ECOSOC DISCUSSES FUTURE OF OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES OF UN FUNDS AND PROGRAMMES, AND THE RESIDENT COORDINATORS SYSTEM
15 July 2011
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today held a dialogue with the executive heads of the United Nations funds and programmes on “looking to the future of operational activities for development of funds and programmes: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats,” and a panel discussion on “strengthening the leadership of the United Nations Resident Coordinator: role of accountability frameworks, resources and results reporting.”
In the dialogue on the future of operational activities for the developments of funds and programmes, Gonzalo Gutierrez Reinel, Vice-President of ECOSOC, said that, in a rapidly changing world, the United Nations system needed to adapt itself to meet the diverse and changing needs of developing countries. The Operational Activities Segment should incite reflection on how the United Nations system could best address new challenges and opportunities.
Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, said the United Nations Development Programme was increasingly under pressure to provide relevant and useful advice, share experiences and demonstrate the value of its activities. It was important to identify and assess opportunities. To realize these opportunities, it was critical that those in funds and programmes were joined at the hip and lip to work together. The United Nations needed to be transformed by joining up. This also required the support of Member States.
Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), said there was agreement that advancing gender equality and empowering women was critical to global development. More coordinated United Nations support at the country level could also lead to greater national ownership and better alignment of the United Nations response to national priorities. In order to deliver more robust results on the ground it was important to evaluate more systematically the impact of initiatives in bringing agencies together to contribute to gender equality.
Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund, said the United Nations Population Fund had made it clear to country offices and all staff that delivering as one and improving system-wide coherence were top priorities. Transaction costs and other burdens for governments and the United Nations systems were being reduced. Accountability and results orientation were critical. The United Nations needed to be more flexible and responsive, evidence-based and united in supporting a common approach to national development.
Martin Mogwanja, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund, said United Nations coherence was critically important to achieving sustainable and equitable results in an efficient and effective manner. It allowed the United Nations system to maximize the impact of work to help the world’s most disadvantaged, most vulnerable and marginalized. It was the right time to move from a process to a results-oriented approach. The relevance and sustainability of the United Nations would depend to a large extent on its capacity to deliver, document and report on results achieved in an effective and efficient manner.
Ramiro Lopes da Silva, Deputy Executive Director, World Food Programme, said despite reductions in poverty, the proportion of people in the developing world who were hungry had reached a plateau. Some of the challenges faced were structural, particularly the lack of coordination across sectors. More often than not, United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies tended to work alone. The United Nations agencies had to seize the opportunity and capitalize on the impressive global momentum for improving nutrition.
In the interactive discussion, speakers said the discussion had provided valuable information about the good work of many United Nations agencies, but the United Nations was not successfully delivering as one. Speakers asked whether coordination costs were being reduced. Speakers inquired what the next step in the delivering-as-one framework could be. More funding was required, although speakers were pleased to hear that coordination was not reliant simply on increased funding. Speakers asked how the donor base could be expanded and how results could be accelerated. There had been little progress in terms of the objectives. Speakers asked how clearer indicators in the field could be developed.
Pakistan, Belgium, Bangladesh, Italy, Russian Federation, Spain, United States, Norway, Nepal, Germany and the International Labour Organization took the floor in the interactive discussion.
In the afternoon, the Council heard a special update on “Progress of independent evaluation of ‘delivering as one’” presented by Lucien Back, Chief, Secretariat to the Independent Evaluation of Delivering-as-One, Department of Social Affairs. Mr. Back said the independent evaluation of lessons learned from the delivering-as-one initiative was being implemented. To ensure its independence and credibility, the evaluation was overseen by an evaluation management group.
After the special update, the Council held a panel discussion on “strengthening the leadership of the United Nations Resident Coordinator: role of accountability frameworks, resources and results reporting”.
Mr. Gutierrez Reinel, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said the Resident Coordinator System played a central role in making coordination in the United Nations system possible. The Resident Coordinator post was often deemed a mission impossible. Resident Coordinators represented the United Nations without official accreditation and coordinated without resources and formal authority. The panel was an opportunity to hear from both governments and the United Nations system as to how the Resident Coordinator programme should evolve.
Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, said that empowering Resident Coordinators and United Nations country teams, streamlining decision-making and laying out clear lines of accountability improved the coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations at the country level. A talented pool of Resident Coordinators was needed. Striking an appropriate balance between core and non-core resources was important for maintaining strategic focus and coherence. The objective of the system-wide coherence agenda had been to maximize the United Nations’ ability to deliver results.
James Rawley, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Egypt, said the United Nations in Egypt had worked to address emerging issues in light of the humanitarian situation, as well as originally identified development priorities. Throughout the last five years in Egypt, the United Nations system had demonstrated flexibility and stayed ahead of the curve due to the work of the government, donors and the long-term investments of the United Nations in Egypt. The United Nations Country Team had been committed to working as one.
Robert Piper, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Nepal, said coherence could contribute to improving the capacity of the United Nations to respond to the contemporary needs of countries and prevent development work from sliding into irrelevance. The prioritization of horizontal problems had important implications for the future of the United Nations development work. Without major reform, United Nations agencies should be prepared to work horizontally across the current institutional borders.
Jan Beagle, Deputy Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and Co-Chair of the United Nations Development Group Working Group on Resident Coordinator System Issues, said the United Nations Resident Coordinators had absolutely complex jobs. The responsibilities of the position had expanded well beyond operational activities for development. The report of the Secretary-General found this expansion had increased the effectiveness of Resident Coordinators in implementing development activities. There were many examples of how United Nation country teams had moved forward in new and innovative ways.
During the discussion, speakers noted the importance of improving efficiency, responding to changing needs and continuing to strengthen the Resident Coordinator System. Resident Coordinators played numerous important roles. They served as points of contact for governments, agencies and other stakeholders and as such played a crucial role for the achievement of the Deliver as One framework. This contributed to avoiding duplication and reducing transaction costs. For this reason, it was important to provide the adequate organizational incentives to make agency representatives closely collaborate with the Resident Coordinator. Furthermore, leadership and incentives were key elements. As part of the United Nations wide efforts to provide results and meet emerging challenges, Resident Coordinators could make a significant contribution. They should be empowered to be more efficient and play an essential function at the local level in order to ensure that the work of the United Nations would not slide into irrelevance.
