BUDGET COMMITTEE TAKES UP ISSUE OF PROGRAMME PLANNING, INCLUDING REPORT OF COMMITTEE FOR PROGRAMME AND COORDINATION

GA/AB/3821
29 October 2007

BUDGET COMMITTEE TAKES UP ISSUE OF PROGRAMME PLANNING, INCLUDING REPORT OF COMMITTEE FOR PROGRAMME AND COORDINATION

29 October 2007
General Assembly
GA/AB/3821
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-second General Assembly

Fifth Committee

12th Meeting (AM)


Budget committee takes up issue of programme planning, including report


of committee for programme and coordination

 


As part of its discussion on programme planning -- a process that allows the Organization to translate intergovernmental mandates into concrete implementable programmes -- the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today considered the United Nations strategic framework and the role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) as the Organization’s main planning, programming and coordinating body.


Replacing the four-year plan to bring programming in line with the United Nations’ two-year budget cycle, the first strategic framework -- the Organization’s principal policy directive for the biennium -- was prepared for the first time on a trial basis for 2006-2007.  That document is composed of two parts:  the “plan outline” and a biennial programme plan.


Presenting the Secretary-General’s report on the experience gained in the planning and budgeting process, the Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, Sharon Van Buerle, told the Committee today that, while the presentation of part two:  biennial programme plan had been generally successful, difficulty had been encountered with the regard to part one:  plan outline.  Both for 2006-2007 and 2008-2009, the Assembly had approved only the programme plan, taking no decision on the plan outline of the framework.  The final decision on the format, content and duration of the strategic framework, including the necessity of maintaining part one, is to be taken during the Assembly’s current session.


The representative of Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, pledged support for the Committee for Programme and Coordination’s recommendation to maintain the format, content and duration of the strategic framework plan, including part one -- an essential component of the framework, capturing the long-term objectives of the Organization.  However, she believed the framework’s format needed to be improved to better reflect the agreed priorities of the United Nations.  She also welcomed the guidance provided by the Committee for Programme and Coordination on the programmatic aspects of the changes in the biennial programme plan for 2008-2009.


That position received support from several delegates, including the representative of India, who added that the format of part one should be improved to accurately reflect the priorities of the Organization, as agreed to by Member States, which would give clear directions to the Secretariat as it made priorities of budgetary allocations, thereby leading to avoidance of situations wherein high-priority areas, like development, were marginalized.


While most speakers underlined the importance of the work of the Committee for Programme and Coordination, with Pakistan emphasizing its critical mandate of ensuring that the programmatic content of the budget conformed to legislative mandates, the representative of the United States once again registered his country’s disappointment with that body.  He said that, with more than 9,000 mandates presently in place, the Committee had failed to effectively address the issue of duplicative and overlapping mandates, thus failing in its primary coordination function.  The Committee had the potential to contribute in a more meaningful way to the work of the Organization, if it reoriented its priorities to function as its creators had originally envisioned.


The representative of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union, confirmed the Union’s determination to work with the Committee for Programme and Coordination to accomplish its mission, which was to provide guidelines on programming and to diminish the risk of useless duplication.  In that regard, results-based management was an important process, and the assistance of the Secretariat was vital.  The Committee should use the limited time assigned to it to the optimum.  Also, a closer dialogue between the Committee for Programme and Coordination and other bodies would enhance the Committee’s work.


Most speakers also commended the Committee for Programme and Coordination for its efforts to improve its working methods and procedures.  As reported by the Committee’s Chairman, Ron Adam, the Committee’s forty-seventh session this year had produced an outcome on that issue for the first time in several years.  Some of its recommendations related to the decision to devote the first day of its session to briefings for delegations, the need to ensure timely issuance of relevant documentation, efforts to enhance the dialogue on coordination issues with the Joint Inspection Unit and the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination secretariat; and the need to devote more time to informal consultations, while encouraging the presence of senior members of the Secretariat.


In that connection, India’s representative noted that the Committee had demonstrated the required spirit and will for adapting to the fast-changing needs of the Organization and the high expectations of Member States.  He said reform was a continuous process that required diligence and timing.  He was satisfied that the progress made in the past years on this issue was further consolidated in the current Committee for Programme and Coordination session.  He fully endorsed its recommendations on improving its working methods and procedures and was convinced that its pursuit of excellence would continue in the future.


