United Nations

A/RES/38/171


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

19 December 1983

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                   A/RES/38/171
                                                   19 December 1983
                                                   Meeting no. 102
 
                         Comprehensive policy review of operational
                         activities for development
 
     The General Assembly,
 
     Recalling its resolutions 3201 (S-VI) and 3202 (S-VI) of 1 May 1974,
containing the Declaration and the Programme of Action on the Establishment of
a New International Economic Order, 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974,
containing the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, and
3362 (S-VII) of 16 September 1975 on development and international economic
co-operation,
 
     Recalling also its resolution 35/56 of 5 December 1980, the annex to
which contains the International Development Strategy for the Third United
Nations Development Decade,
 
     Recalling further its resolutions 2688 (XXV) of 11 December 1970 on the
capacity of the United Nations development system and 3405 (XXX) of 28
November 1975 on new dimensions in technical co-operation,
 
     Reiterating its resolutions 32/197 of 20 December 1977, 33/201 of 29
January 1979 and 35/81 of 5 December 1980 on a comprehensive policy review of
operational activities for development, 36/199 of 17 December 1981 and 37/226
of 20 December 1982 on operational activities for development of the United
Nations system,
 
     Reaffirming the exclusive responsibility of the Government of the
recipient country in formulating its national development plan, priorities and
objectives, as set out in the consensus contained in the annex to General
Assembly resolution 2688 (XXV), and emphasizing that the integration of the
operational activities of the United Nations system with national programmes
would enhance the impact and relevance of those activities,
 
     Emphasizing the importance that developing countries, through their
actions, including increased financial contributions, have attached to the
operational activities of the United Nations system, in recognition of the
role of those activities in their overall economic development,
 
     Expressing its deep concern about the increasing elements of bilateralism
in multilateral economic co-operation and the increased channelling of tied
resources through multilateral programmes,
 
     Concerned at the increasingly high cost of experts and consultants and
the financial effect on the programmes and projects being implemented, and
convinced of the need, as far as possible, to use the services of national
experts and consultants and to implement programmes and projects in a
cost-effective manner,
 
     Aware that a substantial part of world resources, material as well as
human, continues to be diverted to armaments, with detrimental effect on
international security and on efforts to achieve the new international
economic order, including the operational activities for development of the
United Nations system,
 
     Reaffirming that one primary objective of operational activities for
development of the United Nations system is to promote the economic
self-reliance of developing countries,
 
     Having examined the report of the Director-General for Development and
International Economic Co-operation for 1983, on the comprehensive policy
review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system,
 
     1.   Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Director-General
for Development and International Economic Co-operation on the comprehensive
policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations
system;
 
     2.   Reaffirms the important contribution that operational activities of
the United Nations system make to the development of developing countries and
urges the relevant organs, organizations and bodies of the United Nations
system to continue to attach priority to operational activities in their plans
and programmes;
 
     3.   Notes that, although the outcome of the 1983 United Nations Pledging
Conference for Development Activities reflected a positive trend, the overall
level of resources remains unsatisfactory, falling short, in many cases, of
the various types of targets set by the relevant intergovernmental bodies,
thus hampering the ability of the system to respond to the growing needs of
developing countries;
 
     4.   Strongly reiterates the need for a substantial and real increase in
the flow of resources for operational activities on an increasingly
predictable, continuous and assured basis, so as to enable the organizations
of the system to maintain and, where possible, increase the level of their
operational programmes and, in that context, strongly urges all countries,
particularly developed countries, whose overall performance is not
commensurate with their capacities, to increase rapidly and substantially
their voluntary contributions for operational activities for development,
taking into account the targets that have been set by relevant
intergovernmental bodies;
 
     5.   Reaffirms that the operational activities of the United Nations
system should be in accordance with the national plans, priorities and
objectives of the recipient countries in order to enhance their impact and
relevance to the national development process of those countries;
 
     6.   Invites the World Bank group to continue to carry out its country
activities in accordance with the national plans and priorities of recipient
countries, in order to promote the economic self-reliance of developing
countries;
 
     7.   Emphasizes the need to maintain the multilateral character of the
operational activities of the United Nations system and urges all Governments
to enhance their commitment in this regard;
 
     8.   Calls upon all Governments, in the interest of preserving the
multilateral principles of the system, to refrain from the practice of the
tying of aid for operational activities of the United Nations system to
procurement of goods and services from the donor countries, restricting it to
those funds that have a mandate to accept it on an experimental basis;
 
