Countries back ‘ambitious and comprehensive’ reform of UN development systemTirus Wainaina
The UN Secretary-General said the reform package paved the way for a new era of “national ownership” of development, supported by the whole UN system, in a tailored fashion, allowing countries to pursue sustainable economic and social development.
The reform process will mean significant changes to the setup, leadership, accountability mechanisms and capacities of the whole UN development system; ensuring it meets national needs not only for implementing the SDGs, but also in meeting the climate change commitments made through the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Otherwise known as the Global Goals, the SDGs are a universal call to action, to end poverty and hunger; to protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
More specifically, the reform gives Resident Coordinators – the most senior UN development officials at the country level – a dedicated, independent role in coordinating the activities of all the various UN entities working locally, which make up UN Country Teams.
Mr. Guterres noted that being a Resident Coordinator is “one of the most challenging jobs” at the UN, and the 129 Resident Coordinators covering 165 countries are working hard “in some cases against all odds.”
Currently, successful coordination depends too much on individual personalities and the goodwill of those involved, he said, highlighting that this reform will help resolve “a historic deficit in our coordination function” and accentuate strategies that work and are effective.
Read more: UN Development System Reform