UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed briefed governments on the status of reforms to the UN development system.
She said the UN Secretariat is making the planned transition to the new Resident Coordinator system, but a funding gap for the system exists beyond 2019, and the 1% coordination levy will help to fill the anticipated funding gap.
Mohammed said she looks forward to UN Member States endorsing the Funding Compact during the upcoming session of the ECOSOC Operational Activities for Development segment.
3 May 2019: The UN Secretariat is making the planned transition to the new Resident Coordinator (RC) system, but a funding gap for the system exists beyond 2019, UN Member States were informed. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed briefed governments on the status of reforms to the UN development system, noting that the 1% coordination levy will help to fill the anticipated funding gap for the reinvigorated RC system.
The briefing took place on 3 May 2019, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. On the reinvigorated RC system, Mohammed reported that the UN Development Coordination Office “is up and running” and actively supporting the RCs. She said the Secretariat will strengthen the RCs with the needed tools and skill sets, and this is possible thanks to support from all Member States, especially those who contributed to the special Trust Fund.
Regarding the funding gap, Mohammed said the 1% coordination levy will be operationalized in June 2019. She looked forward to UN Member States endorsing the Funding Compact during the upcoming session of the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) Operational Activities for Development segment, convening from 21-23 May 2019. The Funding Compact was called for by UN Member States in UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 72/279, responding to Member States’ request for “whole of UN” approaches through the 2016 UNGA resolution on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (71/243). A non-binding instrument for voluntary adherence by individual governments and other contributing donors, the Compact aims to provide the financial support needed to align the UN development system with the 2030 Agenda. After a set of Funding Dialogues between governments and the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), the Compact was finalized in March 2019. The 15-page document articulates concrete actions on both sides, by UN Member States and all of the UNSDG entities, and contains a set of commitments with relevant indicators to measure compliance for each one. The Compact will be submitted by the UN Secretary-General, on behalf of UNSDG, as a complement to his Annual Report to ECOSOC for consideration in the OAS.
Mohammed also reported that common premises will become the norm, with common back offices for UN country teams (UNCTs) to be in place by 2021. She explained that the new generation of UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs), which have been renamed the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks, or “Cooperation Frameworks,” will be drafted in collaboration with national governments to inform UN agencies’ country programmes – not vice-versa. She added that the Secretariat plans to revamp criteria for RC selection, as the current system does not fully represent the competencies needed for 2030 Agenda implementation, including gender and geographic balance.
Mohammed also informed governments that the Secretariat has conducted an extensive review of multi-country offices (MCOs). The review underscored that the recruitment of the RCs operating in MCOs will be critical, as they need suitable skillsets. These RCs will have clear reporting lines and clear responsibilities, and the Secretariat will seek to increase funds for MCOs through existing mechanisms, such as the Fund for the 2030 Agenda, without affecting the regular budget. She announced that the Secretariat will set up an MCO in the North Pacific and is considering additional presence in the Caribbean.
On the UN’s regional assets, the Deputy Secretary-General said she has conducted a highly consultative process, visiting or consulting with all regions, and measures will be taken to ensure better reporting on region-wide results. In addition, a Joint Steering Committee for Humanitarian-Development Collaboration is being introduced to bring development to the center of the conversation on humanitarian and peace interventions.
The UN Secretary-General’s report to ECOSOC is available in advance form. [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]