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PRESIDENT of the 64th Session
United Nations General Assembly

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In the Informal Consultations of the Plenary on System-wide Coherence

New York, 4 February 2010

Secretary General
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen

System Wide Coherence is a priority issue on which all Member States are united and are determined to achieve progress. I am therefore pleased to welcome you to this meeting, which marks the resumption of our substantive work on System Wide Coherence during this session building on the significant advances that were made during the last session. I am confident that your deliberations will be constructive and productive under the guidance of the two Co-Facilitators Her Excellency Mrs. Tiina Intelmann, Permanent Representative of Estonia, and His Excellency Mr. Ghazi Jomaa, Permanent Representative of Tunisia, whom I would like to thank again for accepting this responsibility.

Let me also thank the Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro for the reports on the Follow-up to General Assembly resolution 63/311 related to the operational activities for development and the Report on the Comprehensive proposal for the composite entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Excellencies,

We have repeatedly expressed our strong desire for the UN system to work in a more effective and efficient manner. Despite the progress made to date, the UN system operational activities remain fragmented, often duplicative with high transaction costs. Member States have shared this view for years. It is now time to take action.

The crisis in Haiti is once again a painful reminder of the need for the international community to better coordinate its responses. This is equally true in fragile situations across the globe. Our efforts within the context of system wide coherence aim at achieving this goal.

Our deliberations cover the five areas of concern identified in the reports of the Secretary-General. We need to build on the progress made since we started this process. All areas are inter-linked. Progress in one area should lead to progress in other areas. 

There is a growing global awareness of the challenges that women face in their respective societies, particularly in the developing world. It is, therefore vital that the issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment are considered and addressed at the highest levels of the decision-making processes so that women and girls can contribute to the enhancement of their societies and peoples.

The United Nations system has a primary role in promoting this global objective. There is a clear recognition that United Nations action in this regard requires more coherence and integration for more uniform, speedy and effective support which will have a greater impact and lead to better results. The decision to establish a composite entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women was particularly welcomed in that regard. Our task now is to establish and operationalize this entity as soon as possible.  

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

Last year’s resolution also reflected the need to enhance the functioning of existing United Nations structure in order to improve the coordination, funding, accountability and the governance of operational activities for development.

National ownership and leadership is the single most important element in this context. The developmental assistance provided by the international community should respond to national requirements and priorities.

System wide coherence has a direct impact on the achievement of international development goals including the Millennium Development Goals. Therefore it is important for Member States to consider seriously all the proposals contained in the Reports of the Secretary General in particular those pertaining to the improvement of governance of operational activities for development, core and non-core funding of operational activities, the key elements on the common country programmes, the possible establishment of system wide evaluation mechanisms, as well as independent evaluation of lessons learned from the implementation of “Delivering As One” programme in country pilots.

There is a call for strengthening financial reporting as well as on the harmonization of business practices. The objective is to enhance transparency, accountability and effectiveness of development activities.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I invite all Member States to engage in an open, transparent and constructive manner in full collaboration with the Facilitators. I am optimistic that we can achieve concrete results this session which benefit our organization by enhancing its responsiveness and effectiveness in the operational activities for development, especially to address the needs of the most vulnerable of our world. All Member States recognize the need for change. This change needs to happen now.

Thank you.

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