology and trade and its ever-growing role for developing nations and least developed countries should also be encouraged. Qatar had hosted a major South-South conference in 2005 and had presided over a high‑level event on South-South cooperation in 2007, amongst other activities. Such cooperation was one of the most important mechanisms for improving the quality of life for those in developing countries.
SERGIO RODRIGUES DOS SANTOS (Brazil), associating himself with the Group of 77 and CELAC, said that in implementing the Rio+20 Conference results and preparing the intergovernmental process leading to a post-2015 development agenda, it was critical to include relevant Economic and Social Council resolutions and executive board decisions. Expressing concern over the significant reduction of core resources in total contributions in 2011, he said that United Nations funds, agencies and programmes must be able to address, on the ground, the specific needs of all developing countries, including middle-income countries. Efforts must be underpinned by the principle of national ownership and respecting the priorities of individual programme countries. South-South and triangular cooperation, while an important part of the collect efforts towards poverty eradication, must not be a substitute for ODA. In fact, he emphasized, it followed a completely different rational, with an emphasis on ownership, non-conditionality and demand drive assistance.
Mr. KRISHNASSWAMY (India), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, emphasized the importance of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review in making abundantly clear that poverty eradication remained the overriding priority for developing countries. The United Nations must respond and adapt to the evolving environment and expectations of individual countries. Financing for development was increasingly coming under pressure, hence, ODA was all the more critical now as developing countries were faced with curtailed capital flows, economic shutdown and increased programming requirements.
He noted the negative impact of policy conditionality that was tied into donor driven aid arrangements when planning for development activities, saying that United Nations operational activities for development must feed into national development plans and steer clear of conditionality. The real rise of the South must be matched by a commensurate rise in human development, in which considerable investment was still expected from the multilateral system. Given the vast difference in development levels between countries of the North and those from the South, it was important that development projects under South-South cooperation were not “strait-jacketed” in terms of rigid rules and regulations. Strengthening institutional capacity-building in developing countries must be a focus area of any operational activity for the development agenda.
VICTOR ZAGREKOV ( Russian Federation) said that his country was interested in increasing cooperation to provide logistical support to the social and economic development of developing countries. Such efforts must be aimed at sustainable development, economic growth, sharing of knowledge and technology, disaster-risk and reduction, and food security. It was important to fine-tune the thematic scope of operational activities to bring them in line with the needs of developing countries rather than international institutions. Calling for the synchronization of countries and agencies, he emphasized the need for the United Nations to reflect results clearly and effectively and not include too many indicators and unclear results in its reports. Looking ahead, rules and procedures must be geared for the development system of the United Nations. He called for enhanced cohesion among the Organization and its inter-agencies in accordance with humanitarian regulations in countries within their mandates. Strengthening regional economic cooperation was also important.
LIZWI NKOMBELA (South Africa), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Africa Group, said the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review and the support provided by the United Nations system could help many countries. Therefore, the Review should be implemented in response to the needs of developing countries and carried out for their benefit. The international community needed to address the imbalance between core and non-core resources and he said it was disappointing that no significant change had occurred in the predictability, reliability and stability of funding for United Nations development activities. Over the past several years, Member States said that core resources were key for the achievement of development goals. South Africa was greatly concerned about the decline of such resources. South Africa encouraged the United Nations system in its entirety to support the United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation and noted that while imperative, South-South Cooperation was not a substitute for traditional aid flows, but rather, complementary.
WANG MIN (China), aligning with the Group of 77, said the United Nations system should remain committed to the completion of the Millennium Development Goals and efforts to eradicate poverty. Poverty eradication constituted the greatest global challenge and the United Nations should enhance developing countries’ own efforts to address this issue, as well as placing the issue at the centre of the post-2015 agenda. Adequate core resources and a rational structure were critical to the attainment of development goals. Developed countries should bear the primary funding responsibility under their ODA commitments. Improving the management and function of the United Nations system was also vital. The formulation of the framework for development system should be based on the principles of national ownership and leadership. It should be efficient, flexible and adaptable to the specific situations of the recipient countries, instead of imposing uniformity. South-South cooperation was an important avenue for developing countries that enabled them to support each other and build cohesion in the support of common goals. The Chinese Government attached great importance to South-South cooperation and made it a primary objective of its development agenda. As such, the country had provided assistance to the best of its ability, including aid to some 120 developing countries in the framework of South-South cooperation.