The representative of the Russian Federation said that the Committee could make a real contribution to improving the strategic framework and strengthening planning.  It could also provide clear recommendations to Member States on those and other matters.  In that connection, he believed that the agenda item on the methods of work and procedures could be dropped from the Committee’s agenda, which would it make it easier for it to focus on substantive matters.


Statements this morning were also made by representatives of Belarus and Cuba.


The Committee will take up the Development Account at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 30 October.


Background


The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) met this morning to begin its consideration of the Organization’s programme planning.


The Committee had before it the Secretary-General’s report on experience gained in the planning and budgeting process (document A/62/81), which discusses the evolving elements of programme planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, and the role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) in reviewing planning and budget documents.  Noting that the introduction of results-based management and budgeting concepts have been among the most recent changes to the aforementioned processes, the report offers several additional recommendations to the General Assembly concerning the Organization’s strategic framework, proposed budget outline and biennial programme budgets and the Regulations and Rules Governing Programme Planning.


Adopting a draft resolution on programme planning at the conclusion of its sixty-first regular session, the Assembly took no decision on part one (plan outline) of the proposed strategic framework for 2008-2009, which constitutes the Organization’s principal policy directive for the biennium.  In response to criticism that the process was too complex, protracted, disjointed, time-consuming and rigid, the first such document was prepared on a trial basis for 2006-2007, to replace the previous four-year plan.


However, the Assembly decided on eight main priorities for 2008-2009, on the basis of which the Secretary-General was to prepare his next budget proposal:  maintenance of international peace and security; sustainable development; development of Africa; human rights; coordination of humanitarian assistance; justice and international law; disarmament; and drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism.


After reviewing the format, content and duration of the strategic framework, the Secretary-General, in the “experience” report, called on the Assembly to decide if the planning instrument for 2010-2011 should, indeed, be the strategic framework.  Member States’ debates about the relevance of including part one in the framework, as well as the CPC’s role in reviewing the part if it is, indeed, relevant continue to this day.  The initial report on the creation of the strategic framework also sought to revise the role of the CPC, so as only to be responsible for reviewing part one, but not part two of the framework, as it had in the past.  Currently, only when there are changes to the programmatic elements, as approved by the Assembly, would the programme budget be submitted to the CPC.


During recent sessions, some Member States have expressed the view that the plan outline focuses on format and activities, does not provide an idea of expected accomplishments and reforms, does not include important mandates in a timely fashion and is lengthy.  For these reasons, the plan has not been approved for the past two reporting periods.  Therefore, the report taken up today calls on the Assembly to make two decisions:  whether part one should continue to be included in the two-part document; and whether the CPC should continue its review and any changes to it, as reflected in the biennial proposed programme budget.


Debates among Member States throughout the past six years have also led to delays in consensus on the long-term objectives of the Organization within the strategic framework, although consensus has been reached on addressing specific challenges at the programme and sub-programme level.  In that regard, the Assembly requested a report be submitted during the current session on measures to strengthen self-evaluation by programme managers and to ensure more extensive and uniform use of self-evaluation at the programme and sub-programme levels.  It was also important to develop and implement common professional standards and methodologies throughout the United Nations and to ensure that managers had the resources at hand to do so.


Up for debate was also whether the Advisory Committee should continue to review the Secretary-General’s proposed budget outline and proposed biennial programme budget.  In addition, the report noted that some Member States felt the review process by intergovernmental bodies continued to be duplicative.  On the other hand, others pointed out that the process helped to coordinate and reconcile potential inconsistencies between central and decentralized mandates, as well as to express a shared commitment to the work of the Organization as a whole.


Therefore, the report noted that the Assembly might also want to request that the Secretary-General undertake a review and submit proposals during the sixty-fourth session on the Regulations and Rules Governing Programme Planning and continue strengthening results-based management, including monitoring and evaluation activities.  Furthermore, the Secretary-General might also want to ensure that training on programme planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation be fully integrated and included in any orientation courses for senior managers to enhance their commitment to results-based management.  In conclusion, the report noted that the elements of planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation showed room for improvement, although the overall machinery for their implementation was in place.


The report of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (document A/62/16) details that body’s forty-seventh session, in which it reviewed the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations, took up the proposed programme budget for 2008-2009 and discussed the issues of evaluation and coordination, as well as several reports of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU).


