Guiding Operational Activities for Development

Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review

The QCPR is the mechanism through which the General Assembly assesses the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact of UN operational activities for development and establishes system-wide policy orientations for the development cooperation and country-level modalities of the UN system in response to the evolving international development and cooperation environment.

The QCPR is the primary policy instrument of the General Assembly to define the way the UN development system operates to support programme countries in their development efforts.

The QPCR is adopted every four years in the General Assembly. The most recent review took place in 2016, culminating in General Assembly resolution 71/243, which guides the UN development system’s support to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and further builds on the 2012 QCPR mandates towards an effective, efficient and coordinated system.

In the spring of 2018, the General Assembly adopted a historic resolution on the repositioning of the UN development system (GA resolution 72/279). Rooted in the 2030 Agenda, this resolution originated from the calls of Member States in the 2016 QCPR for a more strategic, accountable, effective and efficient UN development system. It delivers the mandates for a new generation of UN Country Teams, an impartial and empowered Resident Coordinator system, and a two-step approach to reposition the regional level, and welcomes a Funding Compact.

The UN Secretary-General leads the preparation for the QCPR resolution, with his report on its implementation, and a body of analytical work as background information in support of Member States’ deliberations. Starting in 2019, the Secretary-General’s annual review of the implementation of the QCPR includes a review of the mandates contained in the resolution on the repositioning of the UN development system.

In the Fall of 2020, negotiations on the 2020 QCPR resolution will take place and a new resolution will be considered by the General Assembly. For the dates of key events connected to the 2020 QCPR, please visit the “QCPR in 2020” page.

The QCPR process was envisioned as a shared responsibility of the GA & ECOSOC, with ECOSOC conducting the informed review and the GA issuing the respective resolution to evaluate UN effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact and guide the system in supporting developing countries in implementing the 2030 sustainable development agenda.

The implementation of the QCPR is reviewed annually through the ECOSOC segment on Operational Activities for Development.

ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment

Each year, ECOSOC’s Operational Activities for Development Segment reviews UN policies, including the implementation of the General Assembly’s quadrennial comprehensive policy review, which guides the UN development system’s work with countries around the world in making progress on all dimensions of sustainable development. Starting in 2019, the Segment also reviews the implementation of General Assembly resolution 72/279 on the repositioning of the UN development system.

Governing boards of each entity manage their operations and they report to ECOSOC. In turn, ECOSOC provides overall guidance on system-wide issues to the UN development system, recognizing that poverty eradication and sustainable development issues are complex and interrelated, and the most effective responses are well coordinated. 

The 2020 Segment will take place from 19 to 21 May 2020.