Established by the Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) in April 2008, the UNDG Advisory Group provides the UNDG Chair with a mechanism through which he/she can benefit from informal guidance and in-depth discussions on issues related to the operational coordination of development activities at the country level. UNESCO is one of the non-rotational members of the group of 13, which holds regular meetings both at the principals and ADG level.
The agenda of the first principals meeting, chaired by Ms Helen Clark, the recently appointed Administrator of UNDP and Chair of UNDG, included the discussion of how the UN development system can improve its work and commitment to the Millennium Development Goals; the status of the Delivering as One initiative; and the capacities needed for the UN development system to leverage its comparative advantage.
Acknowledging the importance of focusing on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Director-General recalled that the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document and the 2007 UN GA Resolution on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review for operational activities for development (TCPR) had recognized the wider framework of internationally agreed development goals for planning, reviewing and assessing the activities of the United Nations for development. Mr Matsuura therefore felt that the UN should focus on the MDGs as well as other internationally agreed development goals, referring, in particular, to the field of education, where UN action at the country level should not be restricted to MDG2 (universal primary education) and MDG3 (gender parity), but embrace all of the six EFA goals.
The Delivering as One initiative in the eight pilot countries is now in its third year. The recent stocktaking reports* indicate that the experience offers many positive results, in particular due to the strong support, leadership and ownership by national governments. Referring to his field visits, during which he had witnessed the willingness of many UN Country Teams to “deliver as One”, Mr Matsuura argued that the UN had to encourage and extend its cooperation to other countries that showed an interest in joining the initiative. He further highlighted the importance of training staff to ensure the success of joint UN action at the country level.
The principals also heard the report on the UNDG Advisory Group’s discussions held the previous day at the ADG level. A particular focus was given to the nine UN System Joint Crisis Initiatives launched at the last session of the CEB (see Flash Info N°057-2009**). The Advisory Group emphasized the importance of country-level implementation, for which the UNDG Chair will provide guidance in a letter addressed to Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams.
The next UNDG Advisory Group Principals meeting will be held in New York in October.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 142-2009 - Publication Date: 17-07-2009