21 February 2019
UNDP Outlines Potential of Funding Compact
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The Funding Compact proposed by the UN Secretary-General is a non-binding document based on voluntary commitment that reiterates the “shared responsibility of Member State and the UN development system to collectively achieve the SDGs”.

The final plenary meeting of the dialogue on the Funding Compact is scheduled for 28 February.

12 February 2019: UN Development Programme (UNDP) experts authored a blog post linking the UN Secretary-General’s proposal for a Funding Compact to the “future of multilateralism.” They write that the Compact aims to “unlock the full potential” of the UN development system, noting that it focuses on improving the quality and quantity of budgetary resources for UN development operations, aiming to achieve a budget of USD32 billion.

The authors, Ulrika Modeer and Tsegaye Lemma, reflect that the shared responsibility and greater coordination – representing a “new type of multilateralism” – set out by the 2030 Agenda should extend to the way it is financed and delivered. However, they observe a “worrying trend” that has occurred as financial contributions to the UN have grown: Member States prefer to designate their funding for specific activities, as opposed to providing more flexible core funding. This limits the UN development system’s strategic use of the funds, the experts argue, while also causing competition and “mandate drift” as agencies compete for support.

In this context, the blog post describes Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ proposed Funding Compact as an opportunity for the UN development system and the international community to increase effectiveness and impact by enabling UN entities to plan strategically, find coordinated and integrated solutions, act quickly and decisively when disasters occur, leverage additional climate and development finance, and ensure no one is left behind. The Funding Compact is a non-binding document based on voluntary commitments. It puts forward a set of commitments focusing on UN Member States that seek to increase the level of quality funding and core, pooled and thematic funding.

The experts report that as part of the UN development system’s commitment, it will enhance transparency and accountability, efficiency, and evaluation and reporting on results. The Funding Compact will encourage the UN development system to better articulate its results through clear and transparent communication with Member States on the use and flow of funding.

In addition, the Funding Compact encourages greater collaboration and innovative partnerships among UN organizations, the private sector and civil society. Increased flexibility of funds, and more pooled funds, are expected to enable more joint activities and collaboration across the UN.

A dialogue on the Funding Compact took place in 2018 under the leadership of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, and technical discussions to further refine the draft Compact resumed in January 2019. The final plenary meeting of the dialogue is scheduled for 28 February. [Blog post] [SDG Knowledge Hub update on funding compact]

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