On programme questions, the Committee recommended maintaining the strategic framework as the principal policy directive of the United Nations, which serves as the basis for programme planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, with effect from the biennium 2010-2011.  Also recommended by the CPC is continuation of including part one:  plan outline in the strategic framework, while requesting the Secretary-General to improve the format of that document and reflection of longer-term objectives therein, elaborating on the priorities agreed to by Member States.


As recommended by the Committee, the Assembly would also reaffirm that the Committee for Programme and Coordination shall continue to review the programmatic aspects of the new or revised mandates approved subsequent to the adoption of the programme plan, as well as any differences arising between the biennial programme plan and the programmatic aspects of the budget proposal.  The Committee would also continue to perform its role in reviewing the strategic framework.


The Committee’s comments on the budget sections’ narratives have been included in the budget backgrounder (see Press Release GA/AB/3818 of 25 October).


The Committee also discussed improving its working methods and procedures, reaffirming its role as the main subsidiary organ of the Economic and Social Council and General Assembly for planning, programming and coordination.  Among the measures to strengthen CPC’s role and effectiveness, the report lists the decision to devote the first day of each session to briefings for delegations on the mandate of the Committee, programme of work, documentation and other issues.  The Committee stressed the need to continue to improve the responsiveness and accountability of processes within the Secretariat and to ensure timely issuance of all relevant documents to guarantee their proper consideration.  It also decided to devote one or two meetings of its session to a high-level discussion of a specific issue in its programme of work related to coordination.  Among other things, the Committee recognized the need to enhance its dialogue on coordination issues with the Joint Inspection Unit and the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) secretariat and decided that more time would now be devoted to informal consultations, encouraging the presence of senior-level members of the Secretariat.


Introduction of Documents


RON ADAM, Chairman of the Committee for Programme and Coordination, introduced that body’s report, saying that the document contained its recommendations on progress and impact of management improvement measures, as well as programme questions, including the experience gained in the planning and budgeting process.  The Committee had also reviewed a number of evaluation reports by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), as well as coordination questions, including for the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).  Finally, the Committee had considered the issue of improving its working methods and procedures within the framework of its mandate.


He said the Committee had made recommendations on programmes and sub-programmes of the budget, including on sustainable forest management; political affairs; peacebuilding support; peacekeeping; legal affairs; economic and social affairs; trade and development; environment; human settlements; development of Africa; management and support services; and internal oversight.  On the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations, the Committee had recommended that the Assembly review the usefulness of the preparation of the report and decide on the necessity of its further consideration by the General Assembly and the Committee.


With regard to evaluations, the Committee had considered OIOS reports on the in-depth evaluation of political affairs, recommending endorsement of a number of the Office’s recommendations and reiterating the importance of the evaluation function.  On coordination, the Committee had welcomed the initiative of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination to conduct a review of its functioning and emphasized the need to make the Board more efficient, results-oriented, transparent and accountable to Member States.  In connection with NEPAD, the Committee had welcomed the renewed commitment by the United Nations system to provide coordinated support for the Partnership through the 10-year capacity-building programme.


SHARON VAN BUERLE, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the experience gained in the planning and budgeting process.  She said that the two-year duration of the plan appeared to be appropriate, providing programme managers with a planning tool that was easily translated into a biennial programme budget.  The fact that the programmatic elements of the budget proposal were now required to be identical to the plan made the preparation and review of the budget less time-consuming.  Member States had the opportunity to review the plan prior to the start of budget preparation and to provide the appropriate guidance to the Secretary-General on the formulation of the budget to ensure implementation of the programme of work.


There had been general agreement on the presentation of the logical framework that was presented in part two:  biennial programme plan, she continued.  While improvements could still be made, the format of the plan had, by and large, been effective in implementing results-based management concepts.  The focus was no longer on outputs and activities, but on expected accomplishments and on how to measure whether they had been achieved.  Modifications in the budget due to new or revised mandates were reviewed by the Committee for Programme and Coordination.  In that regard, for 2008-2009, a consolidated report had been submitted for review by the Committee, together with the applicable budget sections.  In accordance with the recommendations of the Committee, the proposed programme budget for 2008-2009 also included the overall orientation for each programme that was presented in the biennial plan, in addition to the logical framework comprising the objective, expected accomplishments, and indicators of achievement.  Each budget section, by necessity, also included a brief summary of budgetary matters with respect to overall changes for that section.


