Committee For Programme And Coordination

Statement by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs to the Committee For Programme And Coordination New York, 19 June 2008

I have the honour and privilege to introduce to this important
Committee the strategic framework for 2010-2011 for the programme on
economic and social affairs.

My Department, DESA, serves as the custodian of the United
Nations development agenda. Our central objective is achieving
development for all.

I know that Member States have increasingly high expectations
of support from DESA. The demand is greater than ever, for our
assistance in global agenda-setting and decision-making on development
issues, and for our analytical products and policy advice.

It is our job to do anything and everything that the
intergovernmental process wants us to do: support intergovernmental
debates and negotiations; facilitate understanding of new development
challenges; ensure that UN actors complement each other; and undertake
targeted capacity development.

As the Department’s head, I also serve as Convener
of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, which brings
together all the Secretariat entities that deal with development. We
have embarked on this strategic framework exercise together, through
consultations within ECESA on how to increase coherence and exploit
synergies in the Secretariat’s economic and social

The development mandates and responsibilities of the
Secretariat have grown considerably, especially with the follow-up to
the 2005 World Summit and the additional new mandates and
responsibilities acquired since then. This will affect the work of DESA
and its ECESA partners now and into 2010-2011. Our consultations on
this front are reflected in the report of the Secretary-General
(A/62/708) on strengthening the development pillar of the Secretariat
and improving its effective and efficient delivery of development

For DESA, our guiding objective in these exercises is to
create a more coherent, focused, flexible and results-oriented
Department, able to respond to the evolving and emerging needs of
Member States.

This means we are ever mindful not to duplicate the work of
others. We consult regularly with our ECESA colleagues to strengthen
synergies and coherence in the work of the development pillar. And we
root our proposals for future work in a firm understanding of the
complex multi-stakeholder environment in which we operate, with UN
system partners and non-UN partners, including civil society and
private sector organizations.

It also means an enhanced focus on strategic planning, as a
critical way to improve efficiency in our use of resources, and to
strengthen coherence and responsiveness.

A major thrust of the strategic framework before you is more
strategic implementation of the development agenda. This in turn
demands quality analysis of cross-cutting issues, such as climate
change, the development-conflict nexus, innovative financing,
international migration and development, violence against women, and
indigenous issues, as well as support to national development
strategies to achieve the MDGs and other internationally agreed
development goals. It also entails our ongoing efforts to identify,
analyze and promote consensus on the economic policies and actions
necessary at national and international levels to improve long-term
development prospects.

We need to strengthen our normative and policy support to the
intergovernmental processes, especially for the new responsibilities of
the Economic and Social Council and in the area of financing for

The first Annual Ministerial Review, held in 2007 and focused
on poverty reduction and global partnerships, has shown that the Review
is a major global mechanism to assess progress made in implementation
of the MDGs. This year’s focus is on sustainable development
and next year’s will be on global health. The Review will
continue to provide significant contributions to scaling-up and
accelerating action to realize the development agenda.

The Development Cooperation Forum, with its first session to
take place here in New York in a few weeks, will become the first
global platform where all actors have the opportunity to engage in a
dialogue on key policy issues and trends affecting the quality and
impact of development cooperation. Both new functions will enhance the
Council’s effectiveness as the central instrument for policy
coordination and coherence within the UN system.

Leading the multi-stakeholder monitoring and implementation of
the Monterrey Consensus, and promoting coherence within the United
Nations on issues related to financing for development, is a top
priority of the programme. The outcome at year’s end of the
Doha Review Conference, which will also consider new challenges and
emerging issues since Monterrey, will have a significant effect on our
work in the next biennium.

The preparations for Doha are well underway and should be
enriched by the outcomes of the other major events yet to take place
this year – not only the AMR and DCF, but also the G8 Summit
in Japan, the Accra High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and the
High-level Event on the MDGs, to be convened jointly by the
Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, with DESA
leading the substantive support.

To support the accountability and monitoring mechanisms at the
intergovernmental level, requires enhanced monitoring capacity. Member
States look to DESA as the only entity in the UN system that can
provide guidance on all MDG monitoring issues, and how to produce and
analyze the data.

DESA will continue to provide leadership in sustainable
development. Recent intergovernmental activity in the areas of food
security, climate change, energy, small island developing states, and
sustainable consumption and production has challenged the programme to
upgrade its capacity to support Member States’ efforts on
sustainable development issues. We will also play a critical role in
facilitating implementation of the non-legally binding instrument on
all types of forests and supporting efforts to achieve the shared
global objectives on forests.

The programme will continue advancing the global agenda on
gender equality and the empowerment of women, as an end in itself and
as an essential contribution to achieving the MDGs. This will include
intensified efforts to support Governments in tackling the scourge of
violence against women – a violation of human rights and
significant constraint on development.

We will seek to further strengthen the international
community’s capacity to effectively address current and
emerging population issues, including fertility, mortality, HIV/AIDS,
urbanization, population growth and population ageing, as well as
international migration and development.

We will continue to strengthen international cooperation and
enhance national capacity to address poverty eradication, employment
generation and social integration. In line with the development
agenda’s emphasis on inclusion and attention to the needs of
the most vulnerable, due regard will be given to issues relating to
older persons, persons with disabilities, family, youth, and indigenous

Given the strong nexus between peace and development, the
programme will enhance its focus on public administration
reconstruction and reform processes. It will continue to promote
greater awareness in key substantive areas of public administration,
including e-governance, capacity-building and promotion of
professionalism and ethics in the public sector, and the use of
information and communication technology in government and resource

Finally, we will carry forward our effort to streamline and
strengthen the delivery of DESA policy advice and analytical products
to Member States. Here, our objective is to meet the growing demand for
assistance in translating global commitments into national policies and
action, in the specific areas where we are best placed to make an

In concluding, let me reiterate that the overall objective of
programme 7 will remain the promotion and support of international
cooperation in the pursuit of sustained economic growth, the
eradication of poverty and hunger, and sustainable development for all.
I look forward to the dialogue on the strategic framework.

Thank you.