Representatives from Belgium, Nepal, Slovakia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Egypt, Australia, Germany, Canada, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Labour Organization took the floor.
The Economic and Social Council will hold its next meeting at 10 a.m. on Monday, 18 July, when it will engage in a special dialogue on “How to define the concept of ‘critical mass’ of core resources?” Subsequently, a general discussion on follow-up to policy recommendations of the General Assembly and the Council, reports of the Executive Boards and South-South cooperation for development will be held by the Council.
Reports of the Executive Boards of the United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and the World Food Programme
The Council has before it the reports of the Executive Boards of the United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Food Programme (E/2011/5, E/2011/6, E/2011/14, E/2011/34 (Part I), E/2011/34 (Part I)/Add.1 and E/2011/36). The report of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) E/2011/35 was not immediately available.
GONZALO GUTIERRÉZ REINEL, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said that, in a rapidly changing world, development cooperation had been no exception. Its fast evolution challenged the United Nations system to adapt itself in order to be able to meet the diverse and changing needs of developing countries. United Nations agencies needed to join forces to help countries to truly integrate economic, social and environmental development dimensions; and to balance the focus on Millennium Development Goals with the need to spur the broader development agenda, human rights, growth and productive capacities; and to adjust to new aid modalities and build new partnerships. How the United Nations system responded to these demands would determine its relevance in the future. The Operational Activities Segment should start a reflection on how the United Nations system could best address new challenges and opportunities, and commence the preparations for the 2012 General Assembly quadrennial comprehensive policy review. New formulas must be tried to help countries move along the path from crisis and relief to development. The review should build on what had been done thus far and look at progress in implementing the 2007 General Assembly triennial comprehensive review, which remained valid. It should be asked how far the United Nations system had gone in making its support for developing countries more relevant, flexible, effective and efficient. Ways of persisting weakness and obstacles should be recognized as well as building on lessons learned.
Statements by the Executive Heads of United Nations Funds and Programmes
HELEN CLARK, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, said that assessing the future was never an easy task and these were particularly uncertain times. There were the ongoing, lingering effects of the economic crisis, financial insecurity, high food prices and natural disasters which increased the vulnerability of the poorest people and risked setbacks to development. The United Nations Development Programme was increasingly under pressure to provide relevant and useful advice, share experiences and demonstrate the value of its activities. It was important to identify and assess opportunities. One opportunity was the growth of the number of development actors. Record numbers of emerging and middle income countries were playing an important role in their regions and across the globe. The United Nations needed to complement these efforts and pursue strategic relationships with these countries. Civil society, such as non-governmental organizations and large foundations, and private sector actors were increasingly involved in development work. New technologies and flows of information were enabling the individual citizen to contribute to his or her community. There was a lot of optimism and opportunity. The United Nations had to keep up with this, establish partnerships and renew systems to help all actors to respond to the concerns of citizens. Across funds and programmes in the United Nations system, there was a long and venerable history of working with a wide range of stakeholders.
To realize these opportunities, it was critical that those in funds and programmes were joined at the hip and lip to work jointly. It was necessary to look for opportunities to have a more catalytic impact and ensure multiplier effects, as well as identify and focus on the drivers of progress. When thinking of the underlying drivers of progress, it was important to remember to invest in national institutions and capacities so that development and economic growth were sustainable, equitable and inclusive. In the climate negotiations, it was important to work together to identify substantial finance opportunities for poor countries and ensure adaptation and mitigation support that enhanced ongoing human development. When looking at multiplier effects, it was important to consider activities that produced peace and security. Insecurity was a huge barrier to development. The United Nations Development Fund should be fit for purpose in the twenty-first century and thus needed to address weaknesses and fragmentation. Opportunity lay in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, where the greatest value among the United Nations organizations could be identified and produced high quality results. The Delivering-as-One countries had also set the pace in joined-up approaches. Improving support for countries emerging from conflict or crisis was also an opportunity. Those countries which were making the transition from a situation of immediate humanitarian needs to long-term development required substantial support. The civilian capacity review highlighted the hurdles that made it difficult for the United Nations to work smoothly. Aligning procurement systems, information technology systems and human resources’ practices was being supported widely. In order to do the best job possible, the United Nations needed to be transformed. The United Nations needed join up but this also required the support of Member States. The United Nations was determined to seize the opportunities, including those available by leveraging each other’s strengths.
MICHELLE BACHELET, Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, said assessing the future of the United Nations development system’s operational activities was no small task, particularly in the current climate, but there were lots of positive prospects for the United Nations system’s support to Member States. There was agreement that advancing gender equality and empowering women was critical to global development. This was also reiterated in the recent Ministerial Declaration which highlighted the strong link between gender and achieving the Millennium Development Goals and was an area where the United Nations received its most ambiguous mandate from all Member States. Supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment also offered a tremendous opportunity for the United Nations system to make a difference on the ground and enhance the relevance and impact of its work, bringing the expertise of various agencies, funds and programmes together in response to national priorities and people’s needs. The first United Nations Women’s strategic plan outlined priorities in a range of areas, including political participation, economic empowerment, ending violence against women and ensuing that a gender perspective was fully integrated into national development planning and budgeting and conflict resolution and recovery. More coordinated United Nations support at country level can also lead to greater national ownership and better alignment of the United Nations response to national priorities.
In order to deliver more robust results on the ground it was important to evaluate more systematically the impact of initiatives in bringing agencies together to contribute to gender equality. UN Women was launching an effort with other United Nations organizations to undertake a joint evaluation of joint programming. The United Nations also had to significantly enhance its prioritization of investment on gender. Although effective tracking systems had yet to be institutionalized in the United Nations system, preliminary assessment of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework showed that while greater attention was paid to gender equality in the analytical and results sections of the framework, the United Nations actual financial investments had not kept pace with commitments. UN Women proposed to work with the system to ensure that such gender markets get institutionalized across the United Nations to enable the system to account for investment in gender equality. The challenges would be many but the United Nations should work together as a system to ensure the United Nations as a strategic, relevant and effective partner to Member States in their pursuit of development, peace and security.