Turning to difficulties encountered with regard to part one:  plan outline, she said that different approaches had been utilized in making strategic framework proposals for 2006-2007 and 2008-2009.  For both periods, the Assembly had only approved part two:  biennial programme plan.  Consequently, consideration was needed as to whether to maintain the plan outline.


Statements


CLOTILDE MESQUITA ( Portugal), speaking on behalf of the European Union, welcomed the report of the Committee, noting that the discussion on its programme of work had proceeded well.  She noted the Committee for Programme and Coordination has succeeded in having an open and useful dialogue on programmatic planning, in a way that fostered a fruitful discussion on working methods.  She noted that the Committee had envisaged that the first day of each session be reserved for briefings on important items.  To make the work of the Committee more relevant and efficient, she encouraged enhanced consultation with experts and the Secretariat.


She confirmed her determination to work with the Committee for Programme and Coordination to accomplish its mission, which was to provide guidelines on programming and to diminish the risk of useless duplication.  In that regard, results-based management was an important process.  The assistance of the Secretariat, too, was vital.  The Committee should use the limited time assigned to it to the optimum.  Concluding, she noted that a closer dialogue between the Committee for Programme and Coordination and other bodies would enhance the Committee’s work.  The European Union was preparing to embark on negotiations with other delegations, in that regard.


SIMIN MAHMUD JAN (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, noted that programme planning dealt with the crucial task of translating intergovernmental mandates into implementable programmes and underlined the importance of the work of the Committee for Programme and Coordination as the main subsidiary organ of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council for planning, programming and coordination.  She said that Committee gave guidance to the Secretariat on programme design by:  interpreting legislative intent; considering and developing evaluation procedures for improvement of the programme design; and making recommendations to avoid overlapping duplication -– all tasks that made the Committee’s work the core of the Assembly’s capacity to provide oversight.


She, therefore, commended the work of the Committee for Programme and Coordination to improve its working methods, which addressed a broad range of issues from improved time management and coordination to an accountability mechanism for late issuance of documentation.  Efforts towards improvement were a manifestation of the Committee’s ability to respond to the changing needs of the United Nations and would add further value to the Committee’s work.  She noted that the Group highly valued the input provided by the Committee and fully endorsed the recommendations contained in its report.


Pledging support for the Committee recommendation on maintaining the format, content and duration of the Strategic Framework Plan, including part one, she highlighted the importance of part one as an essential component of the Framework, as it captured the long-term objectives of the Organization.  However, she believed the Framework’s format needed to be improved to better reflect the agreed priorities of the United Nations.  She endorsed the recommendations of the Committee, in that regard.  With regard to changes in the proposed programme budget for 2008-2009, she welcomed the guidance provided by the Committee on the programmatic aspects of the changes in the biennial programme plan for 2008-2009.  In that connection, she reiterated the central role of the Committee and noted, with concern, that all of the budget fascicles were not available during discussion on the item and that translation of some of the fascicles contained inaccuracies.  She highlighted the importance of the General Assembly in deciding on those changes, since they had a direct impact on the implementation of the 2008-2009 budget by the Secretariat.


Regarding the initiative of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination to conduct a review of its functioning, in order to make it more results-oriented and accountable to Member States, she highlighted the Committee for Programme and Coordination recommendation for the Board’s continued monitoring of the effective collaboration of the system-wide efforts against hunger and poverty.  With regard to the United Nations support for NEPAD, she said the Committee for Programme and Coordination has rightly stressed the crucial role of the Special Adviser on Africa in inter-agency cooperation and in institutionalizing the United Nations support for NEPAD.  The Group attached high importance to the valuable contribution NEPAD had been making in Africa and urged the Secretary-General to fill the vacancy.


ANDREW S. HILLMAN ( United States) said that the United States had vigorously supported the creation of the Committee for Programme and Coordination in the expectation that it would serve as an effective intergovernmental tool for coordinating activities within the United Nations system and for performing meaningful, in-depth evaluation of United Nations programmes.  For over 30 years since its inception in 1974, the United States had served continuously as a member of the Committee.  The concept underlying the creation of the Committee had been a good one -– to establish a committee composed of representatives from interested Member States who possessed sufficient expertise and understanding of the system to coordinate the programmes authorized by the Assembly and Economic and Social Council.  Sadly, with more than 9,000 mandates presently in place and the failure of the Committee to effectively address the issue of duplicative and overlapping mandates, it was clear that it had failed in its primary coordination function.  In light of those fundamental substantive shortcomings, as well as the Committee’s lack of meaningful progress in reforming its working methods and procedures, the United States had decided not to seek re-election to the Committee when its term expired at the end of 2006.


