Statement of the Group of 77 and China during the meeting of the Working Group on financing the Agency’s activities, including ways and means to render the resources for the Technical Cooperation Fund sufficient, assured and predictable, delivered by Ambassador Lourdes O. Yparraguirre, Permanent Representative of the Philippines on Thursday 4 September 2014
Madame Co-Chair, Mr. Co-Chair:
The Group of 77 and China welcomes this opportunity to exchange views on the different issues reflected in the draft report of the Working Group on financing the Agency’s activities, including ways and means to render the resources for the Technical Cooperation Fund sufficient, assured and predictable. As we said during previous meetings of this Working Group, we are of the view that the deliberations in this setting are of foremost importance, for us to secure an outcome that is satisfactory, concrete and results-oriented.
The Group of 77 and China sees that the process thus far has been useful, and we thank you, distinguished Co-Chairs, for your efforts in taking this exercise forward and in trying to achieve consensus on the draft report.
It is worth recalling that this Working Group was established in the process leading to the adoption of the Agency’s Programme and Budget for 2014-2015, in accordance with the decision of the Board of Governors approving the budget for the said biennium. This is clearly the agreement reflected in document GOV/2013/30/Rev.1 of 28 July 2013, when the Board of Governors decided to establish a Working Group to examine the financing of the Agency’s activities, including the ways and means to render resources of the Technical Cooperation Fund Sufficient, Assured and Predictable.
The express reference to the Technical Cooperation Fund in the Board’s decision to create this Working Group is a clear indication of the fact that during the discussions of the Programme and Budget of the Agency for 2014-2015 there were differences in terms of views and expectations over the Technical Cooperation target for 2014 and the Indicative Planning Figure for 2016 and 2017. Hence, the decision to establish a Working Group was a crucial element in the agreement which was reached at the time.
Madame Co-Chair, Mr. Co-Chair:
When agreement was reached on the budget for the current biennium, the expectation of the Group of 77 and China was that this Working Group would allow us to address this very important issue of the Technical Cooperation Fund in a broader context, and to effectively implement the agreement of the Board of Governors on the Budget proposal of 2009, as contained in GOV/2009/52/Rev.1 calling for appropriate increases to the resources of the Technical Cooperation Programme, instead of having to address recurrent disagreements each time we consider the Agency’s Programme and Budget for the coming biennium, seeking, time and again, the increases already called for in the decision taken by the Board back in 2009.
It is therefore essential for this Working Group to produce concrete recommendations calling for increases in the Technical Cooperation Fund. The Group of 77 and China has produced concrete wording to this end. In this regard, the draft report should not convey the idea that recommendations of the Working Group in this direction would require the revision or ratification of the decision of 2009. Rather, the Working Group should focus on its effective implementation, since this decision by the Board is not contingent on a specific budgetary cycle but calls for—and I quote— “appropriate increases to the resources for the Technical Cooperation Programme, including the Technical Cooperation target”, from 2012 onwards.
It is clear that whatever we discuss and whichever decision we arrive at in this Working Group will bear an impact on the negotiations of the Programme and Budget of the Agency for the next cycle.
Member States will always face financial constraints, most especially developing countries. Our challenge is to seek ways of materializing an agreement on increases to the resources of the Technical Cooperation Programme that is overdue, while looking at practical ways of generating additional sources of funding for Technical Cooperation activities. In this regard, the Group of 77 and China views with satisfaction the emerging consensus in this Working Group on the concept of an Agency-specific Public-Private Partnership that is in line with the practice in the UN and in specialized agencies, as well as the recommendation on outcome monitoring and assessment of all the activities conducted by the Agency. With respect to the latter, as already stated by the Group of 77 and China in this Working Group, a balanced approach in the regular internal and external evaluations on the Agency’s activities—both promotional and non-promotional—is needed in order to achieve more effectiveness and efficiency in the administration of the resources coming both from the Regular Budget as well as from the Technical Cooperation Fund.
Lastly, on the way forward. As we said before, the Group of 77 and China is of the view that for this process to succeed, it needs to produce a concrete outcome, in the form of a report with actionable recommendations to be adopted by the Board of Governors by way of a decision. We hope that today’s meeting will make it possible to come to a result that is satisfactory to all. If the Working Group reaches no consensus on the recommendations contained in the draft report, we request that these deliberations resume after the General Conference, together with the discussions on the Programme and Budget and the TCF Targets for 2016-2017.