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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2010

System Wide Coherence Plenary

Delivered by the Canadian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations on behalf of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, April 16, 2010, New York

Thank you, Co-Chairs.

I have the honour today to speak on behalf of Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

We wish to start by thanking you, the Deputy Secretary-General and her team for the process taken up to now. We are pleased that a draft text has been produced and that negotiations will commence shortly towards a resolution in June.

CANZ remains committed to the UN system for operational activities and to engaging constructively in the System-Wide Coherence process. We recognize that all programme countries are different and have various needs and demands on the UN system. Both UN organisations and their respective governing bodies need greater flexibility to meet programme countries’ demands, upon their request. This is needed to help the UN to become a more effective and responsive partner to programme countries. We are also grateful to the Delivering as One pilot countries for taking the initiative to try new ways of working, and we look forward to the independent evaluation to help our collective learning.

In the area of funding, we support exploring the concept of “critical mass” within the governing bodies and in close collaboration with their respective agencies. It has potential to lead to real outcomes in both the quantity and quality of voluntary funding that the organisations receive. As a multilateral system, the organisations of the UN development system need to continue to broaden their base of financial support. This is important to achieve better stability and reduced risks in their funding. We also recognize that funding is related to the organizations’ ability to support programme countries’ priorities, their institutional capacities, performance, the strength of their governance mechanisms, and on burden-sharing.

In the area of governance, we continue to believe that there is room for improvements in implementing the existing legislation. At the same time, we recognise that there are dozens of governing bodies across the system, the majority outside New York. Each has its own particularities and is at varying stages of progress in the areas identified in the decision elements. Some of these differences should be acknowledged in the resolution.

Finally, the new gender entity will constitute a strong response for the United Nations to deliver on the expansive mandates that Member States have endorsed towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. It will provide operational support to all member states – North and South – upon their request, to help them to implement their national priorities. To do this, the entity will need the flexibility similar to that of the funds and programmes in order to be able to effectively and efficiently respond.

We are pleased to see that the  Secretary-General has now called for nominations for the position of Under  Secretary General to lead the new entity. It is important that the entity’s leadership clearly understands  the memberships’ requests and decisions so that it can respond appropriately. We  believe that the resolution should be legislating only areas that clearly need  to be legislated, and that some of the language could be improved to provide  greater clarity on the follow-up process.  

Finally, Co-Chairs, we continue to reaffirm the dual strategies of gender-specific programming and gender mainstreaming in order to make progress towards gender equality. All organisations in the system have a role to play, and they will need to continue addressing gender equality within their respective mandates. It will be important for the entity to be able to interact with all organisations and bodies in order to advance gender mainstreaming, especially those working at country level.

We look forward to working with you and all member states in the upcoming negotiations, and we reassure that you have the full support of CANZ.

Thank you.

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