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Statements and Speeches 

Statement on Behalf of the Group of 77 and China by H.E. Ambassador Jeremiah Nyamane Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, Chair of the Group of 77 and China, at the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA And UNOPS Annual Session: UNDP SEGMENT

New York, 4 June 2015

Mr President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

At the outset, the Group of 77 and China would like to compliment you for your able leadership as President of the Executive Board in this important year when various crucial processes are currently being negotiated by Member States, which include, inter alia, the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and the Financing for Development.

The Group of 77 and China, greatly values the work of the UNDP and its ability to respond to the development needs of programme countries in a flexible manner, and to ensure that the United Nations Development System’s assistance is carried out for the benefit of programme countries, at their request and in accordance with their own priorities.

The Group of 77 and China stresses that the United Nations Development System must not utilize a "one-size-fits-all" approach to development and that development assistance should be able to respond to the varying development needs of programme countries. We value the efforts of the UNDP for its attention to this highly important issue.

The Group of 77 and China thanks the UNDP Administrator for her comprehensive statement and encourages her to further reposition the UNDP, in order for it to make a bigger impact and to bring about real progress in human development at the country-level and to work on this transformative agenda that we are all talking about in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Mr President,

Indeed, it is timely to mention at this juncture that the on-going ECOSOC dialogues on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations’ Development System, in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda must bear fruits from the labour we have put in with regards to our requests for a transformed United Nations Development System that would be better equipped to deal with challenges affecting the world, particularly in the developing countries. The Group has high expectations in terms of what we should accomplish from these dialogues. The Funds and Programmes, and Specialized Agencies of the United Nations Development System must adapt to a new development landscape after 2015, whereby poverty eradication in all its forms will have to be achieved as well as through building and enhancing national capacities, technology transfer and diffusion and strengthening international cooperation. On this last matter, we call upon the UNDP to give the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation increased human and financial resources to carry out its mandate effectively.

The Group would like to call upon the UNDP to take this opportunity by putting in place a mechanism to allow space for meetings and workshops at the technical level with Member States, to take place parallel to these dialogues, so as to facilitate the exchange of views and to engender a better understanding of each other’s' priorities, going forward.

Mr President,

The Group of 77 and China would further like to seek an update from the UNDP on the implementation done by the latter emanating from the mandate given by Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), which gave the "highest priority to poverty eradication." Allow me to quote from the QCPR where it reads thus:  "poverty eradication should continue to be the core focus area for the United Nations Development System and that all its development programmes and projects should attempt to address this greatest global challenge as their underlying objective" unquote.

Now with the stage nearly set for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, it would be important to hear from the UNDP Administrator the concrete steps and programming changes undertaken in the last two years by the UNDP to implement this overarching mandate of the QCPR.

The Group also calls for the adherence to the values of accountability in line with the transformative agenda of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. We certainly believe that this is a reasonable and principled position that we must all embrace as Member States of the United Nations. 

Mr President,

In addition, the Group of 77 and China would like to state that there is a perception, whether rightfully or wrongfully that the 2014 restructuring conducted by the UNDP to streamline its office, has adversely targeted representation of developing country personnel in its ranks. It is important for the UNDP to deal with this perception.

Mr. President,

The G77 and China stresses the importance of consistent, sustained and predictable resources and notes with concern that any decline adversely impacts the quality of the delivery of the United Nations Development System. On this score, we would like to reiterate the critical importance of correcting the imbalance between core and non-core resources. The growing imbalance between core and non-core resources of operational activities of the United Nation system constitutes a legitimate cause of apprehension and should be given due consideration, in particular owing the importance of challenges to be addressed.

With regard to the programming arrangements, the Group underlines the need to find a comprehensive solution to the legitimate concerns raised by several developing countries during previous meetings over the allocation of resources and calls for objective criterion, fair methodology and reliable and verified data. The importance of national ownership and leadership over programmes at the country-level cannot be over-emphasized. It is incumbent upon the UNDP to ensure that its presence in the field would support programme countries’ priorities rather than those of the donors.

Mr President,

Furthermore, the Group 77 and China would like to reaffirm the Executive Board Decision 2013/12, when it took note of the structure and approach of the draft Integrated Results and Resources Framework (IRRF) of the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan. A refined and populated version of the IRRF was submitted to the Executive Board in June 2014, i.e., a version containing a development impact and indicators with corresponding baselines; development outcome statements and indicators with associated baselines and 2017 targets; development output statements and indicators with corresponding baselines, 2014 milestones and 2017 targets; and institutional results statements and indicators with respective baselines, 2014 milestones and 2017 targets.

Further to the Group’s considered submission of July 2014 last year on the IRRF document, we have noted with appreciation the efforts made by UNDP to streamline the indicators to further manageable sets.

Mr President,

The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate its position on the organisational matters, pertaining to issues on the venue of the Annual Sessions of the Executive Board. These Sessions provide a much needed platform for Member States to exchange views and ideas on issues of common interest to improve and strengthen the United Nations Development System. 

Earlier last year owing to the same, ECOSOC too had decided not to move to Geneva, and we would therefore request for the same level of pragmatism from the UNDP in ensuring that future Executive Board Sessions are held in New York only.

If this decision needs to be indeed endorsed by a United Nations General Assembly Resolution, then the Group of 77 and China is willing to move that draft resolution for consideration by the General Assembly. We do acknowledge heartening attempts by the Executive Board in assisting to find an amicable solution on the matter.

Mr President,

The Group of 77 and China would like to put it on record that the new draft Evaluation Policy must be finalized as a matter of urgency, with inputs from Member States being incorporated. As of now, the draft in its present form does not take into account previous concerns that were made by the Group. We would urge a speedy solution to this issue. We also look forward to hear views from others as well.

Mr President,

The Group of 77 and China constitutes the core “programming” component of developing countries in UNDP’s programme profile. We therefore, urge the UNDP Management to take heed of written submissions of the Group of 77 and China, which includes more than 134 member states of the United Nations.

Mr President,

The Group of 77 and China is ready to continue engaging in a constructive spirit with the Board and with all our development partners in order to improve coordination, cooperation, and for greater development effectiveness to achieve internationally-agreed development goals, including the unfinished MDGs.

Thank you!