For the past several years, the Committee had consistently been a disappointment for his country, he continued.  The Committee had the potential to contribute in a more meaningful way to the work of the Organization, if it reoriented its priorities to function as its creators had originally envisioned.  Until it did so, the question remained as to whether it should be continued, at least in its present form.  He believed the Committee needed to take steps to enhance its review of performance and evaluation reports and focus on addressing the relevance, usefulness, efficiency and effectiveness of the work carried out under a given programme.  The Committee should also provide action-oriented recommendations, rather than serving as yet another venue for members to express and debate their differing views on various United Nations programmes.


Programme planning was an essential element in the ongoing success of the Organization, he said in conclusion.  If there was no effective coordination among the many programmes and activities in which the United Nations engaged, then valuable resources would continue to be wasted and the United Nations would not achieve its desired objectives.


YURIY P. SPIRIN (Russian Federation) said that the basic principles that should guide the Committee for Programme and Coordination in its consideration of programme changes could be summed as follows:  the strategies and the Secretariat’s expected accomplishments should be in accord with the mandates of intergovernmental bodies, and indicators of achievements should be clearly tied with expected accomplishments and comply with qualitative and quantitative evaluation.  His delegation attached great importance to the search for optimal algorithms for results-based planning, which should allow the United Nations to react more clearly to new challenges and changes in priorities.  It should also ensure greater accountability of the Secretariat and provide an opportunity to evaluate the results and final accomplishments.  That was not a simple matter, and at times the Secretariat did not wish to insert higher indicators of achievements into the plan.  The role of Member States was extremely important here, in effectively assessing the work of the Secretariat and making changes, as necessary.  The system of planning should assist Member States in evaluating the achievement of planned goals and in seeing if resources allocated facilitated their achievement.


As for the Secretary-General’s report on the experience gained in the planning and budgeting process (document A/62/81), he said that, basically, his delegation was pleased with the implementation of the experiment of reforming the budgeting process of the United Nations.  At the same time, further improvements were needed to improve the format of the budget, in order to ensure the achievement of concrete results and more effective use of financial and human resources in accordance with the priorities of the Organization, while ensuring strict budgetary discipline.  In so doing, it was important to understand that setting the priorities of the United Nations was the prerogative of Member States, which should be involved in monitoring and evaluating the budget at every stage.  They should have all the necessary information to make informed decisions.


He supported the Committee for Programme and Coordination’s recommendations to maintain the strategic framework as the principal policy directive of the United Nations, which serves as the basis for programme planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, with effect from the biennium 2010-2011.  He also believed that the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) should certainly continue to be involved in considering the budget proposals on the programmes of the United Nations.  Worthy of attention was the Secretary-General’s proposal on holding a review of the rules and regulations of programme planning to produce recommendations for the sixty-fourth session and to ensure proper professional training for senior officials on programme planning, budgeting and evaluation issues.


As of its thirty-eighth session, the Committee for Programme and Coordination had considered improvements in its work methods and procedures, he continued.  There had been lively discussions on the future of the Committee and enhancement of its output.  Nevertheless, the Committee, for the first time in several years, had agreed on measures to enhance its effectiveness.  The Committee could make a real contribution to improving the strategic framework and strengthening planning.  It could also provide clear recommendations to Member States on those and other matters.  In that connection, he believed that the agenda item on the methods of work and procedures could be dropped from the Committee’s agenda, which would it make it easier for it to focus on substantive matters.


YURY YAROSHEVICH ( Belarus) said he was pleased with the report of the Committee for Programme and Coordination.  He called the work of the Committee a comprehensive and balanced basis for future work in budget monitoring and evaluation.   He welcomed the improvements in working methods and procedures and commended its work on the 2008-2009 proposed programme budget.  He then brought to the Fifth Committee’s attention document A/62/69, the report on the progress and impact assessment of management improvement measures.  He noted that it offered some positive elements, but several provisions still required improvement.  Progress was made by the Secretariat on recommendations made by Member States on information and communications technology.  However, regarding paragraph 17b, he said he did not believe that the registered seven-fold increase for the Galaxy system, which called for up to $350,000 a year, would increase the effectiveness of managing human resources.


