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15 October 2008 - United Nations System Development Operational Activities - Item 54

Statement delivered by Mr. Philippe DELACROIX European Union Presidency Coordinator in New York

UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION

Madam Chairperson,

I am honoured to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Candidate Countries Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Montenegro, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.

This statement rounds out the first elements presented in July 2008, during the ECOSOC segment relating to operational activities.

1/ UNSG Report on the implications of aligning the strategic planning cycles of the United Nations funds and programmes with the comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development.

The European Union would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report on the implications of aligning the strategic planning cycles of the United Nations funds and programmes with the comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development (A/63/207).

This report, which addresses the request made in the resolution relating to the comprehensive triennial review of development operational activities (A/RES/62/208), presents valuable options for synchronizing strategic planning cycles of the United Nations funds and programmes with that of the comprehensive review. NL This type of alignment might facilitate integrating recommendations into the new strategies of these organizations more easily. The coherence of the United Nations system as regards development would thereby be enhanced.

As the report underscores, setting up a quadrennial cycle would enable both promoting better consideration of guidelines under the review of operational activities and ensure a more optimal follow-up via a mid-term progress report. Consequently, the United Nations’ work would be rebalanced.

Synchronizing the four main funds and programmes - that is, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP) - would be possible, regardless of the option selected. The funds associated with the UNDP, i.e. the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nation Volunteers (UNV), might also be considered for this.

The two options presented by the report each have their merits, even if Option 1 presented by the report would appear to require the fewest adjustments to the current planning cycles of most programs.

We would like to engage in a comprehensive dialogue on how to proceed in order to adopt a text on alignment at this General Assembly session. The synchronization of planning cycles would represent real progress in stepping up United Nations development efforts.

2 / Report of the UN Secretary-General on Trends in contributions to operational activities for development of the United Nations system and measures to promote an adequate, predictable and expanding base of United Nations development assistance

The European Union welcomes the Secretary-General’s report on Trends in contributions to operational activities for development of the United Nations system and measures to promote an adequate, predictable and expanding base of United Nations development assistance (A/63/201).

The last resolution on the Triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system (A/RES/62/208) recalled the need to provide the UN with adequate and timely resources so they it fulfill its mandates.

If United Nations activities for development often suffer the voluntary nature of their funding, it remains that they have received a significant increase in donor contributions, particularly from European countries, partly designed to strengthen their core resources. The EU has particularly contributed to this effort for development assistance. It committed to further enhance this collective effort and, in line with the Paris Declaration, to improve the aid predictability.

The definition of best-practices for multilateral financing could be considered insofar as the United Nations system would continue to provide significant efforts to improve its capacity for strategic planning and evaluation, as well as its accountability framework. These efforts should be strengthened in the implementation of the Resolution on Triennial comprehensive policy review. In particular, the EU hopes that steps can be taken quickly to create a comprehensive, viable and stable system for data releases and financial reports on operational activities for development of all entities of the United Nations system.

Mobilization of adequate and predictable resources means that the United Nations should be able to provide an accurate assessment of their performances and efforts made to improve these performances. It also relies on the establishment of coordinated approaches for fund raising at the national, regional and global levels, which would take advantage of the strengths of each organization’s programmes. The setting of original mechanisms, such as those developed under the "Delivering as One" approach, is interesting in this context. Resource mobilization must finally rely on common strategies or partnerships with other actors such as regional banks or the private sector.

3 / Note by the Secretary General on the Activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women

The European Union welcomes the Secretary General’s note on the activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (A/63/205). It presented, as part of its statement under item 56 "Promotion of Women" in the 3rd Commission, a series of comments on the main elements of this note.

The European Union wishes to congratulate once again the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) for all its actions under the agenda identified in its multi-year funding framework 2004-2007. It encourages the Fund to continue to participate actively in the process to strengthen and make the United Nations system architecture more coherent in the areas of gender equality and women empowermen.

4/ Implementation of Resolution 62/208

The high-level meetings organized at the beginning of the 63rd session of the General Assembly on the development needs of Africa and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals recalled the importance of combining the efforts of all international actors to improve the economic and social situation of developing countries. In this regard, the implementation of Resolution A/RES/62/208 is an important tool for strengthening the role of the United Nations.

The European Union fully supports this implementation and would like to commend the efforts of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). The document on the Management and Accountability System for the UN development system and Resident Coordinator System represents significant progress towards strengthening their authority and responsibility on the ground. We encourage UNDG to continue along this path.

The European Union is also determined that UN system play its full part in the implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, whose principles were further developed at the High-Level Forum in Accra last September.

We now look forward to the results of the implementation of Resolution A/RES/62/208 and hope that this new exercise will help to achieve greater coordination among United Nations activities at local and central levels. We call upon UNDG to present proposals towards the implementation of the Accra Agenda for Action.



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