The Norwegian statement:
Secretary-General, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
Despite its teething troubles, Norway believes that the CERF has been a success. It is clear, however, that it requires ongoing development.
The CERF has improved the speed and predictability of its responses, especially to new emergencies. Chronically underfunded crises are also being dealt with in a better way.
The fund's wide donor base confirms the UN's role and credibility as today's key humanitarian actor.But the structures and procedures of the CERF are still new, and therefore vulnerable. They could very easily come under pressure.
Several challenges lie ahead.
Firstly, agencies have complained that approval processes are slow, due to lack of staff experience, lack of guidance and lack of appropriate tools.Agencies say that they want quicker and simpler access to funds, more time to spend them, and simplified reporting requirements. Norway believes that it is important that the new Emergency Relief Coordinator, the new head of the CERF Secretariat and the Advisory Group follow the continuing development of the fund closely.
The main challenge for the CERF, under its new leadership, will be to strike the right balance between efficiency and financial control.
Secondly, the fund needs to prove that it is achieving results. That it responds rapidly. That it is saving lives. And that it is adding value.
Thirdly, the CERF needs to develop its partnership with NGOs, not only as the implementing agents in projects, but also as strategic partners in the planning process. Today, many NGOs feel alienated from the CERF, and Norway therefore welcomes the new dialogue between the CERF Secretariat and NGO consortia on Werent models for strengthened cooperation.
Finally, the fund needs strong political and financial partners. I Norway sees itself as one of these. It wants to see more OECD countries give the CERF their support, and it wants to see an increase in the number of non-traditional donors.
Norway therefore intends to increase its contribution to the CERF significantly. Norway will contribute NOK 350 million (approximately USD 57 million) to the fund in 2007.
Norway trusts that the new Emergency Relief Coordinator, OCHA's dedicated staff, and the member states will together ensure that the CERF is able to function as effectively as possible in the many humanitarian crises around the world.