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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
At the outset, we would like to thank the Transition team for their work during the past five months and for the inclusive nature of consultations throughout the process, as well as their efforts in leading Member States to a substantive outcome. We also recognise the engagement from various members of the UN system in these consultations. This version of the funding compact is substantially better and more balanced than the initial versions.
As one of the integral components of the UN Development System reform, it is crucial for us to have a Funding Compact that ensures sustainable funding of the UN development system, including the new reinvigorated Resident Coordinator system.
By unpacking important commitments of GA Resolution 72/279, the Compact provides a clear roadmap for the UN development system, on the one hand, to improve its transparency, efficiency and results-focus; and for Member States, on the other hand, to provide better quality funding.
Such improvements are essential to achieve what we all want: better support to the implementation of Agenda 2030 at country level. Due to the collective, non-binding nature of the Funding Compact, it has tried to bring about a culture change by Member States as well as by the UNDS System. Business as usual will simply not suffice to make these reforms work.
We propose to further work on making the document attractive at political level and understandable to a broader audience outside of New York. We are open to work with you on short document for communication purposes.
This Funding Compact is not about increasing funding, but about how to improve the quality of funding. As we are so close to finalising the Compact, please allow me to share a few comments that we hope will further guide the Transition Team during the last stretch towards achieving a final document that satisfies the whole UN membership and ensures a higher quality of funding for years to come.
Firstly, the collective target to achieve 30% core resources for the UNDS is ambitious. We would welcome having different baselines, also including assessed contributions, as originally reflected in the document. Baselines and monitoring of progress need to better mirror the varied nature of funding that exist within the UN Development System. Furthermore, we agree that humanitarian funding is not included in the funding compact. We look forward to seeing the final baseline indicators that will be used for monitoring purposes
Secondly, we hope that the funding compact will lead to more countries stepping up and providing quality funding – including core funding – for the UNDS. This is necessary in order to ensure a broader, more sustainable funding base and broader ownership for the development efforts of the UN. To that end, we encourage all Member States to contribute their fair share to the RC Trust Fund. Similarly, we believe the indicator on increasing the number of contributors to the UN should be applicable to all UN entities, regardless of funding modality.
Finally, the section on efficiency gains needs further elaboration. While we understand that certain indicators are simply not yet available, further information on efficiency gains is imperative to take better informed decisions. Furthermore, we would like to stress that steps to ensure efficiency gains should primarily be funded within existing budgets,.
The EU and its Member States have been supporting the Secretary-General’s and your reform efforts since the start, and you may rest assured that we will remain strong partners in the continued reform processes.
In May, at the ECOSOC OAS, we must all commit to support the Funding Compact and make sure it will be adopted. Its rollout at country level is a vital next step to take. We support the online tracking system, to transparently follow commitments on both sides. We also support the suggestion to meet twice a year to follow up on the commitments. Crucial in its implementation is the communication to the UNCTs, the different UN offices as well as the host governments and MS embassies. Member States will also need to involve the respective Executive Boards in New York, Rome, Vienna, Nairobi and Geneva, to ensure that all members of the UNSDG do their part. Only that way the whole UN system, from big to small resident to non-resident agencies and normative, technical and operational agencies, will benefit from a more integrated UN system.
We look forward to the next steps in the reform process, including measures to revamp the regional level of the UNDS which is crucial for the coherence of the whole system; and the review of the Multi-Country Offices; as well as the System Wide Strategic Document, that we hope will provide all of us with a comprehensive picture of the UNDS strategy for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at country level.
Finally, let me reassure you that, despite the aspirational nature of the Funding Compact, the European Union and its Member States will continue to contribute to reaching the targets outlined in this document, to achieve a UNDS that will truly be in a position to support all countries in their implementation of the SDGs.
I thank you.