Second Committee Adopts QCPR 2017-2020 to Align UNDS, 2030 Agenda
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution on the 2017-2020 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), which stresses that national governments have the primary responsibility for their countries’ development and for coordinating all types of external assistance.

The resolution recognizes that a comprehensive whole-of-system response, including greater cooperation and complementarity among development, disaster risk reduction (DRR), humanitarian action and sustaining peace, is “fundamental” to attaining the SDGs.

13 December 2016: The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution on the 2017-2020 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), which Member States resolved to use as “the main instrument” to position the UN operational activities for development to support countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The QCPR is the UNGA mechanism to assess UN operational activities for development and the functioning of the UN development system (UNDS), and is conducted every four years.

The resolution (A/C.2/71/L.63) stresses that national governments have the primary responsibility for their countries’ development and for coordinating, on the basis of national strategies and priorities, all types of external assistance, including that provided by multilateral organizations, in order to integrate such assistance into their development processes.

The QCPR 2017-2020 calls on the UNDS entities, within their respective mandates, to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their strategic planning documents and their work at all levels, taking into account that the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions is “the greatest global challenge,” and should continue to be the highest priority for and underlying objective of UNDS.

The resolution requests the UN Secretary-General, in consultation with the UNDS entities, to carry out by June 2017 a system-wide outline of present functions and existing capacities of the UN entities carrying out operational activities for development in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The resolution recognizes that a comprehensive whole-of-system response, including greater cooperation and complementarity among development, disaster risk reduction (DRR), humanitarian action and sustaining peace, is “fundamental” to attaining the SDGs. It also calls on all UNDS entities to continue to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality by enhancing gender mainstreaming through, inter alia, the full implementation of the System-wide Action Plan (SWAP) on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, developed under the leadership of UN-Women.

The resolution requests the UN Secretary-General, in consultation with the UNDS entities, to carry out, by June 2017, a system-wide outline of present functions, as defined in their strategic plans, and existing capacities of the UN entities carrying out operational activities for development in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with a view to: identifying gaps and overlaps in coverage; providing recommendations for addressing them; identifying comparative advantages; and improving the inter-agency approach.

Stressing the need to improve UNDS’ governance, in the resolution, Member States request the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), to prepare a report containing options for improving the accountability and coordination of all UNDS entities and their oversight by Member States. The resolution further provides that these options should address: improving the role of ECOSOC in providing overall guidance to and coordination of the UNDS; defining “clear and accountable roles” across the system; and enhancing the transparency of the activities of the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) and the UN Development Group (UNDG). This report is to be presented to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) by end of June 2017 for its consideration, and to UNGA at its 72nd session for review and further action.

The QCPR further requests the Secretary-General to prepare a comprehensive proposal on further improvements to the resident coordinator system administered by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), with a view to ensuring, at all levels, “sufficient” leadership and prerogative over the UN country team, as well as impartiality, independence, funding and a “proper” dispute resolution mechanism. This report is to be to presented to the ECOSOC by end of June 2017 for its review, and to the UNGA at its 72nd session for review and further action.

The draft resolution also requests the UN Secretary-General, under the auspices of the ECOSOC and in cooperation with UN resident coordinators, to conduct a biennial survey, directed to governments on a voluntary basis, on the quality, relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the support of the UNDS for national development priorities and plans. [QCPR 2017-2020] [SDG Knowledge Hub Coverage of the QCPR Process] [SDG Knowledge Hub Policy Brief on QCPR]

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