     9.   Invites the organs, organizations and bodies of the United Nations
system dealing with the flows of concessional resources to developing
countries to pay greater attention, in their reviews of these issues, to the
funding needs of the United Nations funds and programmes in support of the
development plans formulated by the recipient Governments;
 
     10.  Urges the international community to provide a substantial increase
in financial resources to United Nations funds and programmes engaged in
operational activities in order to enhance their contributions to the
implementation of the Substantial New Programme of Action for the 1980s for
the Least Developed Countries, bearing in mind the need of those countries for
official development assistance from multilateral sources;
 
     11.  Urges all Governments concerned to conclude negotiations regarding
the seventh replenishment of the International Development Association, with a
view to ensuring an appropriate increase in resources, and calls for those
negotiations to be completed as soon as possible so that the seventh
replenishment may become effective in July 1984;
 
     12.  Urges all Governments concerned to strengthen the International Fund
for Agricultural Development, particularly by releasing their contributions
according to agreed schedules and responding positively during the
negotiations regarding the second replenishment;
 
     13.  Welcomes the progress made towards the attainment of the 1983-1984
target for voluntary contributions to the World Food Programme and urges
Governments to make every effort to ensure the full attainment of that target,
as well as the proposed 1985-1986 target;
 
     14.  Takes note of the recommendations made in section III of the report
of the Director-General for Development and International Economic
Co-operation, designed to enhance the responsiveness of operational activities
to the needs and requirements of all developing countries in accordance with
their objectives and priorities, as formulated in their national development
plans and programmes, and their efforts to promote greater economic and
technical co-operation among themselves;
 
     15.  Invites all organs, organizations and bodies of the United Nations
system engaged in operational activities for development, with a view to
achieving, inter alia, higher cost effectiveness, to make greater use of the
capacities of developing countries by:
 
     (a)  Engaging national experts and personnel;
 
     (b)  Utilizing local or regional sources for procurement of material,
equipment and services;
 
     16.  Decides that the guidelines on procurement to be issued pursuant to
paragraph 7 of decision 81/28 of 30 June 1981 and section II, paragraph 2, of
decision 82/34 of 18 June 1982 of the Governing Council of the United Nations
Development Programme should govern the procurement activities of organs and
bodies under the authority of the General Assembly in their execution of
projects financed by the Programme;
 
     17.  Welcomes decision 82/8 of 18 June 1982 of the Governing Council of
the United Nations Development Programme, designed to promote government
execution of projects funded by the Programme, the support cost savings that
could result therefrom becoming available for programmes and plans, on the
basis of the illustrative indicative planning figure;
 
     18.  Reiterates the set of principles which, in the programming of the
resources at the disposal of the different organizations of the United Nations
system, should be uniformly applied; those principles, embodied in the
consensus of 1970 and decision 80/30 of 26 June 1980 of the Governing Council
of the United Nations Development Programme include, inter alia, the
following:
 
     (a)  Equity, particularly in the distribution of resources among
developing countries;
 
     (b)  Assistance to be provided only in response to the express needs of
the recipient countries;
 
     (c)  Assistance to be integrated with the overall development objectives
and priorities of the country concerned;
 
     (d)  Programming to be seen as an integrated process, of which the
different phases, such as programming, project formulation, assessment,
approval and  evaluation, constitute integral parts;
 
     19.  Emphasizes the important role of the United Nations system in
assisting developing countries, upon request, in developing their evaluation
capacity, and requests the Secretary-General in consultation with the organs,
organizations and bodies of the system, to elaborate, in the light of the
conclusions and recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit contained in its
report, proposals to promote the evaluation capacity of recipient Governments;
 
     20.  Recognizes that, concerning operational activities for development
of the United Nations system, evaluation is an important part of the
programming process in order to achieve a rational and optimal utilization of
the overall resources available;
 
     21.  Reaffirms and urges full application of the general guidelines
embodied in the new dimensions in technical co-operation adopted by the
Governing Council in 1975;
 
     22.  Recommends improved coherence of action and co-ordination of the
operational systems at the country level, under the overall responsibility of
the resident co-ordinator and in consultation with the Governments concerned,
in order to cut down expenses on administrative and support costs, minimize
waste through avoidance of duplication of work and facilitate the task of the
host country in co-ordinating external assistance, and considers that further
efforts should be undertaken in this regard;
 
     23.  Invites the Administrator of the United Nations Development
Programme and the President of the World Bank, as well as the heads of
regional development banks, to examine further possibilities of co-operation
between the Programme and those institutions regarding the complementarity of
their respective technical co-operation programmes, in order to enhance the
implementation of the present resolution and, in so doing, ensure greater
utilization of the facilities available in the various organizations of the
United Nations system regarding projects financed by those funding agencies,
and requests the Administrator to report thereon to the Governing Council of
the United Nations Development Programme;
 
