Statement of the Group of 77 and China on the occasion of the Fourth 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 the Chairman of the Group of 77 and China, H.E. Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul AZEEZ, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka on Thursday 20 March 2014
Madame Co-Chair, Mr. Co-Chair:
The Group of 77 and China thanks the Secretariat—in particular, the Department of Technical Cooperation and the Division of Budget and Finance—for the presentations made during the second and third meetings of this Working Group. The Secretariat has provided useful background material for delegations to work with in the course of the deliberations of this Working Group.
The Group of 77 and China acknowledges the efforts undertaken so far, to explore means to assure that resources for the Technical Cooperation programme are sufficient, assured and predictable, as requested by the General Conference in Resolution GC(50)/RES/12.
The Group of 77 and China would like this Working Group to focus on substantive issues in a result-oriented manner, and to produce a tangible output in terms of actual proposals aimed at improving the financing of the activities of the Agency, including ways and means to render the resources for the Technical Cooperation Fund sufficient, assured and predictable.
It is in this spirit that the Group of 77 and China would like this Working Group to address a number of aspects pertaining to the financing of the activities of the Agency, both TC and non-TC related, inter alia:
- The implementation of the agreement reached by the Board of Governors on the Budget Proposal for 2009 as contained in document GOV/2009/52/Rev.1, that, with respect to future targets for voluntary contributions to the Technical Cooperation Fund the 2005 decision to synchronise the TC programme cycle with the regular programme and budget cycle provides a framework to consider appropriate increases to the resources of the TC programme, including the TCF target. It is worth noting that this decision identified 2012 as the starting date for these increases, and established that they should take into account the changes in the level of the regular operational budget from 2009 onwards and the price adjustment factor in the corresponding years, among other relevant factors.
- Also consistent with the 2005 decision of the Board, the idea that the TCF target should be revised in tandem with the Regular Budget and that, to this end, the Indicative Planning Figure for the following biennium should be taken as the starting point.
- The overall timing and work of the Working Group on the Programme and Budget and the Technical Cooperation Fund Targets.
- An informed assessment as to whether Major Programme 6 is funded appropriately through the Regular Budget.
- An informed assessment on the level of funding of the remaining Major Programmes and a holistic assessment of the balance in the allocation of resources among Major Programmes based on goals and priorities of the activities of the Agency.
- An informed assessment of the efficiency in the spending of the resources allocated to non-promotional activities, including an assessment of the rate of completion of the activities contemplated for a specific budgetary cycle.
- The need to have a balanced approach in the regular internal and external evaluations on the Agency’s activities—both promotional and non-promotional—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.
- Related to the latter, the efficiency in the administration of voluntary extra-budgetary contributions received for non-promotional activities.
- The impact of the increase of resources for non-promotional activities in the overall balance of the resources available for the Technical Cooperation Programme.
- Generating additional sources of funding for Technical Cooperation activities and, in this regard, the concept of an Agency-specific Public-Private Partnership in line with the practice in the UN and in specialised agencies.
- The enhancement of TC project implementation by the Secretariat, as mandated by the resolution adopted by the General Conference at its Fifty-Seventh session.
- The institution of mechanisms aimed at achieving the goal of making TC resources sufficient, assured and predictable (SAP), including the implementation by the Secretariat of effective measures to strengthen the application of the due account mechanism, as mandated by the General Conference at its Fifty-Seventh session.
- The need for periodical briefings by the Secretariat to Member States on the programme priorities of the Agency, and their impact on the Regular Budget.
We put forward these ideas to this Working Group for consideration, in the hope that delegations will engage in a process of thorough and constructive discussions, trying to bring concrete ideas into fruition. We would encourage the Co-Chairs to allot the time necessary so that these proposals can be given thorough consideration, bearing in mind the need for the Secretariat to prepare and compile, as necessary, background documentation and briefings on specific topics, as appropriate, to facilitate the preparation of recommendations by this Working Group.
On procedural matters, the Group wishes to point out the following:
The proximity of the end date that has been set to this Working Group imposes a time limitation on its deliberations that curtails the possibility of discussing the wide range of issues that we have just briefly mentioned,and of ending with actual action-oriented proposals. It may well be the case that discussions may not have been exhausted by late April, which is the time foreseen in the Programme of Work and Framework proposed by the distinguished Co-Chairs for the second and last exchange on the summary and conclusions. A prescriptive schedule as the one contained in section D of the Programme of Work and Framework poses the risk of having the process abide by a timeline of meetings that may not necessarily be in correspondence with the actual time required in the overall process. Since the Chair of the Board of Governors has requested this Working Group to report to the June Board, such reporting could be of an interim nature at that stage, thus allowing for discussions to continue past that instance.
There is also the issue as to how the output of this Working Group will be acted on by the Policy-Making Organs. As we said before, we are confident that this Working Group will agree on a set of proposed actions aimed at improving the financing of the Agency’s activities, to be considered by the Policy-Making Organs of the Agency. With this in mind, we would like to see the output of this Working Group turn into measures actually being implemented.
We are convinced that seeking tangible results and long-lasting solutions in this Working Group will pave the way to successful discussions on the Programme and Budget for the upcoming biennia.
The Group of 77 and China calls on Member States to engage in constructive discussions on the ideas that we are presenting here and other ideas that may be brought to this Working Group for its consideration, with a view to reaching consensus on sound, action-oriented proposals aimed at improving the financing of the Agency’s activities.
Thank you, Madame and Mr. Co-Chairs.