NEW YORK, 25th February, 2016 (WAM) – The Economic and Social Council concluded its three-day operational activities segment today, with Governments calling on the United Nations to “fundamentally reshape” its development system by outlining new policy directions and partnerships that increased the efficiency, coherence and funding of the Organisation’s 27 programmes, funds and specialised agencies.
“This has been a highly successful segment by every measure,” Council Vice-President Alejandro Palma Cerna (Honduras) said in closing remarks. Discussions had revealed much common ground. Over the last year, the environment in which the United Nations operated had changed significantly with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among other global agreements. The Agenda, unprecedented in scope, challenged the system to strengthen its Resident Coordinator network and to fully implement its “delivering as one” approach.
Further, he said, participants agreed the system must transcend humanitarian, development and peace-building divides. It should adopt a flexible and cost-effective organizational presence in programme countries, reflecting the spectrum of services required in different national contexts. The United Nations participation in multi-stakeholder partnerships must be guided by the Organisation’s values and standards and subject to oversight. The funding structure favoured voluntary earmarked resources over core resources, an imbalance that fostered competition and fragmentation within the development system.
Throughout the day, speakers in the general debate called for organizational renewal, with a development system “fit for purpose” and able to deliver on a universal agenda in an era of declining core funding. For some, that meant a change in behaviour, governance, cooperation and management of development efforts at all levels. The 2030 Agenda would require new roles for the system, beyond coordination and information-sharing. Work should be aligned to each State’s development stage and national priorities. Overall, the system should be closer to people’s realities and adapted to their needs.