STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR NADIESKA NAVARRO BARRO, PERMANENT MISSION OF CUBA TO THE UN, ON THE REPORT OF THE UNSDG CHAIR ON THE DEVELOPMENT COORDINATION OFFICE (DCO) (New York, 23 May 2023)
Mr. Vice-President, Madam Deputy Secretary-General, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We thank the Deputy Secretary General (DSG), in her capacity as Co-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, for her presentation of the report on the Development Cooperation Office and its accompanying documents.
From the onset, we wish to register our appreciation for the higher quality of the reports to the ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment this year. We look forward to continuing this effort as we are paving the way towards formulating new guidance to the UN development system in 2024, in particular in the context of renewed efforts to speed up the attainment of the SDGs.
Over the past three years, the Resident Coordinator system has been tried and tested as it was confronted to assist countries in the most difficult of times - Covid-19 pandemic, heightened unrest, severe and more frequent occurrences of devastated disasters, among other challenges.
The G77 and China acknowledges that the system has enabled a greater response to these challenges, and that is why we believe it is critically important that it remains focus on sustainable development, for already as it is, development continues to be least supported and funded.
We appreciated DCO's efforts this year to showcase and report on the work of the RC system in several countries, in its case study series, giving insight into their responses in varied context.
We also appreciated DCO and the UNSDG chair rounds of consultations with Member States, on the RC system results framework, and we note the vast improvement of the one it has reported against for this Segment. We believe that through this framework the system has a unique opportunity to demonstrate its coordination function, illustrating its importance in the delivery of services to programme countries. In the information provided in the framework, we have identified, with concern, that the percentages of country level joint programmes addressing activities related to the eradication of poverty and leaving no-one behind in 2022 were rather low and did not meet our expectations. We further look forward to receiving regular and more granular information on assessments of management costs of the RC system as a whole, taking into account the specific situations at field level.
This is the time when every effort needs to be expanded to ensure that we do not fail the hundreds of millions of people in poverty. As Member States, it is also critical to ensure that the system is properly funded to respond to the needs and priorities of programme countries. This means more core funding for the operational activities for development. Therefore, we look forward to discussing the funding arrangements of the RC system and of development activities as a whole, where the time comes.
We note from the report that the system is making every effort to enhance and improve the skillsets of the RCs and to ensure they are appropriately matched with the needs and priorities of the host countries. We also note that efforts are being made to expand the pool of RC candidates including having better regional representation and gender balance. In spite of the progress mentioned in the report, there's still a need to continue improving the Resident Coordinator selection process to be able to deploy the right person in the right place at the right time. We encourage you to continue improving the representation of developing countries in that selection.
The Group also recognizes that more work needs to be done to have the entities of the UN development system to work more jointly. That needs to be ensure by an enhanced coordination function at all levels, to bring the system together to deliver on its development mandate in the most effective manner, in line with our national development plans to implement the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
As we head into a new QCPR cycle in 2024, we encourage the system to continue reporting on its best practices, lessons learned, gaps and challenges, and to provide recommendations to enable Member States to provide better guidance.
With the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs at serious risks of not being attained, it is critically important that the UN development system and in particular the RC system's capacities are preserved to accelerate its assistance to countries at this critical juncture, in line with GA resolution 76/4 on the review of the functioning of the Resident Coordinator system.
Madam DSG, please be assured of the G77 and China's continued support and dedication.
Last but not least, we look forward to engaging constructively throughout this segment and take this opportunity to congratulate Vice-President Chimbindi for reorganizing the segment to try to rejuvenate and energize our discussions.
I thank you.