STATEMENT DELIVERED ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR KINGSLEY J.N. MAMABOLO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, DURING THE 2015 OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT SEGMENT OF ECOSOC (New York, 24 February 2015)
At the outset let me express my appreciation to you for providing the Group of 77 and China an opportunity to share its positions on this operational activities for the development segment. It is indeed, timely as we begin to contextualize engagements towards the third Financing for Development (FfD) International Conference to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July and the post-2015 Development Agenda Summit, scheduled here in New York, in September 2015. We are also awaiting with interest the 2016 quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR) cycle.
We would like to see a scaled up and significantly strengthened role for the United Nations (UN) operational activities for development and its capacity to assist developing countries in achieving their development goals. Such strengthened role requires continued improvement in effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact, along with a significant increase in core resources. It is important that operational activities for development, in addressing long-term development challenges, take into account the need to promote national capacity-building in developing countries. For developing countries to address national priorities and achieve internationally-agreed development goals, a continuous process of capacity-building is required, to which the UN system can make a significant contribution. We therefore call on the UN system to make optimal use of the available national expertise by enabling and facilitating the access of the recipient countries to the full-range of services available throughout the UN Development System, including the regional commissions.
The urgency with which the issue of poverty - in all its forms, should be addressed - simply cannot be over-emphasized. It has been agreed in resolution 67/226, on the QCPR, that poverty eradication should be considered the highest priority and the fundamental objective of the UN Development System. Consequently, the Group of 77 and China believes that the UN Development System must of necessity address poverty eradication, which is the greatest global challenge, through appropriately targeted and clearly focused development programmes and projects.
The Group of 77 and China would like to request the United Nations' funds and programmes to include in their regular reporting to the Council the following:
- firstly, on efforts made, in accordance with their mandates;
- secondly, on the scaling up of efforts to address the root causes of poverty and hunger; and
- thirdly, on the sharing of good practices and lessons learned.
In addition, capacity-building; employment generation; education; vocational training; rural development and the mobilization of resources, that all aim at achieving poverty eradication and promoting the active participation of those living in poverty in the design and implementation of such programmes and policies.
The Group of 77 and China attaches high importance to the QCPR resolution 69/238 entitled "Operational activities for development of the United Nations system", that was adopted by the General Assembly on 19 December 2014. Mr President, allow me to highlight some issues of paramount importance to the Group of 77 and China in the context of the implementation of the QCPR resolution:
- Firstly, the Group underlines the need to better reflect the multi-dimensional nature of development and poverty, as well as the importance of developing a common understanding among Member States and other stakeholders on what this multi-dimensionality entails and reflecting it in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
- Secondly, the Group would like to reiterate that core resources - due to their un-tied and predictable nature - continue to be the bedrock of the operational activities for development of the United Nations system. The Group further notes with concern that the percentage of core resources in the overall funding for operational activities has declined, and as such proposes a balance between core and non-core resources in order to operationalize critical mass. The Group would like to stress the need to avoid the use of core/regular resources to subsidize non-core/extra-budgetary financed activities, and reaffirms that the guiding principle governing the financing of all non-programme costs should be based on a full cost recovery, proportionally, from core and non-core funding sources
- Thirdly, we request all entities of the United Nations development system to consider the post-2015 development agenda, once adopted, in the context of mid-term reviews and the elaboration of strategic plans and frameworks, in order to ensure consistency and alignment with the agenda;
- Fourthly, we reaffirm the importance of achieving diversification in the composition of the resident coordinator system in terms of geographical distribution and gender. We would also like to stress the need to address the governing structures of the United Nations funds and programmes in a constructive dialogue towards much-needed reform in this area, to ensure the legitimacy of the system.
- Fifthly, the Group would like to reiterate the requests contained in the General Assembly resolution 67/226 and 69/239 on the strengthening of South-South Cooperation. In in this regard, the Group wishes to express its appreciation to other entities of the United Nations development system which have made significant progress in mainstreaming South-South and triangular cooperation into their key policies, strategic frameworks, operational activities and budgets. The Group also urges the United Nations system to implement the recommendations and measures set out in decision 18/1 of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation, on the strengthening of South-South and triangular cooperation, including through the system-wide provision of financial and human resources for the UN Office for South-South Cooperation;
- Lastly, but not least, the Group would like to express its concern over the lack of transparency around the reporting received from the UN system at country-level. In this regard, the Group requests the UN Development System to ensure that regular reporting on results achieved by the UN system is provided to governments of programme countries, at least twice in one cycle of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) or common planning framework in the specific case of the One Programme in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Countries Adopting the Delivering as One Approach.
We also request the UN development system to ensure that the reports to Governments of programme countries are structured around the UNDAF. It is imperative for these reports to be linked with national development results and to inform Governments of programme countries on the UN Country Team's results as a whole and requests the Secretary-General, as part of his regular reporting to the Council, to provide an update on progress in this regard.
We trust that the contributions we will all be making in this segment of operational activities for development will go a long way in nurturing the QCPR process, in order for it to be meaningful to all our people. We have to strive together in bringing to the fore, tangible goals for the betterment of the UN Development System, as we prepare to start the next cycle of the QCPR in 2016.
I thank you.