Joint Meeting of the Executive Boards

Statement by Ambassador May-Elin Stener at the Joint Meeting of the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UNICEF, UN-Women and WFP, 19 June 2017.

| Executive Board

Mr. President,

Thank you and also to colleagues from the various agencies for their presentations. We appreciate especially the many concrete examples of system-wide collaborative efforts to deliver as one in the field. I would also - as previous  speakers - like to extend our warmest welcome to the new administrator of UNDP. We look forward to working with you.

Member states have in 2016 agreed that the QCPR is the main instrument to better position the UNDS to assist countries in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in a coherent and integrated manner.

Clearly, this is an ambitious task for the UNDS as a whole as well as for individual agencies.   It is what the UN is able to achieve at country level that matters. The call for delivering as one is, however, not new with the 2016 QCPR. The Standard Operating Procedures developed in response to the 2012 QCPR and endorsed by the Chief Executives Board (in 2014) – including the heads of the funds and programmes – provides excellent guidance on steps to be taken to ensure that the UN Country Team delivers as one. The SOP-Tracker  shows a general trend of improvement but also huge variations among countries as well as substantial variations in the implementation of the different core elements of the Delivering as One. This monitoring shows that elements related to funding – common budgetary framework and common resource mobilization strategies – are weak points. Despite substantial efforts invested that have resulted in improved UNDAFs, it is also our observation that completion for visibility and funding often remains.  

We have therefore the following questions to the Head of each of the funds and programmes:

  •  Which concrete steps has your organization taken to ensure that your country offices sign up behind the Standard Operating Procedures?
  • Is inconsistent messaging from the headquarter and the regional offices a reason for the short-comings in implementation of the core elements of the Standard Operating Procedures, in particular those related to funding? 
  • Which concrete steps will you take to ensure that your country offices contribute to full implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures as well as the revised UNDAF guideline(2017)?
  • How will your organization contribute to the fulfilment of the call in the new QCPR of enhancing joint resource mobilization at country level?

On Joint Programmes, which is highlighted in the background document: Joint programmes can be important instruments for facilitating coordinated action within a specific thematic area. However, joint programmes are often also quite “heavy” in terms of transaction costs (including for partners). My questions to the Head of each of the funds and programmes:

  • What are the present obstacles, if any, of responding to the principle of mutual recognition of best practices in terms of policies and procedures (OP52)?
  • What will your organization do to overcome these obstacles?