Global challenges – climate change, poverty, and endemic diseases – must be met by global measures. That is why we need a strong United Nations - a UN that is well funded, well governed and that can deliver. We welcome the useful reports on implementation of resolution 59/250 and acknowledge progress made in many areas though gaps still remain. The TCPR 2004 has been the basis of much progress towards coherence and improved efficiency of the UN’s operational activities. We must therefore reaffirm the decisions already made in 2004 and continue to build on them. Since 2004, the World Summit in 2005 called for stronger system-wide coherence and provided much guidance for the UN’s activities, both normative and operational – these must now be incorporated into the 2007 TCPR. In addition, many of the recommendations of the High Level Panel on System Wide Coherence are relevant for the TCPR and we should discuss these proposals on their own merit as they relate to the issues already contained in the TCPR.
Financing for development
Financing is crucial. The monitoring of the MDGs shows that development assistance must be increased substantially if we are to succeed by 2015. Donors need to live up to their commitments, including those of the Monterrey consensus. Norway stands ready to do her part and is striving towards 1% of overseas development assistance (ODA).
We fully agree with the G77 that the quantity, quality and predictability of development assistance from the UN is the key issue. The UN-system needs predictable funding and flexibility to deliver in accordance with national priorities and part-take in mechanisms such as budget support. We also agree that the imbalance between core and non-core resources must be addressed. The growth of non-core resources has led to fragmentation and distortions in the overall program orientation of many organizations. We must put in place incentives for redirecting ODA towards core-funding and predictable multi year pledges. Accountability is key in this regard, and an efficient and accountable UN-system would attract core financing. UN organisations must do their part to avoid fragmentation and competition over resources.
The Paris declaration on aid effectiveness sets progress indicators on ownership, alignment and harmonisation. According to the TCPR report, the UN is falling short on many of these indicators. With reference to the 2005 Summit Outcome Document, we should more clearly mainstream the Paris declaration into the UN system by including it in the TCPR.
That the UN is falling behind is worrisome. It means that the UN could become less relevant as an operational actor at country level. From discussions with development partners in their capitals we have already learned that many developing country governments find it increasingly complicated to cooperate with the plethora of UN entities at country level. As a donor, we can not in the long run defend spending scarce development funds through a system which host governments find unnecessarily complicated, and too much resources are spent on bureaucratic overheads instead of programmatic activities. Thus, member States from both developing and industrialized countries have a common interest in ensuring that the UN remains an effective development actor. This is what the negotiations of a new TCPR resolution should ensure and this is our responsibility as Member States.
Madam Chair, we need to improve the current system in some key areas:
Resident Coordinator – Country Level Coordination
The Resident Coordinator system is vital to ensure a coherent and responsive UN at country level and the Resident Coordinator must be seen to represent the UN system as a whole. We welcome the progress achieved on establishing system-wide performance criteria and accountability framework for the RC, and urge the speedy conclusions of these processes. Increased ownership of the system as a whole, recruitment of RC’s from other agencies, and clear separation of UNDP’s coordination vs. operational role are essential to strengthening the legitimacy of the RC.
Norway supports the strengthening of the RC-system by providing appropriate authority, resources and accountability as well as a common management, programming and monitoring framework.
As Member States, we have a responsibility to ensure effective intergovernmental governance that is responsive to national demands and that underpins national ownership. Norway welcomes the efforts being made by funds and programmes and the specialised agencies in the Chief Executive Board to facilitate greater cooperation and coherence at country level. We urge CEB to continue harmonisation of practices and removal of structural bottlenecks. However, some issues require attention at the intergovernmental level. We are currently faced with a situation where there is no established mechanism for operational oversight and supervision of joint programs and the “One programs” of the pilot countries. We propose that measures to address this problem are discussed during these TCPR negotiations.
Gender equality and empowerment of women
We welcome the clear structure that now exists in terms of mainstreaming gender equality and empowerment of women. However, as shown in the TCPR report, there are significant gaps in implementation, particularly with regards to accountability. The UN agencies should strive towards implementing what was asked for in the 2004 TCPR as well as move towards concrete proposals such as gender responsive budgeting, tracking allocations, building on lessons learned and sharing best practices, setting up monitoring and performance criteria. The RC should ensure that gender equality and empowerment of women are mainstreamed in the UN’s activities at the country level.
The interlinkage between development, peace and security and human rights was reaffirmed in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document which also called for the mainstreaming of human rights in all UN activities. A growing number of UN organisations have adopted human rights based approaches to development cooperation and incorporated this perspective into the analysis and planning framework. We wish to underline that the human rights based approach is not conditionality on aid, nor is it new. It is about ensuring that the UN system has the capacity to respond to countries needs and demands in this area. It is about enabling the UN, at the request from countries, to strengthen national capacities to implement international norms and standards in the area of human rights. The roles of the UN system in implementation at country level should be determined through agreements with national partners and in accordance with their mandates.
Perhaps the greatest challenge of our time is to manage and protect our environment and this challenge was addressed by our leaders in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. The protection of environment is an integrated component of sustainable development, and should be recognized as such as a part of the TCPR.
Post crisis/conflict situations require concerted and rapid action. The gap between relief and long-term recovery is still not bridged. The UN needs to develop a coherent and effective response framework, in support of national efforts and in collaboration with partners. Joint tool-kits such as the Post Conflict Needs Assessment are a welcome step forward, and the UN should consolidate its partnership with other actors such as the World Bank in this regard. The cluster approach has been instrumental in improving coordination; further efforts are needed in clarifying coordination, division of labour, leadership, sequencing and prioritisation. While keeping in mind successful interventions require us to do many things at the same time, and not adhere to a strict chronological phased approach. There is also a need for a flexible funding modality for the early recovery period as the CAPs and the early recovery cluster are clearly under funded. More attention should also be given to disaster risk reduction and conflict-management in a post-crisis, as well as a stronger focus on prevention in general.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Efficiency in terms of delivering results on the MDGs and accountability are key to increased financing of the UN. Monitoring and evaluation are crucial to establishing whether what is being done is yielding results. Norway expects the progress made on monitoring and evaluation to continue to improve and urge all UN bodies that have not yet done so, to adopt the principles and approaches set out in the UNEG norms and standards. We further urge UN organisations to strengthen the quality of Results-Based Management in the planning of programmes and projects in order to facilitate evaluation of results on the ground. Evaluations must remain independent and impartial while recognising the responsibilities of countries for evaluating the impact of the UN’s contribution to their national priorities and the need to strengthen national capacities. We encourage that a specific monitoring mechanism is set up for monitoring the next TCPR, including time bound targets and clear benchmarks.
Our common objective in the negotiations to come is to enable the UN system to respond more effectively to countries’ demands and to deliver better. Ownership, alignment and coordination are key words. Much progress has been made to modernise and strengthen the UN. We need to continue on this path. The most radical decision we can make about the UN is to decide that we do not have the political will to improve it, and for us that is no option.