Statement delivered by Craig J. Hawke, Permanent Representative of the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations, 22 May 2019

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Australia, Canada, and my own country, New Zealand. 

We thank the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General for their leadership and continued efforts to reposition the UN development system and to align it with the 2030 Agenda.

We applaud the hard work to date to operationalise the new Resident Coordinator system, and congratulate the UN for the roll-out of the RC system with minimal operational disruptions.

This is a timely and significant first step in the reform process. However, we appreciate that there is more hard work to come to realise a fully reinvigorated RC system.

To have a meaningful impact on country-level delivery, UN agency representatives responsible for country level activities need to establish a strong relationship with the new RCs. Without full support for the RCs from each agency representative, little will change.

The operationalisation of the recently finalised Management and Accountability Framework, which clearly outlines the accountability of each agency representative to the RC, is fundamental to success of the reform agenda. We urge the SG to be bold in leading this next critical phase. 

As donors, we will do our part to empower the RCs by changing the way we engage with the UN at country level in recognition of, and to support, their new mandate.

For the new RC system to be successful it also needs predictable and sustainable funding. New Zealand, Australia and Canada have each provided multi-year financial contributions to the RC coordination function and we encourage all states, both donor and programme countries, to consider doing the same.    Mr Secretary-General

We have welcomed the opportunity to work together with the UN and member states to develop a Funding Compact. We have been particularly encouraged by the conversation on quality non-core funding.

To drive change, we all must reassess the way we fund the system.  To achieve the SDGs, we must broaden the donor base and encourage non-traditional donors to increase their contributions as their economies allow. More multi-year core funding is also critical, as is providing programmatic funding that incentivises collaboration.

Agencies also need to honour their commitments in the Funding Compact, including by accelerating results with more effective programme implementation, better monitoring of results and more transparent reporting.

UN agencies must change the way they work with each other, increasing their partnerships, joint programming and collaboration. There is still too much competition between agencies, and this is wasting precious development resource.

For our delegations, the multi-country office review is a particularly critical element of the reform.  We take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General for visiting the Pacific last week. This enabled you to view first-hand the development challenges that the region, and all small island developing states, face.

We appreciate the acknowledgement that the UN must do more, and better support all countries covered by MCOs. We also welcome the provision of increased resources for coordination, and the acknowledgement that each country covered by a MCO needs a specific development plan.

We welcome and support the decisions the Secretary-General has made to execute his reform mandate in both the Caribbean and Pacific, and look forward to further discussions on how these can best be implemented.

Mr Secretary-General

We support the deployment of human rights advisers to UNCTs. We agree that there is a clear, and growing, demand for such expertise. We also commend the development of a new UN system-wide strategy on disability inclusion to complement these efforts, and to strengthen UN leadership in area that for too long has been overlooked.

We join others in asking for greater clarity on the proposals for reform at the regional level and in relation to DESA.  Member states need to better understand the end-state, the value add, and the roles and responsibilities relative to the RC system.  We encourage increased transparency and consultation with Member States.

The System Wide Strategic Document should deliver a clear strategic vision of the role of the UN Development System in supporting Agenda 2030. While the outline is moving in the right direction, we would welcome a stronger focus on the UNDS comparative advantage and core mandates anchored in leaving no one behind, with better integration of critical principles such as human rights, gender equality and the nexus.

In our view, system-wide governance needs to be addressed, including the governance implications of the regional review and impact at the country level. 

Mr Secretary-General

We strongly support, and commend, your on-going efforts to reposition the development system. You can count on our continued support as we move towards its full implementation.

Thank you.