     24.  Urges the relevant organs, organizations and bodies of the United
Nations system to increase their support for the process of technical
co-operation among developing countries by orienting their programmes and
projects, as appropriate, towards strengthening such co-operation;
 
     25.  Urges the Secretary-General and the executive heads of organs,
organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, bearing in mind the
need to maintain an appropriate level of support functions, to seek to
minimize administrative and other support costs without affecting the field
programmes and the network of United Nations Development Programme offices in
developing countries, with a view to increasing the proportion of resources
available to improve programme delivery to developing countries;
 
     26.  Requests the organs, organizations and bodies of the United Nations
system receiving resources of an extrabudgetary nature to include information
on those resources and their utilization in their budgets and reports and to
make that information available to the Governments concerned and to the
resident co-ordinator in the recipient country;
 
     27.  Recommends that, in accordance with resolution 32/197, due
consideration should be given to the technical expertise of the Department of
Technical Co-operation for Development for its designation as an executing
agency for the implementation of projects within its mandate, as well as its
role in the execution of technical co-operation activities of the United
Nations system, in order to reaffirm the role of the Department within the
existing technical and administrative structures and to avoid duplication and
accomplish economies of scale;
 
     28.  Urges all organs, organizations and bodies of the United Nations
system, in the light of the recommendations contained in section V of the
report of the Director-General for Development and International Economic
Co-operation, to take the necessary steps to ensure the harmonization of
administrative, financial, personnel, planning and procurement procedures, and
requests the Director-General for Development and International Economic
Co-operation to report annually on specific action taken;
 
     29.  Reiterates the importance of the co-ordination of multilateral
development assistance at the field level, and requests the Director-General
for Development and International Economic Co-operation while preparing his
next report on operational activities, to pay particular attention to the need
for improved coherence of action and effective integration at the country
level, in accordance with section V of the annex to resolution 32/197 and
paragraph 11 of resolution 35/81, and to the role of resident co-ordinators in
the co-ordination of operational activities of the United Nations system;
 
     30.  Requests the Joint Inspection Unit to study in depth the structure
of the field representation of the organs and organizations of the United
Nations system, particularly with regard to the tasks allotted to the resident
co-ordinators;
 
     31.  Requests the Director-General for Development and International
Economic Co-operation to include in his annual report to the General Assembly
at its thirty-ninth session:
 
     (a)  An examination of the extent and implications of the continuation of
the practice of contributions being provided to organizations with conditions
attached to their use, taking into account the information to be provided by
the heads of the relevant organs, organizations and bodies;
 
     (b)  An in-depth analysis of the subject mentioned in paragraph 22 above
concerning improved coherence of action and co-ordination of the operational
systems at the country level;
 
     (c)  A comparative analysis of the relationship between programme
delivery and administrative costs pertaining to operational activities for
development executed by the organs, organizations and bodies of the United
Nations system, as well as an assessment of agency support costs;
 
     32.  Requests the Director-General for Development and International
Economic Co-operation to include in his report for the 1986 comprehensive
policy review:
 
     (a)  A study, with supporting data, on the progress achieved with respect
to the issues identified in paragraph 15 above;
 
     (b)  A system-wide review of the activities identified in paragraph 24
above relating to technical co-operation among developing countries as carried
out by different organizations, with particular reference to the approaches
and methods devised and followed, the kind of activities undertaken by them
and the institutional arrangements for them;
 
     33.  Requests the Secretary-General, for the purpose of the 1986
comprehensive policy review, as part of the continuous review by the General
Assembly, to entrust the Director-General for Development and International
Economic Co-operation with the preparation of a report on policy issues
pertaining to operational activities for development undertaken by the United
Nations system, taking into account the views and comments of delegations at
the second regular session of 1983 of the Economic and Social Council and at
the thirty-eighth session of the General Assembly, for submission to the
Assembly at its forty-first session through the Council at its second regular
session of 1986;
 
     34.  Strongly reiterates its desire for a coherent and co-ordinated
United Nations system in the field of operational activities for development
and, in that context, requests the Director-General for Development and
International Economic Co-operation to continue to provide effective
leadership in the co-ordination of the various components of the United
Nations system in that field and in exercising overall co-ordination within
the system, as set forth in resolution 32/197, and requests all organs,
organizations and bodies to co-operate fully with the Director-General.