Norway welcomes the adoption of the General Assembly resolution on the repositioning of the United Nations development system, in the context of the QCPR. We appreciate the flexibility shown by all Member States.
Norway takes this opportunity to comment on two main issues:
First, on reforms at country level:
Norway highly appreciates the agreement to
- establish the position of an independent Resident Coordinator with authority to lead the UN country team,
- make the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) the single most important instrument for planning and implementation of UN development activities, and
- establish a new generation country teams.
The resolution provides an opportunity to better position the UN development system to support countries in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda in a coherent and integrated manner as asked for in the 2016 QCPR resolution. With the agreement reached, we – Member States, the Secretary General and Heads of individual funds, programmes and specialized agencies - now have a common responsibility to ensure that the reforms are implemented.
We look to the leadership of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General in ensuring that the three closely related country-based reforms are smoothly implemented, including through adoption of necessary system-wide guidelines and making leaders at all levels accountable for common results, enhanced efficiencies and progress on reforms. Full implementation also of the QCPR provisions are crucial in this regard.
We look forward to the Secretary General’s implementation plan for the inception of reinvigorated Resident Coordinator system. The expectation on our side is a plan that contains information on all required steps to be taken in the UN, including a timetable. With regard to the requested operationalization of the decided funding arrangements, our expectation is a realistic assessment of the different funding streams, both in terms of volume and what needs to be done in order to ensure that funding does not fall short of expectations.
With regard to the position of the Resident Coordinator, we feel confident that the Secretary General also will ensure that the Resident Coordinator will be accredited as the highest-ranking representative of the UN development system in all host countries.
Member States must also do our part. The governing bodies of all funds, programmes and specialized agencies must take decisions required to ensure that the respective entities contribute constructively to the reforms decided by Member States through the present resolution and the QCPR.
The second issue is on funding.
The country level reforms under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator can be implemented smoothly only if the Resident Coordinator system is sufficiently funded. Burden sharing is a central multilateral principle, and Norway would urge all Member States to contribute to the voluntary trust fund for the RC-system. This trust fund must be brought to scale if the overall funding requirements of the RC-system are going to be met. It is also crucial that all contributors of strictly earmarked funding accept the 1 % coordination fee being deducted from their contributions. In the governing bodies, we have to ensure that all entities pay their full share of the enhanced UNDG Cost-Sharing Arrangement.
Another crucial aspect of the funding issue is the Funding Compact between the UN development system and Member States. Norway sees a possible Funding Compact as an opportunity to change the unhealthy funding pattern, heavily dominated by strictly earmarked project funding and lack of predictability. Again, this is a call to all Member States. Norway is willing to look into what we can do better and will participate actively in the upcoming funding dialogue, with the aim of establishing concrete and measurable targets for the UN development system as well as for Member States.