BABATUNDE OSOTIMEHIN, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund, said the United Nations system at the country level had made impressive strides in improving United Nations support for national development. Progress was being made in the sprit and mode of Delivering-as-One, in the generation of United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks and in common country programme documents and more harmonized results and resource frameworks. All of these contributed to more coherent United Nations support and reduced transactions costs. The United Nations continued to be a key actor both at the global and country levels. While progress had been made, there was still much to be done. Many countries were still behind in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. More work needed to be done to support the strengthening of national capacities and national systems. Since United Nations support was based on national development strategies, those plans and strategies needed to be derived from evidence based on sound analysis. Solid data and analysis were critical to effective development planning, policymaking and programming. At the centre should be the development of human capital. In many developing countries there were still wide gaps in the ability to gather and use data. As a result, budgetary allocations did not always reflect or address the realities on the ground. By working together, the United Nations system could achieve greater effectiveness and stronger results.
The United Nations Population Fund had made it clear to country offices and all staff that delivering as one and improving system-wide coherence were top priorities. Transaction costs and other burdens for governments and the United Nations system were being reduced. United Nations bodies should conceive of their work as part of a comprehensive development approach and not as individual champions of bits of the development agenda. Business as usual had not been shown to be effective. The United Nations needed to focus on coordination and strengthening national capacity and systems. The United Nations Population Fund was fine-tuning its business model to approach future programming exercises with a clear objective of achieving impact down the road, not necessarily exclusively with its own resources, but via well thought-out strategic partnerships. Fortunately there were examples of modalities and partnerships that were working, such as UNAIDS. Accountability and results orientation were critical. In summary, the United Nations needed to be more flexible and responsive, evidence-based and united in supporting a common approach to national development and strengthening national systems. Member States needed to champion a move away from a one-size-fits-all business model for the United Nations system.
MARTIN MOGWANJA, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, said that for children who were out of school or malnourished, young people faced with inequitable access to education or other social services, and for those trapped in grinding poverty, it was primarily the results that mattered. Greater efficiency was often thought of as doing more with less, but in reaching the hardest to reach and the most marginalized, the most practical and cost-efficient way of meeting the Millennium Development Goals was an equity-focused approach which was right both in principle and practice. United Nations coherence was critically important to achieving sustainable and equitable results in an efficient and effective manner. It allowed the United Nations system to maximize the impact of work to help the world’s most disadvantaged, most vulnerable and marginalized. Taking into account the efforts that the United Nations system had already put into becoming more coherent, it was the right time to move from a process to a results-oriented approach. At a time when the United Nations had fewer resources it was important to recognize and apply comparative strengths to reach those in greatest need. There were several paths to greater efficiency, through learning from experience, successful partnerships, and streamlining processes in both programme and operations. Successful partnerships followed several principles, were led by national governments to ensure sustainability, relied on comparative advantages of implementing partners, worked on increasing available resources, collaborated on monitoring collective progress and results, and advocated together for the Millennium Development Goals with equity and jointly supported the normative roles of the United Nations agencies.
The relevance and sustainability of the United Nations would depend to a large extent on its capacity to deliver, document and report on results achieved in an effective and efficient manner. Some progress had been made towards articulating results and reducing transaction costs. The focus during the quadrennial comprehensive policy review should be on results and reducing transaction costs. In this context, an equity-focused approach could help achieve more with less; a more streamlined United Nations Development Assistance Framework process would make efficient use of national and United Nations resources and enable the process to be more relevant to country context; agency involvement should be directly proportionate to the capacities and comparative advantages they brought to the table; simplifying and streamlining planning, monitoring and reporting requirements both to headquarters and donors; and innovations and lessons emerging from the Delivery as one experience could help generate system-wide improvements.
SILVA RAMIRO LOPES DA SILVA, Deputy Executive Director, World Food Programme, said despite reductions in poverty the proportion of people in the developing world who were hungry had reached a plateau at 16 per cent, down from 20 per cent. Despite improvements in understanding and knowledge of the main causes of malnutrition, nearly a quarter of children under five remained undernourished. The importance of nutrition stretched far beyond the Millennium Development Goals, it was central to the attainment of the range of development objectives. It was one of the world’s most serious but least addressed health problems. This represented a great challenge for United Nations funds and programmes. Mr. Lopes da Sliva asked how the most effective support could be provided in combating the scourge of malnutrition and achieving Millennium Development Goal 1 and inquired how the United Nations could move beyond global policy dialogues to deliver the direct nutrition interventions needed. Some of the challenges faced were structural, particularly the lack of coordination across sectors. More often than not, United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies tended to work alone, leading to nutrition programmes that were unsustainable and unsystematic. Considerable change was underway. There was a renewed focus on improving coordination and collaboration both at the macro level and through international fora. Such efforts were increasingly inclusive of all partners, not only across the United Nations system, but also amongst host governments, donor countries and civil society.
Building on the burden of knowledge of the scientific and economic impacts of malnutrition, a range of new initiatives had been launched at the international, regional and country levels, giving the needed priority and attention to nutrition levels. The global movement of the Scaling Up Nutrition Framework had successfully brought together over 100 organizations to focus on nutrition polices and priorities and mobilized support for increased investment. The United Nations agencies had to seize the opportunity and capitalize on this impressive global momentum for nutrition. The United Nations agencies’ long-standing privileged relationship with governments and the breadth and depth of its presence in the programme countries made it uniquely in a position to work with partners and guide efforts to support governments to scale up and execute effective interventions. Each agency, focusing on what it did best, leveraging core competencies and comparative advantages, and enhancing strengths of partnerships, could be very effective. However, the relevance of United Nations funds and programmes depended on the commitment and ability to measure results and monitor progress. Faced with tight fiscal realities, donors were increasingly looking for programmes that offered the highest value for money and met defined goals. It was not about investing in organizations, but about investing in outcomes and results.
GONZALO GUTIERRÉZ REINEL, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, asked how the United Nations system could move beyond delivering as one to playing a real role in each country. Mr. Gutierrez asked how the implementation of the resolution on UN Women could be linked with the United Nations Resident Coordinator system, and how that system could play a leading role on women’s empowerment and gender equality. Mr. Gutierrez inquired whether the political will to reduce and harmonize costs existed. Equality or equity needed to be considered in relation to the Millennium Development Goals and results of that nature should be measurable.
