The UN General Assembly adopted the 2020 QCPR, providing guidance to the UN Development System for 2021-2024.
The resolution lays out how the UN system should be helping countries implement the 2030 Agenda and respond to COVID-19.
This is the first QCPR since the UN undertook a reform process to “reposition” the UN development system and better align its activities with the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution providing guidance to the UN Development System for the next four years. The 2020 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) resolution lays out how the UN system should be helping countries implement the 2030 Agenda and respond to COVID-19.
The resolution is the first QCPR since the UN undertook a reform process to “reposition” the UN development system and better align its activities with the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The reforms have included: de-linking the UN Resident Coordinator (RC) system from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to make it “empowered and independent;” establishing the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) to support the RCs and UN Country Teams; crafting a Funding Compact to improve the quality and predictability of resources allocated to the UN development system, as the system in turn would increase its effectiveness, transparency, and accountability; increasing support for regional-level activities; and creating the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (replacing the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)), and utilizing it for planning and implementing UN development activities at the country level in support of the 2030 Agenda.
Development bodies should support countries in addressing gaps and challenges identified in their VNRs.
The 2020 QCPR covers the period 2021-2024. After being negotiated in the UNGA’s Second Committee (Economic and Financial) in late 2020, the UNGA took up the text in a plenary meeting on 8 December 2020 and adopted it by a vote. 167 UN Member States voted “yes,” while the Russian Federation abstained.
The 2020 resolution calls on the UN development system to further mainstream the SDGs into planning, work, and reporting. Development bodies should also support countries to accelerate the implementation, follow-up, and review of the 2030 Agenda, including by addressing the gaps and challenges identified by voluntary national reviews (VNRs).
On COVID-19, the text calls for development bodies to “work towards building back better and a sustainable inclusive and resilient recovery which is people-centred, gender-sensitive and respects human rights, has a particular focus on the poorest, most vulnerable and those furthest behind and protects the planet, achieves prosperity and universal health coverage by 2030.” The resolution emphasizes the need to improve the UN system’s support to least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and small island development States (SIDS), as well as African countries.
On climate and the environment, the QCPR calls upon the entities of the UN development system to: adopt and mainstream a more climate- and environment-responsive approach into their programmes and strategic plans; develop a system-wide approach to reduce the operational climate and environmental footprint; and ensure that operations and programmes are consistent with low emissions and climate-resilient development pathways. UN Member States ask the Secretary-General to develop a common approach to integrating biodiversity and ecosystem-based approaches for sustainable development into UN policy and programme planning and delivery.
Also in the resolution, governments call for the UN development system to implement and report on the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy, and to promote concrete new avenues for the “full, effective, structured, and sustainable participation of young people in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.” [Draft resolution: Quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system (A/C.2/75/L.61)] [SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of UN reform process] [UN reform website]