FELIPE García Landa( Mexico) said the approval of the 2014-2017 strategic plan and integrated budget for various funds and programmes of the United Nations represented a crucial step. The progress in defining a mechanism for joint funding of the resident coordinator system, in establishing standard operation procedures for the voluntary adoption of the “Delivering as One” model, and in joint follow-up indicators for the implementation and evaluation of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review would lead to a stronger development pillar at the Organization. The complexity of development challenges demanded that the international community’s support uphold its universal character. All funds, programmes and specialized agencies should maintain their physical and programmatic presence in all developing countries. South-South cooperation, while increasingly important, will remain a complement to traditional North-South cooperation. Technical and financial support from traditional donors was essential in supporting the development efforts of the countries of the South. Triangular cooperation was an excellent example of how these two forms of cooperation could reinforce each other. The United Nations system should work to effectively mainstream them.
PETER SILBERBERG ( Germany), associating himself with the European Union, was encouraged by the passage of the standard operating procedures for “Delivering as One”. However, Germany was discouraged that progress seemed to have slowed since that time and urged steps be taken to make the procedures fully operational. Agency procedures needed to be harmonized for “Delivering as One”, which would require the identification of common instruments. Agencies also needed to set out how they expected their country representatives to function and how they would be held accountable. Transport and logistics arrangements needed to be streamlined and joint procurement processes at United Nations Headquarters should be pursued.
Esther Pan Sloane( United States) said the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review was a success that gave clear guidance on how to increase efficiency, transparency and cost effective activity. The country applauded the galvanizing effect the Review had on the work of the United Nations. The new “Delivery as one” standard operating procedures would also help the United Nations work more efficiency. The emphasis on gender mainstreaming had made a difference to women and girls around the world. Movements toward system-wide metrics by the United Nations development agencies were critical in reassuring donor and programme countries that the United Nations was effectively utilizing scarce resources during difficult economic times.
PETER VERSEGI ( Australia), speaking on behalf of his country and Canada, said that the ability of United Nations agencies to clearly and tangibly demonstrate the cost-efficiency and effectiveness of their programmes was essential for donor Governments to justify financial support. He called for greater coherence and coordination, and the implementation of “Delivering as One”. Pooled funding and support to joint programmes were obvious examples; however, donors needed incentives to provide increased funding to those modalities. Without major improvements in the ability of agencies to engage in monitoring and evaluation in order to synthesize their results and to report coherently on the achievements of the system as a whole, funding would be limited.
He welcomed the inclusion of a number of key elements in the United Nations Development Group action plan including updating the roles and responsibility of the Resident Coordinator, rolling out of the standard operating procedures for “Delivering as One”, and finding ways to take greater strides in coherence of business operations. Stronger guidance was needed for country teams, he added. Expressing concern at the lack of adequate disability disaggregated data at the country analysis stage, he said the United Nations must do more to realize the rights of persons with disabilities and ensure an end to their exclusion. He also called for timely action for reform in all areas of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review.
ABDELMALEK ACHERGUI ( Morocco), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review was pertinent to harmonizing specialized United Nations institutions, simplifying procedures and taking into account the particular needs of Member States for the best outcome possible for operations for development. He emphasized the need for United Nations agencies to plan cycles in accordance with the Review cycle. He expressed concern with the lack of resources, particularly the imbalance between core and non-core resources. “Delivering as One” had made significant progress and was applied by many countries during the year as a result of better coordination between the United Nations and agencies. There were several growing challenges facing developing countries, he said, underlining the special needs of least developed and landlocked countries. In that regard, the Review would strengthen the United Nations contribution to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to forge the post-2015 development agenda.
PORNSITH PIBULNAKARINTR ( Thailand), associating with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said a coherent, effective and efficient United Nations system would be essential for the achievement of development goals and results on the ground. Thailand was concerned about the decline in ODA, which hindered efforts of developing countries, including conflict and post-conflict societies, as well as least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States. Thailand supported the enhancement of global partnerships that encompassed all stakeholders to expedite the mobilization of financial resources and called on the international community to further cooperate to improve policies and development strategies. There was no “one-size-fits-all” solution for development and only customized programmes could deliver results. Thailand urged the Office for South-South Cooperation to take the lead in coordinating such programmes among United Nations agencies and remained committed to intensifying South-South and triangular cooperation.
ALBERTINA MACDONALD ( Mozambique), associating her delegation with the Group of 77, the Group of Least Developed Countries and the African Group, said the Secretary-General’s reports addressed important dynamics of the support that developing countries needed. While levels of core financial resources had remained the same in 2010 and 2011, she said, they had been channelled to long‑term development programmes. This allowed United Nations operational activities to be more aligned with national development priorities and more effective in delivering results. The effectiveness of the United Nations at the country level depended on the quality and predictability of the core funds available for its work. She stressed the need for a greater commitment to increasing the contributions to United Nations agencies, funds and programmes. As a pilot country of the “Delivering as One” initiative, Mozambique welcomed the results achieved during the first phase. The pooled funding approach provided incentives for agencies to collaborate and to improve performance. She stressed the role that the United Nations could play in promoting South-South cooperation, as well as triangular cooperation as a complement to other formulae of partnership.