Dialogue with Executive Heads of United Nations Funds and Programmes on “Looking to the future of operational activities for development of funds and programmes: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats”
Speakers said the discussion had provided valuable information about the good work of many United Nations agencies, but strengths, weaknesses and threats had not been thoroughly addressed and assessed. United Nations funds and programmes were under substantial threat. The United Nations’ own primacy had been lost. Heads of funds and programmes and representatives of least developed countries were missing. Implementation on the ground was being done by non-governmental organizations that did not share the principles and values of the United Nations. The United Nations should be the primary player.
Speakers appreciated the work of United Nations agencies and funds to improve coordination and evaluation, as well as the words of commitment to reform. The United Nations, however, was not delivering as one. Speakers asked whether coordination costs were being reduced. They inquired what the next step in the delivering as one framework was and asked whether the One United Nations Fund could be replaced by the will of the leaders of funds and programmes. Coordination was linked to the commitment of managers to the subject. Speakers asked what opportunities Resolution 64/289 had created in steering the respective funds and programmes. Speakers asked for the three or four most common critical issues and how these could be addressed.
More funding was required, although speakers were pleased to hear that coordination did not have to be based simply on increased funding. It was difficult for donors and recipient countries that the United Nations needed more money to coordinate. In funding practices, some incentives could be put aside to incite collaboration and cooperation. In terms of cost-cutting measures, many donors had abandoned the expensive practice of business and first-class travel, and speakers asked why United Nations agencies continued to employ this costly practice. Speakers were heartened to hear about the issue of dialogue on mature initiations, but it was an outdated and unsustainable formula for the United Nations development system to rely on the ten traditional donors. Speakers asked how the donor base could be expanded. Sudden changes in funding were always problematic, but appropriate burden sharing in the United Nations family was required. Enhanced and predictable support for least developed countries was required. Core funding had been seriously diminished and non-core funding was unreliable and fragmented. It was necessary to review the way that the United Nations was funded.
Speakers asked how results could be accelerated. There had been little progress in terms of the objectives. Speakers asked how clearer indicators in the field could be developed and how to engage with a faster pace and more actors involved. They asked if panellists agreed that effective implementation was taking place. The next quadrennial comprehensive policy review needed to show how effective efforts had been and then determine how these interventions could have the most impact. Reporting systems should be assessed and improved as well. By showing measurable results, the international community was walking in the right direction. These results needed to be accessible to donors, so improvements could be supported by donors. Inter-governmental oversight on provision of technical assistance was required. The need to take into consideration specificities of countries was a defining principle for the activities of the Untied Nations. National ownership and leadership was important, and United Nations agencies needed to respond to countries’ priorities. Funds and programmes, however, should already be using these lessons learned to improve processes and programmes.
Taking the floor in the interactive dialogue were Pakistan, Belgium, Bangladesh, Italy, Russian Federation, Spain, United States, Norway, Nepal, Germany and the International Labour Organization.
Responses and Concluding Remarks
HELEN CLARK, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, said concerning coordination, at the level of principles commitment was strong but for that commitment to be translated into actions at the level of country teams much more was needed in practice. It was important that around the United Nations system people believed in coordination as a beneficial practice but although coordination should not need financial incentives, funding could be always useful. As comments by delegates had made clear, the specific funding into a single fund had been useful in pushing forward joint programming, a similar result was seen in the Spanish fund experience, and these two lessons should be digested. Member States should be understanding with the fact that it was hard to adapt to sudden funding changes. Addressing the questions about how the United Nations system interacted with the diversity of actors in the development landscape, including civil society, charitable foundations and the private sector, and these relationships was extremely important.
BABATUNDE OSOTIMEHIN, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund, said it was important to deliver as one. Coordination on the ground was vital. Mr. Osotimehin said he had seen coordination on the ground across various themes. People were working together on issues such as maternal health and this collaboration was coming together. Member States also needed to be coordinated, to assure development assistance worked best. If Member States’ systems were not well coordinated and plans were not in place to absorb resources, whether financial or human, it was hard to get traction on the ground.
MICHELE BACHELET, Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, recalling a previous discussion during the panel on accountability and mainstreaming, indicated that there had been a lot of progress in working towards coordination, but clear tools and indicators were needed to show that global commitments were translated into specific actions and results. It was understood that the Deliver as One process would improve the work and might lead to more support for the United Nations. Since most of the funding currently came from voluntary contributions there was an important tension in reality between the need for obtaining more funding, and thus the need for visibility, with the principle of working as one and the consequence need of standing behind a common image. An important part of funding was earmarked due to legitimate interests of donors. More core funding was necessary for the agency coherence in its mandated work in those areas, places or cases which despite the need for assistance did not meet the requirements for earmarked funds. This was necessary for a more coherent response to the world’s needs. These issues should be addressed in future discussions to improve outcomes and results. There was also a temptation by different sectors at the governmental level to have particular relationships with different agencies, thus coordination was really important as well as the changing relationship with emerging stakeholders and the private sector. The relevance of the United Nations was based on its impact and coordination should point in this direction.
MARTIN MOGWANJA, Deputy Executive Director of United Nations Children’s Fund, said a question was raised about the next stage after a good level of coherence and coordination was attained. In the secondary stage, enhanced and better results needed to be focused on and produced. Also, reaching the unreached should be a priority in the next stage. Regarding the question of funding set aside for coordination, the United Nations needed to coordinate regardless, because funds were limited. Efficient funding for the best results should be coherent by its very nature. Another question addressed the need to respond to the pace of change. Things that were working could be scaled up. Monitoring, assessment and evaluation would be important in responding to the pace of change.
RAMIRO LOPES DA SILVA, Deputy Executive Director, World Food Programme, said that as one of the reports of the Secretary-General indicated donors increasingly provided less core funding. Furthermore, while in absolute numbers the absolute funds for multilateral institutions had consistently increased, proportionately, it had continued to decrease in percentage when compared with funds disbursed through other institutions and actors and including bilateral cooperation. It was important to address the question of how to engage in a mature dialogue with new players. Traditional business models should be assessed in perspective, taking into account a context of emerging donors not bound by the Paris declaration, south-south cooperation and new modalities. Ongoing discussions on cooperation should also take this into account.
