Photo: Norway UN/Mariken Bruusgaard Harbitz.Photo: Norway UN/Mariken Bruusgaard Harbitz

ECOSOC: 2014 Operational activities for development segment

Last updated: 2/26/2014 // Statement held by H.E. Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Chargé D’Affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, on the 26th of February.

Vice-president, distinguished members of ECOSOC, excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

The UN has a unique role through its legitimacy, universality and broad country presence. This role needs to be strengthened in the time to come as we face a changing development landscape. A will to stay relevant is crucial, based on flexibility to adapt to shifting global and country contexts, and continuously improve ways of doing business.

We appreciate that the UNDS has acted quickly in response to the expectations for continued reform contained in the QCPR resolution. The most recent example is the development of the UNDG Headquarters action plan to facilitate implementation of the DaO.  

We welcome the QCPR Monitoring Framework, developed in close collaboration between DESA and UNDG and incorporating the previously developed UNDG QCPR Action Plan. We are pleased to see a consistent framework and believe this will form a good basis for meaningful and systematic monitoring of the QCPR, without overburdening the system with reporting requirements.

However, baselines and targets are still largely missing and need to be in place as soon as possible in order to assess progress.

We further welcome the work of those entities which have incorporated QCPR indicators in the organization-wide results frameworks, accompanying their strategic plans for 2014-2017 – and encourage all other relevant entities to do the same.

Mr  Vice president,

The strengthened role of ECOSOC is appreciated; in particular it’s Operational Segment, as a forum for system-wide dialogue on reform issues.  We expect that the QCPR Monitoring Framework will enhance the evidence base for assessing progress and feed into more analytical SG reports in the coming years. This will improve our informed dialogues in ECOSOC on progress made and remaining shortcomings to be addressed.

However, we are concerned that the way the UNDS is funded may constrain commonly agreed reform efforts and ability at country level to enhance results:

There is a continued imbalance between core and non-core resources. Prevailing high level of strictly earmarked funding, such as single donor project-specific support, provides disincentives to system-wide focus and coherence. This will potentially distort common priorities, increase fragmentation and unhealthy competition as well as transaction costs.  Non-core resources must become more predictable and flexible and the donor base broader. Structured dialogues for this purpose in the governing bodies of the organizations are urgently needed. This requires a comprehensive overview of the importance of different types of earmarked funding, beyond what is presented in the SG’s report.

Continued efforts to improve incentives to enhance core funding and flexible earmarked funding are needed, through more equal burden-sharing between core and non-core funded programs and projects.

UN reform at country level requires an empowered Resident Coordinator. Not all entities have yet lived up to the UNDG cost-sharing agreement. As member states we have to take our part of the responsibility. We must ensure that the respective share of the organizations lagging behind is included in their budgets.

The UNDS needs to prove its continued relevance.

This is two-faceted:

Firstly, results, including on cross-cutting priorities like gender equality and women’s empowerment, must be documented. The UNDS has made good progress in simplifying and harmonizing planning instruments and processes. It is now time to demonstrate that this leads to better results.  Also - improved organization-wide results reporting by agencies and common results reporting at country level (especially in DaO countries) is needed.  

Continued relevance also requires flexibility to adjust to a changing development landscape. We need an open and frank discussion about

- the areas of work the UNDS engage in in different types of countries

- the division of labor within the UN family and between the UN and other actors, and

- better coherence between the engagement of the UNDS and political/integrated missions in conflict-ridden countries,

Mr Vice-president

The discussion at this segment is a good start in exploring how the UN best can contribute to a transformative change and improved living conditions those in need.

Thank you.



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