He said the report of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) could also be made more analytical.  Concluding, he said that the Committee was the main subsidiary body in planning, evaluation and coordination to the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council and that only active work by Member States could enhance its effectiveness.


THAWAR CHAND GEHLOT ( India), associated himself with the statement of the Group of 77 and China, and noted that he attached great importance to the role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination as the main subsidiary body of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council for planning, programming and coordination.  He valued the Committee’s critical mandate of ensuring that the programmatic content of the budget conformed to legislative mandates.  The Committee accomplished its task with credibility, despite the perennial constraint of the late issuance of relevant documentation during its session.  He once again called on the Secretariat to adhere to the six-week rule for issuance of documents, to enable intergovernmental bodies, like the Committee, to fulfil their tasks.


Commending the Committee for efforts towards improvement, he noted that it had demonstrated the required spirit and will for adapting to the fast-changing needs of the Organization and the high expectations of Member States.  He said reform was a continuous process that required diligence and timing.  He was satisfied that the progress made in the past years on the issue was further consolidated in the current session.  He fully endorsed the Committee’s recommendations on improving its working methods and procedures and was convinced that its pursuit of excellence would continue in the future.


He supported the maintenance of the strategic framework as the principal policy directive of the Organization and attached particular importance to part one of the plan.  The format of part one should be improved to accurately reflect the priorities of the Organization as agreed to by Member States, which would give clear directions to the Secretariat in making priorities of budgetary allocations, thereby leading to avoidance of situations wherein high-priority areas, like development, were marginalized.  He supported the recommendations of the Committee for Programme and Coordination on the proposed programme budget for 2008-2009 and looked forward to pursuing those recommendations in the Fifth Committee, although he recognized that some budget fascicles were not issued in time for the consideration of the Committee for Programme and Coordination.  He hoped that such an omission would not be repeated in the future.


He said evaluation was a vital management instrument for analysing the impact of the implementation of the Organization’s programme of work, and that it also provided information about whether resources committed towards that implementation were being utilized in an efficient and effective manner.  He said India had always supported monitoring and evaluation in the programme planning cycle, calling to the Fifth Committee’s attention the importance of considering the Office of Internal Oversight Services’ report on the in-depth evaluation of political affairs, as a facet of the work of the Committee for Programme and Coordination.  He also underscored the importance of timing and sequencing of evaluation reports, in order to enable management to incorporate the lessons learned from the process in designing future programmes.


Regarding the Committee for Programme and Coordination’s recommendations on NEPAD, he called attention to the central and critical role of the Special Adviser on Africa for the global coordination of support for NEPAD and on the need for the United Nations System to cooperate fully with the Office of the Special Adviser in relation to its support for NEPAD.  He was concerned that, currently, there was no Special Adviser and called for the expeditious filling of the post.  In particular, he endorsed the recommendation to the General Assembly that the Office of the Special Adviser ensure that United Nations support for NEPAD moved from debate, assessments and recommendations to tangible actions and results, covering NEPAD projects across the continent.


Mr. CUMBERBATCH ( Cuba) supported the position of the Group of 77 and China and said that programme planning was vital for the Organization, making it possible for legislative mandates of an intergovernmental nature to become concrete activities.  That was why the process of evaluation of programme planning was given particular attention at every phase.  In that regard, Cuba underscored the role of the Committee for Programme and Coordination as the main subsidiary organ of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council for coordination, planning and evaluation.  The results of the Committee’s forty-seventh session confirmed the relevance of its recommendations and conclusions, which he endorsed.  His delegation would work to ensure that amendments adopted by the Committee were included in the programmes it considered.  Notwithstanding progress in programme planning, however, he was concerned that the Committee had been unable, as yet, to adopt certain sections of the programme.  In that context, he highlighted the importance of having the Committee able to evaluate the narratives of the budget, to enhance the work of the Assembly.


He also stressed that in some fascicles of the proposed budget, the descriptions of the programmes were different from those adopted in overall orientation parts of the biennial programme plan for 2008-2009, including identification of some sub-programmes and introduction of elements foreign to the programme adopted, issues that did not have legislative mandates.  He appealed to the Secretariat to ensure that the description of the programmes in budget fascicles were identical to those adopted in the programme priorities.  He recognized the value of Committee recommendations and was gratified that the Committee had managed to draw a set of important recommendations on its working methods.  He hoped those would be applied in full and that, in time, they would demonstrate their effectiveness.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.