MICHELLE BACHELET, Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, said UN Women was lucky because it was able to make use of the lessons learned, and was particularly pursuing the implementation of a result-oriented framework. However, it was difficult to measure some things, such as cultural change, for example. Coordination between United Nations agencies or the number of laws and policies implemented by governments could be the indicators used in certain circumstances. The use of indicators required reflection. Ms. Bachelet had had a good experience with the United Nations Resident Coordinators and the United Nations system in her different capacities. If there were too many heads, leadership was difficult. The United Nations agencies did not report to the United Nations Resident Coordinator; the United Nations Resident Coordinator was not the boss of all. Establishing accord among everyone was difficult and could not be relied on. The structure of the system made it difficult for the United Nations Resident Coordinator to work and should be changed to empower that role.
RAMIRO LOPES DA SILVA, Deputy Executive Director, World Food Programme, said that the discussions on results taking place in different fora and the measuring of outcomes constituted important steps. More important however would be the achievement of a framework of results which was useful in delivering results and addressing problems while, at the same time, generating a sense of national ownership. Respectively it was easy to measure results to improve a sense of impact, but it would be increasingly difficult to establish individual inputs and causation in the process. Concerning the intervention by the United Nations the World Food Programme had no problems of transparency or accountability; it counted on an independent audit mechanism reporting directly to the board. Concerning relationships with donors, Mr. Lopes da Silva said that in the current context, as part of a mature dialogue with private institutions, the private sector was their sixth largest contributor. Coordination did not save money but it brought efficiency and reduced transaction costs.
BABATUNDE OSOTIMEHIN, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund, said the funding architecture had changed. United Nations agencies were working with traditional donors but non-traditional donors were increasingly involved. Middle income countries had been providing a lot of co-financing recently. Non-core funding should be moved into core funding. Flexibility and innovation were based on agencies doing what they knew best. These financial arrangements were happening. South-South cooperation was increasingly relevant. Private funds and foundations needed to be brought to the table, because they had a certain added value. Transparency was important in this work.
MARTIN MOGWANJA, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund, said that with regards to the issue of bringing into the mainstream some previous successful experiences, there was no need to wait until 2012 and many agencies were bringing successful elements of Delivering as One, particularly in the context of measuring programmes’ achievement. From the perspective of the United Nations Children’s Fund, funding was related to efficiency and, in their case, 30 per cent of funding for developing activities came from the private sector.
HELEN CLARK, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, said that the signals from donors on funding for coordination were clear; they did not want to continue to fund this directly. The United Nations Development Programme would continue to fund coordination as part of its mandate but a balance should be found. Better specification of goals and mechanisms to monitor and report were necessary; and traps should be avoided, as programme officers had always seen reporting and monitoring as a measure of their own achievements. With respect to funding basis, the current geopolitical balance was changing, growth was concentrated in the developing world and agencies would have to continue to support the broad range of programme countries without a bilateral presence. Concerning the question posed by Norway about the biggest challenges, Ms. Clark underlined the question of how to support models of growth which were equitable, inclusive and sustainable; the emphasis on women and girls; basic needs such as health and education; continued improvement of social protection; and ensuring universal access to energy,
Special update on “Progress of independent evaluation of ‘delivering-as-one’”
GONZALO GUTIÉRREZ REINEL, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said that it had been over four years since eight United Nations Member States and the Secretary-General had decided to embark in the Delivering as One initiative aiming to achieve more unified United Nations system support to programme countries. Since the launch of the initiative, more than 20 countries had voluntarily adopted it. It was imperative to draw lessons from this process to inform future reforms of United Nations operational activities. In this spirit the 2007 General Assembly comprehensive policy review of operational activities called for an independent evaluation of the initiative. The evaluation was launched last year by the General Assembly as part of its decisions to enhance system-wide coherence. The outcome of the evaluation would be a critical input to the next General Assembly review, it was thus very important that the Council was kept updated on its progress.
LUCIEN BACK, Chief, Secretariat to the Independent Evaluation of Delivering-as-One, Department and Social Affairs, said the independent evaluation of lessons learned from the delivering-as-one initiative was being implemented in accordance with ad-hoc arrangements proposed by the Deputy-Secretary General. To ensure its independence and credibility, the evaluation was overseen by an evaluation management group composed of nine evaluation experts from the five regions. The evaluation management group agreed that the conceptual framework for the independent evaluation needed to be anchored in recent comprehensive policy review resolutions. The emphasis would be on results achieved in terms of national ownership and leadership, national capacity building and development as well as lowered transaction costs. New modalities in the functioning of the United Nations system, including innovative funding instruments, coordination mechanisms and simplification and harmonization of business practices, would be duly considered. The independent evaluation should assess the validity and credibility of each of the country-led evaluations and make use of the respective evidence and analysis, whenever possible. The purpose of the inception phase was to inform and support decision-making on the further design and conduct of the evaluation both in the pilot countries and at the systemic level. The objective of the inception phase was to conduct an extensive review of the key documents and to further develop the scope, approach, methodology and implementation modalities of the independent evaluation. The emphasis would be on lessons learned, while acknowledging there was no one size fits all approach. It would be very important to develop a rigorous methodology. At the end of the inception phase, the main outcome would be detailed terms of reference for the evaluation and a clear picture of what additional information was needed.
KRIS PANNEELS (Belgium), concerning the evaluation of pilot countries, asked whether the 20 self-starter countries would be evaluated; for the more systemic issues the evaluation team could also look at the self-starters. Belgium asked whether the final report would be shared with Member States.
LUCIEN BACK, Chief, Secretariat to the Independent Evaluation of Delivering-as-One, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said that the mandate for the evaluation was for pilot countries which were along with related issues the centers of attention at the moment, although considering the experience of self-starters was also of great interest. Even though the report would not be published it would be available for Member States.
Panel discussion on “Strengthening the leadership of the United Nations Resident Coordinator. Role of accountability frameworks, resources and results reporting”
GONZALO GUTIERREZ REINEL, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said rich deliberations pointed rightly and frequently to the importance of coordination. Indeed, harnessing the strengths of a system with around 30 diverse organizations demanded coordination of the highest caliber. The Resident Coordinator System played a central role in making such coordination possible. The United Nations system had strived constantly to make the Resident Coordinator System work better. Long standing challenges remained. Mr. Gutierrez said he had repeatedly heard that the job of the Resident Coordinator was a mission impossible. Resident Coordinators represented the United Nations without official accreditation and coordinated without resources and formal authority. As the 2012 comprehensive policy review began to be designed, it should be asked if the situation was sustainable. Resident Coordinators needed to have access to the authority and resources to lead the United Nations Country Teams and be accountable to governments. The panel was an opportunity to hear from both governments and the United Nations System, with particular insight from Resident Coordinators. This should provide orientation as to how the Resident Coordinator position should evolve.
