UNDP/UNFPA: UN Reform and Delivering as One

1/31/2011 // Norwegian Minister Counsellor Gjermund Sæther, presented the following statement at the First Regular Session of Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)and of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The statement was presented on behalf of Ireland, Malawi, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and the United Kingdom.

Madam Chair,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of Ireland, Malawi, Mozambique, The Netherlands, Rwanda, The United Kingdom, The United Republic of Tanzania and my home country Norway.

Allow me, though, to welcome the statement delivered by Madam Helen Clark, the UNDP Administrator, reporting the progress made thus far through the “Delivering as One”(DaO) effort and for providing the vision on the challenges ahead on her role as the Chair of the UNDG.

Indeed, Madam Administrator, while we commend your vocal support of the reform effort and personal commitment to champion of UN Reform, we look forward to your continued leadership and even greater support in guiding the reform efforts within the UN system in the critical months ahead.

Madam Chair,

The UN reform, and the “Delivering as One” initiative is a continuous endeavor to realign the UN system with the ever changing realities and needs of the developing world. Therefore, the ownership and leadership of the programme countries constitute the basic principle to make the UN reform process meaningful and relevant.

And for that to happen, the political will for this reform cannot be left only in the hearts and minds of individuals within the UN System and member states. Rather, it must be institutionalized into a form that can both capture the original spirit and vision of the reform, and maintain them in the longer term perspective of the individuals and institutions involved, as well as of those directly benefiting from it.

The objectives of UN Reform was clear to all stakeholders early in the process.  Despite disagreements in the membership and within the UN agencies regarding the nature of changes required and how they were to be reached, there is a growing concern that a common vision for continued reform may be lacking.

It is in this regard, that our seven countries look forward to a clear vision and strong engagement for continued reform from the UN senior leadership, specially the UNDG, which will demonstrate to all stakeholders the direction and the shape that the UN system will take in the future.

One conclusion after the intergovernmental meetings of the pilot programme countries of the “DaO” initiative held in Maputo, Kigali, 2009, and Hanoi , is that there is no way going back. The next step is the Independent evaluation of the “DaO” that is now starting. 

Madam Chair,

We share the analysis that much progress have been made on the process leading to the UN system to working together towards delivering as one at country level. However, we are of the view that the UNDP should play a more central role in  focusing on “DaO” for a greater coherent, effective and efficient UN development system.

Indeed, the UNDP has a critical role as the manager of the Resident Coordination System of the UNDG and the support it provides to the common UN system.

The experiences from the programme pilot countries have shown us that for effective coordination between UN agencies, as well as for the UN to truly deliver as one at the country level, the capacities for coordination have to be strengthened. Hence, the UNDP must enhance the mechanisms for supporting UN Country Teams and Regional Offices in the field.

Madam Chair,

We note with great appreciation the excellent services and support that are currently being provided by the UNDP’s Multi Donor Trust Fund Office to the pilots and other countries that have adopted the One Fund at the country level.

Let me conclude by reiterating the full commitment and the readiness of our seven countries to continue engaged constructively towards ensuring that this process brings system-wide results and impact of the work of the United Nations system for development at country-level.

I thank you.

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