Committee For Programme And Coordination

I have the honour and privilege to introduce to this importantCommittee the strategic framework for 2010-2011 for the programme oneconomic and social affairs.

My Department, DESA, serves as the custodian of the UnitedNations development agenda. Our central objective is achievingdevelopment for all.

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

It is our job to do anything and everything that theintergovernmental process wants us to do: support intergovernmentaldebates and negotiations; facilitate understanding of new developmentchallenges; ensure that UN actors complement each other; and undertaketargeted capacity development.

As the Department’s head, I also serve as Convenerof the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, which bringstogether all the Secretariat entities that deal with development. Wehave embarked on this strategic framework exercise together, throughconsultations within ECESA on how to increase coherence and exploitsynergies in the Secretariat’s economic and socialactivities.

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

For DESA, our guiding objective in these exercises is tocreate a more coherent, focused, flexible and results-orientedDepartment, able to respond to the evolving and emerging needs ofMember States.

This means we are ever mindful not to duplicate the work ofothers. We consult regularly with our ECESA colleagues to strengthensynergies and coherence in the work of the development pillar. And weroot our proposals for future work in a firm understanding of thecomplex multi-stakeholder environment in which we operate, with UNsystem partners and non-UN partners, including civil society andprivate sector organizations.

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

A major thrust of the strategic framework before you is morestrategic implementation of the development agenda. This in turndemands quality analysis of cross-cutting issues, such as climatechange, the development-conflict nexus, innovative financing,international migration and development, violence against women, andindigenous issues, as well as support to national developmentstrategies to achieve the MDGs and other internationally agreeddevelopment goals. It also entails our ongoing efforts to identify,analyze and promote consensus on the economic policies and actionsnecessary at national and international levels to improve long-termdevelopment prospects.

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

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

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

Leading the multi-stakeholder monitoring and implementation ofthe Monterrey Consensus, and promoting coherence within the UnitedNations on issues related to financing for development, is a toppriority of the programme. The outcome at year’s end of theDoha Review Conference, which will also consider new challenges andemerging issues since Monterrey, will have a significant effect on ourwork in the next biennium.

The preparations for Doha are well underway and should beenriched by the outcomes of the other major events yet to take placethis year – not only the AMR and DCF, but also the G8 Summitin Japan, the Accra High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and theHigh-level Event on the MDGs, to be convened jointly by theSecretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, with DESAleading the substantive support.

To support the accountability and monitoring mechanisms at theintergovernmental level, requires enhanced monitoring capacity. MemberStates look to DESA as the only entity in the UN system that canprovide guidance on all MDG monitoring issues, and how to produce andanalyze the data.

DESA will continue to provide leadership in sustainabledevelopment. Recent intergovernmental activity in the areas of foodsecurity, climate change, energy, small island developing states, andsustainable consumption and production has challenged the programme toupgrade its capacity to support Member States’ efforts onsustainable development issues. We will also play a critical role infacilitating implementation of the non-legally binding instrument onall types of forests and supporting efforts to achieve the sharedglobal objectives on forests.

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

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

We will continue to strengthen international cooperation andenhance national capacity to address poverty eradication, employmentgeneration and social integration. In line with the developmentagenda’s emphasis on inclusion and attention to the needs ofthe most vulnerable, due regard will be given to issues relating toolder persons, persons with disabilities, family, youth, and indigenouspeoples.

Given the strong nexus between peace and development, theprogramme will enhance its focus on public administrationreconstruction and reform processes. It will continue to promotegreater awareness in key substantive areas of public administration,including e-governance, capacity-building and promotion ofprofessionalism and ethics in the public sector, and the use ofinformation and communication technology in government and resourcemanagement.

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

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

Thank you.

File date: 
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Statement by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairsto the Committee For Programme And CoordinationNew York, 19 June 2008