HELEN CLARK, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, the moderator of the panel discussion, said that empowering Resident Coordinators and United Nations Country Teams, streamlining decision-making and laying out clear lines of accountability, improved the coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations at the country level. A talented pool of Resident Coordinators was needed, ensuring that they were prepared to respond to a range of humanitarian crises. The work of the Resident Coordinators was guided by the United Nations Development Group management and accountability system, which set out both their roles and accountabilities and those of United Nations Country Team members. Resident coordinators were becoming more involved in the performance appraisals of United Nations Country Team staff to enable the Resident Coordinators who were also Resident Representatives to focus more on United Nations Country Team-wide issues, particularly in complex environments. The United Nations Development Programme had established 51 country director posts. Core resources were the bedrock of operational activities for development organizations, with non-core resources acting as a vital supplement. Striking an appropriate balance between the two was important for maintaining strategic focus and coherence. In this respect, the United Nations Development Group was grateful for the resources a number of Member States continued to provide to support the Resident Coordinator System. In its coordination role on behalf of the United Nations Development Group, the United Nations Development Programme continued to cover the costs for the Resident Coordinator posts, many costs of their offices, and a significant portion of what was needed for the development operations coordination office.
The objective of the system-wide coherence agenda had been to maximize the United Nations’ ability to deliver results. The measurement and communication of results was also critical. A joint United Nations Development Group-High-Level Committee on Management had been commissioned to identify common United Nations results reporting principles, in order to improve the way they communicated the United Nations contribution to national development achievements. The current resources-constrained environment could lead to an unfortunate focus on short term development results. Yet it was critical that the United Nations development system stayed focused on the big picture, and on the development results which could be sustained over time. The United Nations was uniquely placed to help strengthen the national institutions and systems which build national resilience and sustain development progress. Leadership was needed at all levels for the United Nations development system to maximize its potential; effective, empowered, and visionary leadership was needed at all levels.
Statements by Panellists
JAMES RAWLEY, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Egypt, said he would first discuss the period before the Egyptian uprising of January 2011 and then speak about the period after the uprising. Current arrangements in Egypt had produced strategic support and development outcomes. When he took up the Resident Coordinator position, Egypt had just crossed the threshold to becoming a middle income country. The Government had been fully committed to the Millennium Development Goals, while serious shortcomings existed. Two major donors, the European Union and the United States, had provided substantial funds annually. About 20 per cent of the Egyptian population lived in extreme poverty and another 20 percent lived just above the poverty line. Gross disparities existed. Health issues and climate change posed serious challenges and development malaise was prevalent. The United Nations Country Team had produced a situation analysis to identify key development challenges, prioritize from this set of challenges and strengthen results-based management. The situation analysis had been published and distributed, and involved extensive consultation with civil society and the government. This had become the foundation for other international development partners’ programming. With the help of the United Nations Development Programme, capacity had been built for results-based management within government ministries. The United Nations Development Assistance Framework had benefited from the situation analysis, and with reinforced and reinvigorated partnerships, had reduced development malaise.
The January 2011 uprising was fueled by the marginalization of youth, police brutality, widespread corruption and high unemployment. Protestors called for more freedom, justice and democratic governance. There were serious gaps for democratic development, which required serious capacity building efforts. The United Nations, since January 2011, put together the United Nations strategy in support of Egypt’s democratic transition. The situation analysis was alive and well in this process. The United Nations Development Assistance Framework identified challenges related to basic services, nutrition, health and sustainability. It also anticipated themes important to the post-2015 environment; it stressed equity, governance and multi-stakeholder platforms. Visits by the Secretary-General and other high level dignitaries had underscored United Nations support for Egypt and reminded the senior leadership of the commitments assumed in line with the people’s demands. In addition to addressing intractable development issues, the United Nations in Egypt worked to address emerging issues in light of the humanitarian situation. The United Nations was also working with the Government to help provide employment to those who had been displaced from their jobs during the uprising. Technical support was being provided for the ongoing national dialogue, along with support for police and electoral reform. The transition would promote expanding dialogue with civil society, the private sector and universities because development challenges required all hands on deck.
Throughout the last five years in Egypt, the United Nations system had demonstrated flexibility and stayed ahead of the curve, due to the work of the Government, donors and the long-term investments of the United Nations in Egypt, including a United Nations Country Team that was committed to working as one. Development cooperation was important and progress could be made with targeted efforts, resources and commitment by the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the United Nations Country Team, governments, donors and the wider international community.
ROBERT PIPER, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Nepal, said that coherence should improve efficiency and should reduce transaction costs and improve the local voice of the United Nations; coherence could contribute to improving the capacity of the United Nations to respond to the contemporary needs of countries and avoid its development work at the country level sliding into irrelevance given current trends. First, most of the governments that the United Nations served today were more than capable of managing sectoral programmes themselves, like large projects on agriculture or water. Secondly, the exponential growth of capable local non-governmental organizations with high technical capacity meant that the United Nations had become an expensive option in the development market. When the United Nations worked at country level it must be strategic and locate itself at the high end of the value chain. Horizontal issues, those cutting across cabinet table, complex in the number of variables, institutions required to address them and the expertise required, such as youth, climate change, migration, were putting an enormous strain in governmental systems and minimizing their capacity to reduce the gap between policy making and implementation. This growth in the prioritization of horizontal problems had important implications for the future of the United Nations development work. Just as government structures were poorly designed to meet these challenges, multilaterally created structures were also outmoded. Without a major reform, United Nations agencies should be prepared to work horizontally across current institutional borders. If the United Nations were to succeed, the United Nations Development Group was uniquely qualified to assist governments to address these types of issues, given its breadth of expertise, and spread of well established government relationships, in theory under the same roof.
