UN Member States discussed the potential of the 2016 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) to help address challenges and opportunities posed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in the first module of a training series organized by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland.
18 March 2016: UN Member States discussed the potential of the 2016 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) to help address challenges and opportunities posed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in the first module of a training series organized by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland.
The QCPR is a mechanism of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that is used every four years to assess UN operational activities for development, including in the areas of funding, functioning of the UN Development System (UNDS) and the development effectiveness of its work. The next QCPR is taking place in 2016, and will seek to ensure that the UNDS is fit to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Addressing participants in the training on 18 March 2016, in New York, US, Navid Hanif, DESA, said the UN must work as a single system in support of the 2030 Agenda, and recalled that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had led to a “project-management mentality.” Hanif highlighted the potential of the QCPR, as the only instrument for horizontal governance, to resolve tension between the UN’s “vertical” and “horizontal” governance.
Nicolas Randin, Permanent Mission of Switzerland, outlined the QCPR’s importance, noting that: it provides for a unique UN interlocutor to governments for development (the Resident Coordinators); it provides a united framework, the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF); it offers overview and coordination of the UN activities in a country; and it gives guidance on the strategic plans of the UN funds and programs. Randin suggested identifying areas on which agencies must work together, and where they should work separately, and called for a mapping of existing mandates.
Laura Elena Flores Herrera, Permanent Representative of Panama, underscored the need for UNDS to be flexible in responding to the needs of different countries, including middle-income countries (MICs). Herrera also discussed the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) ongoing dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the UNDS. She said it will conclude in June, just as negotiations on the QCPR resolution begin. The resolution is expected to be adopted by the UNGA in December 2016.
David Nabarro, UN Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said the UN system should use the QCPR to reinvent itself, while warning against the creation of new processes, mechanisms or layers. He also: called for linking humanitarian action and development; noted a need for new means for accountability; said the SDGs are the “reverse” of the siloed MDGs, as they are a “a tapestry to be pursued together;” and called for academic, intellectual work in “transversal ways,” saying specialization alone will lead to great challenges.
The next modules of the QCPR Training series will take place on: 20 April (UNDS Functions); 24 May (Funding for UN operational activities for development); 23 June (Perspectives from the field); and early October (Briefing in preparation of the QCPR negotiations). [UNITAR QCPR Trainings] [QCPR 2016] [QCPR Implementation Website] [Report of the Secretary-General: Implementation of General Assembly Resolution 67/226 on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system (QCPR): 2016] [IISD RS Story on DESA QCPR Briefing]