Terms of Reference (under review by the Advisory Board)
Background, Objectives, Purpose and Scope
1. Following the proposal for the establishment of a Democracy Fund, and consultations conducted
with Member States, the Secretary-General has established a United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).
2. In the 2005
World Summit Outcome, the Heads of State and Government
reaffirmed that democracy is a universal value based on
the freely expressed will of the people to determine their
own political, economic, social and cultural systems and
their full participation in all aspects of their lives.
They also reaffirmed that there is no single model of
democracy, that it does not belong to any country or region,
and reaffirmed the necessity of due respect for sovereignty
and the right of self-determination. The Summit Outcome
stresses that democracy, development and respect for all
human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent
and mutually reinforcing.
3. The Heads of State and Government renewed their commitment
to support democracy by strengthening countries’
capacity to implement the principles and practices of
democracy, and resolved to strengthen the capacity of
the United Nations to assist Member States upon their
request. They also welcomed the establishment of a Democracy
Fund at the United Nations.
4. The Heads of State and Government invited the Secretary-General
to help ensure that practical arrangements for the Democracy
Fund take proper account of existing United Nations activity
in this field. The United Nations is already engaged in
useful and effective support of democracy in a variety
of ways, through activities carried out by the Department
of Political Affairs (DPA), the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP), the Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as other entities in
the United Nations system. The creation of the UNDEF would
complement current efforts and contribute to a more focused
5. The primary purpose of the UNDEF will be to promote
democratization throughout the world. The UNDEF will provide
assistance for projects that build and strengthen democratic
institutions, promote human rights, and initiatives that
are intended to ensure the full participation of all groups
in the democratic process.
6. The UNDEF will provide assistance to government, non-government,
national, regional, and international entities including
relevant United Nations departments, offices, funds, programmes
Structure and Administration
7. The UNDEF will be established as a Trust
Fund by the Secretary-General under his authority, and
will be administered in accordance with United Nations
Financial Regulations and Rules. Every project to be supported
by the UNDEF will be subject to the standard programme
support cost reimbursement utilized by the United Nations
Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP).
8. An Advisory Board will be established by the Secretary-General
to provide policy guidance for the development of programme
frameworks and funding guidelines, and to consider proposals
for funding. The Advisory Board will recommend funding
proposals for approval by the Secretary-General.
9. The Advisory Board will comprise one representative
from each of the six largest Member State contributors
- as confirmed by firm commitments to the United Nations
; one representative each from five other Member States
selected by the Secretary-General to reflect diverse geographical
representation; three members to be appointed by the Secretary-General;
two representatives of non-governmental organisations
which will be selected by the Secretary-General; as well
as the Executive Director of UNFIP who will serve in an
ex officio capacity. The Advisory Board will normally
10. The initial members will be appointed exceptionally
for a period of 15 months from the first meeting of the
Advisory Board. At the quarterly meeting of the Advisory
Board, three months prior to the expiration of the exceptional
initial period of 15 months, the membership will be reassessed
on the basis of the cumulative level of contributions
to UNDEF up to that point, as well as to facilitate rotation
amongst the other categories of members. On the expiry
of the initial period of 15 months, the members of the
Advisory Board will be appointed for a period of one year.
11. The Advisory Board will select one of its members
to be appointed as Chair by the Secretary-General. The
eleven Member States and two NGOs will be responsible
for designating their representatives on the Advisory
Board. Members would not receive remuneration for their
The Advisory Board will be supported by an Office of the
UNDEF that will consist of an Executive Head and other
staff appointed by the Secretary-General. The appointment
of the Executive Head will be made in consultation with
the Advisory Board.
13. The Office of the UNDEF will be located within UNFIP.
For administrative purposes, the Executive Head of the
Office will report to the Executive Director of UNFIP,
who reports to the Secretary-General through the Deputy
Secretary-General. For substantive support to the Advisory
Board, the Executive Head will deal directly with the
14. The core functions of the Office of the UNDEF will
be as follows:
develop programme funding criteria, in consultation
with the Programme Consultative Group
(ii) solicit and receive proposals on the basis of guidelines
approved by the Board
(iii) review project proposals for submission to the
(iv) conduct outreach activities
(v) facilitate in-kind donations of technical assistance
from States and NGOs
(vi) arrange monitoring and evaluation, as well as audit
(vii) handle all aspects of the allocation, disbursement,
accounting of funds
(viii) submit reports to the ACABQ and Fifth Committee
of the General Assembly, as and when required
15. All staff costs, as well as all central support services,
will be borne by the UNDEF. All financial management and
administrative services will be provided by UNFIP on a
16. The Secretary-General will establish a Programme Consultative
Group (PCG) which will provide advice to the Board on
programme funding criteria and on project proposals, through
the Executive Head of the Office of the UNDEF.
17. The PCG may comprise up to a total of seven senior
representatives from DPA, UNDP, OHCHR and other relevant
UN system organizations who will be appointed by the Secretary-General.
One of the members will serve as Chair. The Executive
Head of the UNDEF will be an ex officio member of the
PCG and will be responsible for convening the meetings
of the PCG.
18. The Advisory Board may request the Chair of the PCG
to attend its meetings as appropriate.
19. In order to keep all donors to the UNDEF apprised
of developments, a meeting of representatives from donors
that have contributed to the UNDEF will be convened at
least once a year by the Secretary-General or a designated
Senior Official; this will also provide an opportunity
for consultations between the Advisory Board and all donors.
20. The arrangements set out above may be revised by the
Secretary-General in the light of experience and evolving
needs after due consultations.