FIONA RITCHIE (United Kingdom), associating herself with the European Union, said the passage of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review gave the United Nations system a clear objective, although more remained to be done to embed delivery objectives into the system. A year on, the United Kingdom was pleased to see the United Nations development agencies aligning their efforts with the Review.
YUH Chang Hoon,(Republic of Korea) said it valued the work of the United Nations development agencies, particularly as they aligned their strategic plans with the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review, although more needed to be done to coordinate the efficiency of the development efforts of the Organization. With regard to their functions, the agencies needed to create a results-oriented culture. “Delivering as One” was an important effort for making the United Nations whole, although it was now time to fully implement the programme’s standard operating procedures with the achievement of results taking precedence over all else. The development agencies needed to strengthen their responses to cross-cutting issues, such as gender equality and South-South cooperation. A United Nations system-wide action plan on these subject matters should be fully implemented with regular monitoring and evaluation. There are not enough South‑South projects being implemented and the international community should do more to incorporate such cooperation into day-to-day work. More efforts needed to be directed towards enhancing the donor base to mobilize more resources and to use them more effectively.
YIN PO MYAT ( Myanmar), associating herself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said availability of sustainable and predictable funding was essential for effective planning and implementation of the operational activities for development. Donor countries should maintain their voluntary contributions and those in a position to do so should substantially increase them. The United Nations system should be more effective and efficient in carrying out its operational activities. A more harmonized United Nations approach should include the principles and elements of the “Delivering as One” approach in conformity with national policies and priorities and in line with the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review. Myanmar hoped to benefit from the South-South and triangular cooperation of the Organization, especially in the sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices. The recent wide-ranging reforms in the country had drawn growing interest from the United Nations system and donor community. United Nations agencies had a critical role in enhancing coherence and mobilization of funding in support of key national strategic priority areas. After a recent visit by a joint United Nations team, there had been an emphasis on the urgency for repositioning of the Untied Nations system in the country. She expressed hope that the proposal would also be made in line with the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review after full consultation with the Government.
TAGHI FERAMI (Islamic Republic of Iran), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, stressed country ownership in both the macro- and micro-programming of operational activities of the United Nations-related bodies should be strictly adhered to throughout all stages of development and their activities aligned with the mandate of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review. United Nations activities that build national capacities should be increased. The imbalance between core and non-core resources for operational activities for development needed to be addressed and the United Nations system needed to provide member States with a coherent and unified monitoring framework. The United Nations had a critical role to play in regard to South-South cooperation and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation should be further strengthened.
VINCENT HERLIHY (Ireland), associating himself with the European Union Delegation, underlined the key role to be played by the United Nations in supporting efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Strong partnerships were needed, he said, emphasizing that the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review Resolution provided the basis for a development framework. The strategic plans of the funds and programmes and the Economic and Social Council resolution contained much of what was needed to provide greater coherence and a more effective and efficient approach. Expressing concern for establishing the second generation of “Delivery as One”, he said its full implementation was critical. Additionally, incentives and instructions must be used to engage full participation of United Nations country teams. Calling for the improvement in monitoring, reporting and evaluating, he emphasized the need for clear and consistent indicators.
María José del Águila Castillo ( Guatemala) stressed that operational activities must be focused on the development mandate of each agency. Expressing concern with the growing imbalance between core and non-core resources, she said it was necessary to make progress on the critical mass of core resources. Development assistance must be in line with the individual priorities and needs of each country to ensure the efficient and effective development to 2015 and beyond.
ADRIANA Pacheco (Bolivia), aligning with the Group of 77 and CELAC, expressed concern with the widening gap between the global rich and poor. While the countries of the South were not responsible for the global economic and financial crises, they had suffered most. Calling on developed countries to fulfil their commitments of 0.7 per cent of gross national income to ODA, she emphasized the need to redistribute wealth and create and strengthen social and economic policy. South-South cooperation must never be a substitute for North‑South cooperation, she added. The strength of the South lied within its sovereignty and solidarity. She stressed that strengthening South-South cooperation required formulating additional coalitions, signing additional treaties and sharing technology and best practices. Trade treaties were death to people of the South while beneficial to the people of the North, she said, calling for an end to imperialism and colonialism. Additionally, initiatives and programmes such as ALBA, Banco Del Sur and PETROCARIBE were instrumental in empowering the South.
* *** *For information media • not an official record