Governments Approve Budget for Resident Coordinator System Reform
Photo by IISD/ENB | Pamela Chasek
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Chandramouli Ramanathan, Acting Controller, noted that the UNGA had decided to double the amount contributed to the RC system - to US$77.5 million for 2019 - through the UN Sustainable Development Group cost‑sharing arrangements.

This is one of three funding sources for the new RC system; the UN Secretariat’s share is US$13.57 million.

The new RC system is expected to be operational on 1 January 2019.

28 November 2018: The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has decided to support the UN Secretary‑General’s proposal for revitalizing the UN’s Resident Coordinator (RC) system by approving his request for an appropriation of US$13.57 million for 2019. The reforms to the RC system are part of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ efforts to align the UN development system with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

During its 72nd session, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) agreed on a new funding scheme for the RC system, which will require a total investment of $US281 million in 2019. The reform of the RC system entails delinking it from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and aims to create a system that is fully dedicated to the 2030 Agenda and independent from any UN agency, while being more transparent and more accountable to Member States.

The Fifth Committee met on 28 November 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Acting Controller, introduced the Secretary‑General’s report on the matter, noting that the UNGA had decided to double the amount contributed to the RC system through the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG’s) cost‑sharing arrangements. This arrangement, which is one of three overall funding sources for the RC system, will amount to US$77.5 million for 2019. The UN Secretariat’s share is $13.57 million.

In the ensuing discussion, Egypt for the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China) stressed that as the UN reconfigures the RC system, transparency and accountability to governments are essential, given that the UN development system relies “heavily” on the RC system to fulfill the mandates of intergovernmentally agreed outcomes related to sustainable development. Pakistan said poverty eradication should remain UN development system’s overarching goal.

China stressed that the new RC system should not compete with UN’s existing resources. The Philippines said the funding arrangement for the RC system must address the decline of core contributions while putting no additional burdens on programme countries.

Switzerland also for Liechtenstein emphasized that the Secretary‑General must provide full transparency to all stakeholders on the system’s expenditures, total costs of operations and results achieved. She commended the Secretary‑General for proposing relevant mechanisms to that end, including a dedicated website for Member States and partners.

On 14 November, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner updated Member States on preparations to ensure the reformed system will be in place on 1 January 2019. Among his updates, he noted that the UN Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO) has been transitioned to the Secretariat, and outlined the process of transitioning the current RCs to the new arrangements. [UN Meeting Coverage] [SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of UN reform]

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