20 August 2020
UNGA Set to Begin Quadrennial Negotiations on Development System
UN Photo/Kim Haughton
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The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution taking stock of the implementation of the 2016 policy review of the UN's development system.

The agreement takes place ahead of negotiations on Member States' next quadrennial policy review.

Negotiations on the 2020 QCPR are expected to begin in October.

The UN General Assembly has set the stage for the next full review of the UN’s development work, which takes place every four years. The negotiations are expected to place “an unprecedented focus on supporting Member States in accelerating progress towards the SDGs.”

Known as the quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR), the process was last conducted in 2016. Its implementation was assessed during the May 2020 session of the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) Operational Activities Segment, which also assessed progress in the ongoing reforms to the UN development system. These findings are expected to guide the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in negotiating the 2020 QCPR.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed – who leads the organization’s work to reposition the UNDS – has expressed hope that the 2020 QCPR could serve as a “a forward-leaning tool that takes the system’s collective accountability for results to the next level.”

By the resolution adopted on 11 August 2020 (A/RES/74/297), Member States:

  • Take note of the Secretary-General’s report (A/75/79–E/2020/55), which addresses the UN’s support for governments to “recover better from the [COVID-19] crisis and deliver during the decade of action” for the SDGs;
  • Take note of the report of the Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group on the work of the Development Coordination Office (DCO) (E/2020/54), which marks the first annual account of the new resident coordinator (RC) system and DCO operations. The Chair reports that a “truly empowered and independent” RC system was launched on 1 January 2019, and is supported by the stand-alone global DCO;
  • Welcome the progress achieved by the UN development system, take note of the challenges on repositioning it, and look forward to the implementation of all reform mandates;
  • Regarding the UN development system’s “regional assets,” request the UN Secretary-General to continue transparent and inclusive UN consultations on their “longer-term reprofiling and restructuring” to ensure this takes place in accordance with each region’s specific needs and priorities, and stress that regional repositioning should be conducted with the support of the regional economic commissions, specialized agencies, funds, programmes, and regional offices of the DCO; and
  • Regarding multi-country offices (MCOs), welcome recommendations on reinforcing support in MCO settings and call for continued consultations, as part of enabling countries to implement the 2030 Agenda.

The UNGA’s negotiations on the QCPR should begin in October 2020. [ECOSOC webpage on 2020 QCPR] [UN meeting summary of adoption][SDG Knowledge Hub summary of QCPR 2017-2020]

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