– Check against delivery –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Acceding country Croatia*, the candidate countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
The European Union and its Member States attach great importance to the upcoming Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review of UN operational activities for development.
We welcome the Secretary General’s report, and consider the analysis and recommendations contained therein – building on the wide-ranging and consultative preparatory process undertaken by DESA, in particular – to represent a solid basis for our forthcoming discussions.
The UN system – with its norm-setting agenda and interconnected mandates on human rights, peace and security and development – plays a key role as a convening and implementing body of critical global public goods.
As we intensify our efforts towards achieving the MDGs by 2015, take forward the outcomes of Rio+20 and work together on forging a shared vision for the post-2015 development agenda, demonstrating that the UN operational activities are working effectively, efficiently and coherently to deliver sustainable development outcomes is crucial.
The QCPR should pay due regard to the need for delivery that is results-oriented, effective, coherent and addresses cross-cutting concerns, and that meets the legitimate and ever increasing needs for transparency and accountability.
A significant institutional achievement of the UN since the TCPR, has undoubtedly been the establishment of UN Women. It is incumbent on us to ensure that we fully equip the UN system to address fully what is one of the key drivers of development, gender equality and women’s empowerment, so as to ensure that UN Women’s system wide mandate is implemented.
The EU and its Member States are supportive of multilateral organisations that are efficient and effective. In 2010, we collectively provided over 40% of total core funding for UN development-related activities. We look forward to further discussions on ways to improve the quality of funding to the UN system. We believe that all Member States share a common interest in ensuring adequate and predictable funding of the strategic plans they approve in the respective governing bodies of UN development agencies. In this regard, we see a need for a more structured dialogue in the governing bodies on how to achieve this. We look forward to discussions as part of the QCPR on ways to further strengthen the predictability, flexibility and alignment of funding, particularly non-core funding, for UN operational activities.
The issue of cost-recovery is closely related to the topic of funding. We feel strongly that core funding should not be used to subsidize earmarked funding. In this regard we look forward to further discussions as part of the QCPR on ways to ensure that the principle of full cost-recovery is adhered to across the UN-system and other possible incentives towards improving the quality of especially non-core funding to the UN-system.
Overall, we believe that all funding – core and non-core – should be delivered in a way that promotes coherence, is responsive to needs, and delivers the maximum development impact. Here, we believe that the principles confirmed at Busan last December should guide the funding practices of all Member States. The QCPR should encourage agencies to increase transparency on costs and instil a culture of cost and value awareness, including in programming, to ensure that we are achieving as much as possible with the funds we have.
Equally, the UN system needs to further strengthen and put in place robust results frameworks and results-based management systems. These instruments are key for demonstrating development impact and for ensuring that all funding is in line with those frameworks and the strategic plans agreed by the governing bodies of UN development agencies.
The DaO independent evaluation has clearly shown that a more coherent UN approach at country-level has strengthened national ownership and leadership, allowed for better alignment to national priorities, reduced transaction costs for national governments, and contributed to improved coherence and effectiveness of UN activities at the country-level, including better ability to address cross-cutting issues. It is time for the UN system to come up with a new business model with Standard Operating Procedures that would enable the effective functioning of the DaO principles on the ground.
The QCPR should lead to specific, concrete actions at a system-wide level and incorporate the DaO principles in order to ensure that they are applied throughout the UN system in support of more coherent and effective country-level programming and delivery, while always recognising that “one size does not fit all”.
We especially recognize the importance of horizontal and vertical accountability between the RC-function and the UNCT, as well as headquarters, and the need for full and immediate implementation of the Management and Accountability Framework.
To enable effective and coherent country-level delivery, both the independent evaluation and the stakeholder surveys undertaken by DESA have underlined that there is an urgent need for the UN system to address bottlenecks at the headquarter-level through streamlining of programming, funding, reporting and accountability mechanisms, and further harmonisation and simplification of business practices. In this context, we believe that adequate incentive structures for a cultural change within the UN agencies are of the utmost importance.
Development rarely, if ever, happens in a linear fashion. Development programs therefore need to address a broad spectrum of activities from service delivery to preparedness, disaster risk reduction, as well as capacity and resilience-building. The QCPR offers an opportunity to strengthen further the capacities of the Resident Coordinator, especially in humanitarian situations, conflict- and post conflict countries, to address issues such as programming, flexibility, risk management, effective cooperation with international partners as well as improved coordination and integrated approaches across the UN system of security, political, development and humanitarian actors, including a stronger role for women in these situations.
The European Union and its Member States greatly value the UN operational activities for development and recognize their relevance. We look forward to constructive negotiations this autumn and a successful outcome for the QCPR.
* Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+ Iceland continues to be a member of EFTA and the European Economic Area.