Sustained, Predictable Resident Coordinator System Key to Deliver on 2030 Agenda, Deputy Secretary-General Says as Operational Activities Segment Concludes

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks to the closing session of the Economic and Social Council’s operational activities for development segment, in New York today:

This 2023 operational activities for development segment has convened at a most critical juncture.  As we have heard, our world is facing cascading and interconnected crises.  We have lost hard-earned advances on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Conflicts and humanitarian needs are rising at a faster scale than anything we have seen before.

It is imperative and timely that this Council takes up these pressing development challenges.  I commend the Vice President of the Economic and Social Council for his impressive leadership of this segment.

Ambassador:  You have ensured a high-level, interactive, and stimulating segment.  We are grateful to you and your team.  The Secretary-General and I would also like to thank all Member States for their mobilization and contributions throughout the past three days. We deeply appreciate the engagement and participation of those from capital.

Over the course of the segment, we have heard tangible examples of how the repositioned United Nations development system has come together to step up its response as countries strive to accelerate implementation of the SDGs.  We were humbled to hear strong appreciation of host countries for resident coordinators and United Nations country teams.

We also heard loud and clear the call to continue to build on the reforms to ensure we scale up our support:  Several delegations have reiterated the “development DNA” of our United Nations country teams, and the need for a strong and urgent focus on poverty reduction.  There is significant demand for United Nations convening to help countries mobilize the means of implementation for the SDGs.  The importance of continuing to strengthen the profile, selection, and pace of deployment of new resident coordinators.  The call to intensify our efforts to strengthen the work of the United Nations development system on gender equality and all measures on harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse.

We take very seriously your perspectives on all other challenges that remains in different areas — from better aligning the regional assets to country needs; through the need to continue to strengthen accountability and coherence of United Nations country team action continuously; to the need to do much more, faster, to help countries move firmly towards 2030.

We noted your requests for ever stronger support, ensuring improved focus on data, innovation, and best practices from across the world.  And we are committed to keeping you closely engaged with our resident coordinator system — including by exploring different formats for your interaction with resident coordinators during their annual retreat in New York.  Your feedback is so important — and one of the reasons why this segment matters tremendously. 

This is a milestone in an unfolding journey.  In the run-up to this year's segment, we undertook a number of informal preparatory briefings.  We will continue to convene regular informal exchanges with member States and country groupings to update and review progress on the reform.  As we move forward, we also will keep briefing and exchanging on our new resident coordinator results framework, as well as the System-Wide Evaluation Office, which will only grow in strength, providing further accountability and transparency.

During this segment, two key areas have emerged as critical.  First, the SDG Summit in September will provide a critical opportunity to pivot and make 2023 the year we change course on our journey to achieve the 2030 Agenda.  This is an opportunity we must seize. 

Our United Nations country teams are better positioned than ever to help countries prioritize key pathways and policy accelerators towards SDG achievement, in support of country efforts.  They are joining forces to place unprecedented emphasis on the means of implementation for the SDGs. 

Delivering on the Funding Compact will be critical in this regard.  More core funding will ultimately mean that the system has increased ability to provide policy support and convening for means of implementation, moving from projectized, small-scale support.

Second, the time has come for a definite solution for sustainable, sufficient and predictable funding for the resident coordinator system. The resident coordinator system is the anchor on which the full breath of our activities for development rely.  It is the critical backbone on which our ability to scale up depends.  It is too important to fail.  We will soon launch an inclusive and transparent consultative process to unpack this discussion, alongside a dialogue on how to reinvigorate the Funding Compact.

On behalf of the Secretary-General and our colleagues in the United Nations development system, I would like to thank you, the Bureau of the Economic and Social Council, each delegation, for your engagement and commitment to support us on the path forward.  I hope we can carry that same sense of ambition and scrutiny forward as we keep the momentum and chart a clear path forward.

We are looking forward, in the coming weeks, to a resolution that guides the work of the United Nations development system over the next year and helps consolidate these reforms.  This would be an important step in our road towards the SDG Summit in September.  Working together, let us take full advantage of this transformative year that will, I am certain, mark a turning point in our road towards the SDGs.

For information media. Not an official record.