Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Statement – United Nations Briefing by DSG Mohammed: Repositioning of the UN Development System

New York, 28/02/2020 - 23:30, UNIQUE ID: 200228_46
Statements on behalf of the EU

28 February 2020, New York – European Union Statement by H.E. Mr. Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the Briefing by Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed on the repositioning of the UN Development Sy


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Madam Deputy Secretary General,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.

I would like to start by thanking the DSG, Amina Mohammed, for her briefing. The EU has been the staunchest supporter of these reforms from the start and we welcome your regular briefings on the progress achieved. 

We also thank OHRLLS and Special Advisor on Reforms, Mr. Jens Wandel, for organizing consultations about the MCO and regional reviews. Both were substantial and helped us understand better the rationale and challenges of these remaining reforms. We look forward to further such meetings and would like to know the Secretariat’s plans in this regard.  

Madam DSG,

The EU and its MS envisaged an ambitious regional reform to ensure that UN regional assets better support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The SG proposals seem to us a first step in this direction. However, we still see significant room for streamlining the work at regional level for the UNDS to become more coherent, results oriented and efficient.

One of the original objectives of the UNDS reform was to seek more efficiency and synergies across the whole system, including at regional level, as well as cost savings and better use of resources. We would like to enquire how, in your view, your proposals fit into this rationale.

The UNDS must use its scarce resources where it is most needed and in the most effective manner. This is why cost savings and efficiency gains are of paramount importance to the EU. We would welcome periodic information, as we received this morning, about realistic targets identified and progress being made in this respect, including at regional level.

We expect a sound balance between addressing gaps, as mentioned in the report, but also existing overlaps, not only in the coordinating mechanisms but in the regional architecture as such, and we would like to learn more about how this is being tackled in these proposals. 

We would also appreciate it if you could confirm that the proposed measures will indeed enhance regional cooperation while ensuring that there will be no duplication of roles and functions with the work undertaken by the UNDS at country-level.

We look forward to receiving more information on the SG's proposals on a region-by-region basis, as we requested in relevant Resolutions, to better understand the commonalities and differences of the proposals put forward for each region. These region by region proposals should set the stage for transparent and inclusive intergovernmental consultations. It is important to finalize this regional review before the next QCPR.

On the MCO review, we are interested in learning how the new MCO for the North Pacific will be financed, and we would like to, yet again, express our view that the SG’s proposals should be cost-neutral. We have serious doubts about the need for more staff and other resources. We will also be analyzing them carefully as a potential model for how non-resident agencies can serve small countries from neighboring offices.

Madame DSG,

As we said already, the EU and its Member States welcome the fact that you will be chairing the UN Regional Collaborative Platforms, with the DCO support, in order to ensure their proper governance and its coherent work with the rest of the UNDS. It is also important to establish clear reporting and accountability lines at all levels and for us to understand how to hold the UNDS accountable at the regional level.

We would encourage you to continue working closely with the agencies, funds and programs to successfully implement these reforms. It is important for us to receive feedback on how implementation is evolving, including its challenges, so that we can proceed accordingly in the governing bodies of these organizations.

As always, please rest assured that you can count on the full and active support of the European Union and its Member States to these important reforms.

I thank you, Madam DSG.

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