In order to be able to respond to these new demands, leadership was critical for identifying strategic entry points. Good quality development assistant frameworks were crucial in the dialogue with countries. For example, in Nepal the United Nations Development Assistance Framework formulation began with an analysis structure around the vulnerable groups and the structural reasons of their vulnerability. Because results were important it was necessary to work backwards from people and their needs to programmatic priorities. Specifically, in order to facilitate a peace and development strategy the United Nations was working along with development partners, and led the formulation of a single Nepal transition support strategy where a properly resourced Resident Coordinator System could help manage transition. More generally, programme country governance could help the United Nations local team to facilitate transitions by raising awareness among governmental officials about the contribution to addressing horizontal problems. Donor countries could help by shifting donations to horizontal funds and shifting to modalities of funding which were naturally better aligned to the new challenges faced on the ground. Member States could help by being ambitious about reform, more of the kind of ambition that led to the birth of UN Women, not necessarily adding new organizations, not looking for more money, but re-organizing current investments to ensure that the United Nations was able to stay current with the advances of the times.
JAN BEAGLE, Deputy Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and Co-Chair of the United Nations Development Group Working Group on Resident Coordinator System Issues, said the United Nations Resident Coordinators had absolutely complex jobs. The responsibilities of the position had expanded well beyond operational activities for development. The report of the Secretary-General found this expansion had increased the effectiveness of Resident Coordinators in implementing development activities. Resident Coordinators, without any official authority, were required to coordinate a wide range of partners. It was a position that posed problems in terms of talent management. Previously, Resident Coordinators were chosen based on technical skills and little attention was paid to management abilities. However, assessing the ability to manage a wide range of tasks was now part of the recruitment process. The gender balance and the diversity of the Resident Coordinator group were improving, although this could be improved further. UNAIDS was formed around a horizontal structure to assess a multifaceted issue with a coordinated response. At the country level, UNAIDS worked through the United Nations Country Team. There was no question that working through the Resident Coordinator System produced results. UNAIDS brought the experience and technical expertise, while the United Nations Country Team provided support and facilitated dialogue with the stakeholders on the ground. Regarding knowledge management, there were many good systems and success stories within the United Nations system that were not being mobilized and scaled up. Knowledge of management systems needed to be improved. In terms of business practices, streamlining had been achieved in procurement, information and communication technologies, and financial transactions. Harmonizing of processes but also harmonizing the way the United Nations worked together was important.
There were many examples of how United Nations Country Teams had moved forward in new and innovative ways. Communication was issue-driven rather than agency-driven, for example, in Viet Nam. There were two sides to resources: they needed to be predictable and sufficient, but the system also needed to reduce its transaction costs. Some investment was required to drive change. A small amount had been dedicated to change expertise. Funds had been allocated to strategic planning, monitoring and developing indicators. This was an investment that paid off. Pooling funding mechanisms had promoted coherence, broken down silos within systems and governments, as well as served as catalysts for discussions about funding for areas in which the United Nations system had a comparative advantage. Pooling resources and having a clear division of labour clearly yielded results. As far as results, United Nation Country Teams needed to better quantify costs savings, quality and effectiveness. The areas of real need were: change management expertise, knowledge management systems and pooling mechanisms.
Speakers noted the importance of improving efficiency, responding to changing needs and continuing to strengthen the Resident Coordinator System. Resident Coordinators played numerous important roles, served as points of contact for governments, agencies and other stakeholders, and as such played a crucial role for the achievement of the Deliver as One framework. They contributed to avoiding duplication and reducing transaction costs. For this reason, it was important to provide the adequate organizational incentives to make agency representatives closely collaborate with the Resident Coordinator. Furthermore, leadership and incentives were key elements. Resident Coordinators must have the right skills and abilities and be a team leader; they should be able to gain this leadership from promoting inclusiveness and team work since different agencies must feel comfortable with the direction taken. It was important to provide the adequate organizational incentives to make agency representatives closely collaborate with the Resident Coordinator. Efforts to support Resident Coordinators in order to support the deliver as one framework were necessary. Funds, efficiency and results were clearly interlinked. However, under the framework of financing for development, the system had led to competition for resources among the United Nations Development Programme and other agencies. In this context, speakers asked, what measures could the United Nations put forward to make sure that the funding for the Resident Coordinators office was more predictable and part of the core resources and how could the Resident Coordinator contribute to the implementation of mandates given to different agencies by their headquarters.
As part of the United Nations efforts to provide results and meet emerging challenges, Resident Coordinators could make a significant contribution. They should be empowered to be more efficient and play an essential function at the local level in order to ensure that the work of the United Nations would not slide into irrelevance. In this regard it was crucial that Resident Coordinators would achieve effective added value coordination not only within the United Nations inter-agency coordination, but also strong relationship with the host country and the donor community. It was emphasized that the government should not be the only interlocutor. The Resident Coordinator, furthermore, was empowered to speak as an advocate and this was illustrated in the context of the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review, both in the preparatory process and how recommendations were implemented, which constituted a solid base of measures to be taken and on which the United Nations system could speak with a single voice with concern for human rights.
Concerning issues of accountability and empowerment there were different perspectives and challenges. The commitment and leadership of the Resident Coordinator, as well as of the United Nations team, were essential. Adequate funding and incentives to support the coordination efforts and make them sustainable were needed. For these reasons, speakers indicated that coordination must be part of the core agenda and funding of the United Nations. Speakers emphasized issues of funding architecture; and it was suggested that discussions around the quadrennial comprehensive policy review would provide an opportunity to developing better guidance. Speakers underlined that both in the cases of Egypt and Nepal funding contributed to change to enable reactions and made a plea to change to horizontal approaches. In this context, it was pointed out that in the context of complex challenges, Resident Coordinators were also repositories of good practices and served as the voice of the United Nations on the ground so that the priorities of the concerned countries, and the United Nations capacity to respond to the demands, was fulfilled so that results could be achieved in the long term.
Finally speakers argued that strengthening the United Nations as a truly global society was in the interest of Members States themselves and as the reports of the Secretary-General indicated, there had been achievements since the triennial comprehensive review. Speakers asked how Resident Coordinators could better contribute to the full implementation and to oversee decisions taken at the General Assembly, the Council and other United Nations bodies. Speakers also expressed the need to have a better sense of what the best steps were to push the boundary and make sure the Resident Coordinators System was operational and well incentivized. More information from host countries was needed.
Representatives from Belgium, Nepal, Slovakia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Egypt, Australia, Germany, Canada, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the International Labour Organization took the floor.
