INTERVENTION ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE DELEGATION OF EGYPT AT THE 2018 ECOSOC OPERATIONAL ACTIVITY FOR DEVELOPMENT SEGMENT DURING THE INTERACTIVE PANEL DISCUSSION ON THE REPOSITIONING THE UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM TO BEST DELIVER FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET: "IN SUPPORT OF THE FIELD: A REINVIGORATED IMPARTIAL AND INDEPENDENT RESIDENT COORDINATOR SYSTEM" (New York, 27 February 2018)
(Day 1 - Tuesday 27 February)
Session I, Part B: In support of the field: A reinvigorated impartial and independent Resident Coordinator system
A reinvigorated resident coordinator system lies at the center of the repositioned UN development system. The Group believes that UNRC System must maintain its development focus and that the eradication of poverty should remain its overarching objective. The RCs must serve the purpose of the implementation of the UNDAF, under national leadership and ownership with a developmental and non-politicized perspective. They should be fully accountable to the national governments for their functions and activities in the host countries and should periodically report back to the host country on its implementation of the UNDAF.
The group believes that an effective strengthening of the RC System should be based on the total adherence to the UN Charter, as well as to the principles guiding UNDS, namely impartiality, neutrality, full compliance with his/her development mandate, respect to national sovereignty and non-interference. The Group reaffirms that the central role of the resident coordinators, working with the United Nations country team and under the leadership of Governments, is to ensure the coordination of United Nations operational activities for development at the country level.
In terms of aligning the skills and profiles of the UNRCs, there is a need to improve and strengthen the hiring process in order to ensure that his/her profile align with the host country's needs. The Group agrees with the view that RCs should be strong sustainable development professionals with a deep understanding of the conceptual shift to the 2030 Agenda and of national planning processes. We would also like to assert that RC functions should in no way entail any political role. We also agree that there is a need to incentivize interagency mobility within the UNDS.
With regard to UNRCs competencies regarding fostering better coordination between development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding efforts, the group would like to highlight that paragraph 24 of the 2016 QCPR provides the guiding framework in this regard, and must be fully observed. The competency requirements cannot be applied in a generic way, but rather must be in accordance with the needs of the countries facing humanitarian situations and countries in conflict or post conflict situations.
We note that there is a need to strengthen the leadership, accountability and impartiality of the RCs over the UNCTs for the implementation of the UNDAF. We also share the opinion that the planning and coordination functions of the RC should be enhanced by empowering them within the United Nations country team to make final decisions on the strategic objectives, in consultation with national Governments, as well as to substantially increase common resource mobilization and distribution at the country level. In this regard, The RCs role should be facilitative and must ensure that it is in line with national priorities.
The group is still considering the other proposed set of authorities for the UNRCs, including the role of the UNRC in informing the country level presence and leadership profile of UNCT members, as well as in the sign-off of respective programmes to ensure alignment with UNDAF priorities. The Group would like to seek clarification on the role of the RC in pooled funding in order to ensure its transparency; accountability and oversight by Member States especially programme countries to whom those funds should serve.
We reaffirm that any increase in assessed contributions should not inadvertently have further financial implications for developing countries.
On the matrixed reporting model, the group supports the presence of clear accountability lines between the UNCT members and the UNRC and agrees that UNCT members should report to RCs on their support to the implementation of 2030 Agenda, in the context of mutual accountability. The reports originating from the UNRCs to the UN Secretary-General should be on the implementation of the UNDAF. The scope, number and frequency of these reports must be agreed with the host governments to ensure that the reports are consistent with the agreed mandate and within the agreed framework of UNDS. In case of double or triple hatting of the RCs, the reporting modalities will have to be further fine-tuned. Furthermore, the reporting channel of the UNRCs through the regional directors needs to be explicitly clarified. There should also be a clear reporting line between the UNRC and UNCTs to host countries to ensure that UNRC's are fully accountable to the national governments for the implementation their agreed mandate in accordance with UNDAF. This should also comprise part of the evaluation of the performance of the UNRC. The group also agrees that UNCT members should continue to report to their respective entity headquarters.
With regards to the performance appraisal system, the group supports strengthening of mutual accountability, under the strategic leadership of the UNDG. The RC should appraise the performance of members of the UNCT, and the UNCT heads should continue to inform the performance of UNRC. The national governments must have the final say in the performance appraisal system, in particular for the UNRCs.
On multi-hatting, the UNRCs multi hatting should be guided by OP24 of the 2016 QCPR resolution. There cannot be a 'one size fits all' to this issue. The multi hatting will only be in the cases of countries facing humanitarian situation or countries in conflict or post conflict situations, to be finalized in consultation with the respective member states.
Regarding the identification of funding and staff requirements for resident coordinators offices, the Group emphasizes the importance to have balanced geographical representation and gender parity and that decisions on this matter should be coordinated with host countries. National capacity should be tapped upon whenever possible.
Finally, with regards to the new oversight and management functions of UNDOCO over the RCs, the Group is of the view that these proposals deserve further thorough and careful consideration, in conformity with the principle that the proposed UNDOCO should be held accountable to host countries and its functions should ensure UNDAF to be implemented in full shape.