UN Funding Compact: Dialogue with the Deputy Secretary-General - statement on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand
United States of America
Thank you for convening this dialogue. I am pleased to make a statement today on behalf of the Governments of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
We continue to appreciate the leadership and commitment of UN Secretary General Guterres, Deputy Secretary-General Mohamed, and Assistant Secretary-General Piper. We applaud your focus in translating resolution 72/279 and the Secretary-General’s vision of reform into meaningful guidance for in country operations that will make a difference on the ground in implementing the 2030 Agenda.
CANZ has previously set out our views on the centrality of the Resident Coordinator in operationalising these reforms, and the importance of increasing the impact of the UN at the country level. We have also supported a discussion on why funding behaviours and patterns have emerged over the last decade, to help us formulate solutions and incentives to support a changed way of working – one of collaboration and coherence, especially at the country level
In today’s statement, we wish to make a few comments on the Funding Compact and the ‘Working Draft for Discussion’ that has been circulated in advance of this session.
The draft is a good basis for our discussions. We appreciate the work of all of the Member States and UN agencies that have been involved in the Technical Track Group in drafting this document.
The document provides a strong narrative on what the Funding Compact is for, and what it intends to achieve. It is frank and transparent in its assessment of the current situation and analysis of how we got here. In this regard, we appreciate the recognition of both the internal drivers within the UN such as duplication or efficiency concerns, and those external to the system, for example in donor country parliaments, that have contributed to the particular funding profile we now see.
Importantly, the document underscores the need for trust-building between Member States and UN, and a shared responsibility to make improvements.
We support a less binary view of funding, one that is not focused solely on core and non-core funding. The challenges of the UN Development System will not be overcome through percentage targets on core funding. This oversimplifies the reality and is misleading. We think it is helpful to more explicitly address the fact that the UN attracts more earmarked funding than other multilateral development organisations. A more positive discussion should centre on the quality of that earmarked funding – non-core funding will remain an important source of revenue for the UN.
We encourage in the Compact greater ambition for system-wide evaluation, and a stronger focus on joint activities to shift to more collaborative ways of working. This would support member state permission space in our countries to help change the way we fund the UN.
CANZ countries are aware that the Compact is a two-way commitment. On the one hand, we want to see the UN system step up and embrace the changes. Our overall objective is a more impactful, partnered, and joined up UN development system. At the same time, we need to reflect on how those improvements might incentivise behaviour change in our own countries. To this end, we commit to working with you to find the best format in which to deliver the key messages of the Funding Compact to those making decisions in our capitals.
Finally, CANZ encourages the UN system working on this reform to continue your good work and stay focused on building a strong evidence base for our discussions. Thank you.