Responses and Concluding Remarks
HELEN CLARK, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, said that Resident Coordinators had been successful in coordinating development partners. Coordinating was a bit more difficult, but this could be done through good will. Resident Coordinators did what they could, when they could. Regarding the Universal Periodic Reviews, many United Nations Country Teams had mentioned the role countries had asked them to play in developing these reports and responding to recommendations. The United Nations development system was well configured to work country-by-country. It was not as easy to work at the regional level. This could be a further item for further discussion and work in progress.
JAMES RAWLEY, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Egypt, said the Millennium Development Goals Fund was incredibly important in pushing the agenda forward on climate change in Egypt and was important for joint programming. It was helpful for agencies that worked on multi-sectoral problems. In terms of accountability, an infinite number of new hammers would not useful. Programmes should be subject to reviews by United Nations Country Teams to ensure that United Nations agencies worked in the context of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework. Resident Coordinators should also be able to write up on the performance of United Nations agencies working at the country level. On coordination, the situation analysis was widely distributed and was of great value to any development partner. When it came to development issues in Egypt, platforms for bringing all partners to the table were required. Non-governmental organizations could find a niche in these platforms. The United Nations Country Team did provide some support to the Universal Periodic Review, both the United Nations Development Assistance Framework and the situation analysis recommended that the Government implement the recommendations accepted.
ROBERT PIPER, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Nepal, concerning the lack of core resources, said that in Nepal only $ 50 million out of
$ 200 million funds came from core resources. In particular, as more strategic horizontal work was needed funding would be crucial because in many cases specialized agencies were reducing budgets precisely for this type of work. The structural part of the problem was that it was much harder for the Resident Coordinator to push forward multiple issues through different channels at the same time; putting country offices to work in many different directions without the necessary resources made it difficult to achieve results. Transparency and accountability were not major challenges. Concerning budget support, Mr. Piper argued that it should not be given through the United Nations. Concerning the role of the Resident Coordinator in the context of the Human Rights Universal Periodic Review, this showed that the role of the Resident Coordinator was not only about implementation but illustrated the function of advocacy that the Resident Coordinator should sometimes have, although in the past Resident Coordinators might have been uncomfortable about speaking up about controversial or sensitive issues.
JAN BEAGLE, Deputy Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and Co-Chair of the United Nations Development Group, Working Group on Resident Coordinator System Issues, said that the new coordination function did not follow a traditional function but many new aspects such as strategies, planning, communication, and partnerships; echoing the motto of Ghana, she suggested that it was about finding strength in unity.
HELEN CLARK, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, said with respect to political and economic transitions in Egypt, transition did not automatically put jobs on the table. Quick impact job opportunities needed to be assessed, not only in Egypt but in other situations. Addressing living standard issues in Egypt also needed basic donor support. Within the United Nations family relationships were strong. Cross-representation existed among resident agencies. When United Nations agencies appealed for funds in disaster situations, donors needed to think about early recovery steps to return people to self-reliance. Collective action could be better on emergency preparedness among agencies. Establishing specific authority for the Resident Coordinators would not necessarily improve their capacity to lead. Written functions did not translate into respect. Harmonization of business practices was not necessarily about cutting costs. Joint programming and clustering of activities could, however, produce savings. It was clear that a different funding model for coordination was required, although help for transition in this context was greatly needed. If more collaboration was present on programming, then competition for funds would subside.
JAN BEAGLE, Deputy Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and Co-Chair of the United Nations Development Group Working Group on Resident Coordinator System Issues, said where very strong results had been produced, the tripartite relationship had been instrumental. Quantifying some cost savings was important, but it was also a question of quality and building a culture of collaboration. Regarding empowerment, when the value-added was demonstrated, people knew it. There were plenty of systems for ensuring mutual accountability, but people did what was valued and recognized by programmes and institutions, so mutual accountability and respect needed to be part of institutional values, job descriptions and other documentation. Talent management systems also needed to keep up with retirements to fill positions. There were many mechanisms for funding and management tools in place, but ultimately, the many courageous and passionate people who worked to serve the United Nations were the key strength.
ROBERT PIPER, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Nepal, said that the model developed in Nepal was a breakthrough because they managed to bring together under one consortium the whole range of actors including international financial institutions, the United Nations, the Red Cross, along with civil society and governments. There really had to be a sense of urgency injected into development and humanitarian work. The humanitarian community should inject its sense of urgency and pragmatism but with a recognition that it often did not have the attention to long-time development projects which were also needed. The coordination put in place achieved a division of labour in which the different players recognized their limitations and worked with each other. In the role of the Resident Coordinator it was possible to reach out in both directions to the humanitarian community and other stakeholders. Coordinating beyond the United Nations system was also important, there were many examples in which this coordination was possible. The United Nations was not a donor and when coordination took place it should not send the wrong signal to governments and make it look like it was. The United Nations should not lose its universality and while a large part of the work was focused on development and working with donors, the United Nations should not be seen as a donor instrument. With the next steps to push the boundaries, harmonizing reporting and monitoring, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework could replace separate reporting processes but this had to be done at the boards of each respective institutions. The issue of the international financial institutions and the United Nations was a big question, there must be a shared understanding and at present signals were contradictory.
JAMES RAWLEY, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Egypt, said, concerning coordination, like leadership this was the responsibility of all staff. When recruiting, it was important to look at important team-work skills. Being able to work in teams and build partnerships was crucial. Concerning successful coordination, capacity was also an important question for sustainability. Concerning Egypt, Mr. Rawley said the aim was to increase national capacity of governmental institutions to address the need for jobs, while continuing to contribute to the issue of democratic governance. Concerning partnerships, it was important to go beyond the United Nations system. When donors paid for the services they often better appreciated them. A funding mechanism could be set up to help countries get the projects started, facilitating getting the donor community interested.
HELEN CLARK, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, said there had been some specific recommendations that warranted repeating. Agency specific peer-reviews by the United Nations Country Team in accordance with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework was a practical recommendation. Regarding the relationship between the United Nations and the World Bank, the World Bank, it could be said, had the money and the United Nations had the trust. The United Nations brought a commitment to equity and worked from a basis of trust on the capacity-building agenda, which was important to building development over the long term. These were the inherent strengths of the United Nations.
GONZALO GUTIERREZ, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said the Economic and Social Council had provided three opportunities for meeting with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank this year. Members of the Bretton Woods system had flocked to meetings of the Economic and Social Council. This enhanced coordination and cooperation.
For use of the information media; not an official record