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

EU Statement – United Nations: Repositioning of the UN Development System, Regional review and MCO review

New York , 29/01/2020 - 22:15, UNIQUE ID: 200129_20
Statements on behalf of the EU

29 January 2020, New York – European Union Statement at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Briefing by the Deputy Secretary-General on UNDS repositioning: Regional review and MCO review

Excellencies, 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 exhaustive and timely briefing. The EU has been the staunchest supporter of these reforms from the start and we therefore welcome your regular briefings on the progress achieved.

Over the last two years, we have seen a lot of progress on several key aspects of these reforms. We very much welcome the Secretary-General's and your efforts in the repositioning of the UN Development System.

We also welcome your continuous efforts to ensure full transparency with, and ownership of, Member States. This is a common endeavor.

Madam DSG,

As you know, we have been eager to start discussions on these important remaining pieces of the reform puzzle which are the Regional and the Multi-Country Office reviews. This review is a key opportunity to look at the functioning of all regional entities and to ensure that the regional architecture is able to perform functions as required by the 2030 Agenda.

We have received only yesterday a series of documents about these reviews that will take some time to digest; I will therefore only be making preliminary comments today. We do hope to receive such documents sufficiently in advance before forthcoming briefings.

EU welcomes a regional reform that ensures that UN regional assets better support the 2030 Agenda. We see significant room for streamlining the work at regional level for the UN to become more results oriented and efficient and deliver better for the people and the planet. The UNDS must use its scares resources where it is most needed. This is why cost savings and efficiency gains are of importance to the EU. We would encourage you and your team to transmit to the UN Membership periodic information about realistic targets identified and progress being made in this respect. We welcome your foreseen dedicated briefing on this by late February.

We look forward to receiving the Secretary-General's options on a region-by-region basis, which you outlined today, in the SG report to the ECOSOC OAS. These proposals should set the stage for transparent and inclusive intergovernmental consultations. Could you provide more information about the way forward to finalize this process?

We welcome the MCO review update circulated yesterday and look forward to the SG report's proposals to the ECOSOC OAS. We expect these changes to be cost-neutral. This review is of high interest to us not just for better service in the countries covered by the offices but also because it can be a potential model for how non-resident agencies can serve small countries from neighboring offices.

The EU and its Member States welcome the fact that you will be chairing the UN Regional Collaborative Platform to ensure its proper governance and its coherent work with the rest of the UNDS. It is also important to have clear reporting and accountability lines at all levels. Can you please elaborate on the division of labor and accountability lines for the reinvigorated regional architecture?

The System Wide Strategic Document should guide the UN system in who does what and how different parts of the system collaborate at the country level. We understood that the System-wide strategic document you had circulated to us last year was to be considered a final version. If this is so, how do you foresee the endorsement of the SWSD?

Finally, we are encouraged by reports from our Delegations and EU MS embassies on the ground about changes that have already been implemented. We would ask you and the leadership to continue working closely with the agencies, funds and programs to successfully implement the reform. 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.