Statement by H.E.Ms. Enkhtsetseg Ochir, Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations, on coherence of the UN development system at the country level

 

                                                                                                                        28 March 2008

 

 

Mr. Co-chairs,

 

1.    My delegation associates itself with the joint statement made by G77 and NAM on the UN Delivering as One at Country Level.

 

2.    I would like to share with you my country’s experience and challenges with regards to UN coherence at the country level. The Government of Mongolia’s commitment to the improved coordination and coherence of the UN system work at the country level originates from the 2000 Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit outcome document. Thus, the Government of Mongolia considered seriously recommendations contained in the SG’s High-level panel report, including those related to concept of “Delivering as One UN.” Early this year, the UN Country Team in consultation with the Government of Mongolia produced a concept paper on “One United Nations in Mongolia” which elaborates on rationale, principles, implementation framework, implementation arrangements and instruments as well as a way forward.

 

3.    The concept paper could be laying groundwork for necessary preparation of Mongolia to implementing One UN programme. The Government of Mongolia would be in lead and exercising ownership in this process, which should be gradual, pragmatic, inclusive and consultative.

 

4.    It is commendable that the UNCT with the support of the Government of Mongolia has already been practicing some elements of “One UN,” for example:

 

a.    One Programme: The UNDAF 2007-2011 represents as the One Programme for UN agencies in Mongolia. We think that the UNDAF is a living document that can be adjusted to national development priorities. In connection with the recent approval of Mongolia’s National development long-term strategy based on MDGs upto 2021, it is expected that the UNCT will be delivering to the implementation of this strategy through the current and next UNDAF phases.

 

b.    One Budget: Initial steps towards One Budget, such as common resource mobilization on joint programmes and activities; piloting “pooled funding modality” and HACT (Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers) 

 

c.    One Leader: Greater responsibility of the Resident Coordinator in program coordination and representation of the UN

 

d.    One Team: One Inter-agency programme team to manage and monitor the UNDAF, One UN Communication Group and common security plan for UN staff. A UN Center in the Western Region of Mongolia has been set up and will be operationalized soon, which will contribute to establishing practice of one team concept at the sub-national level. In 2002 the UN Common House was opened in Ulaanbaatar bringing all UN organizations under common umbrella and thus allowing them to better coordinate and deliver their development assistance more effectively and efficiently. The UNCT in its 2007 report indicated that the above mentioned inter-agency cooperation helped it to team building, expansion of external partnerships as well as internal harmonization.

 

5.    Yet the above-mentioned process towards UN coherence at country level is in initial stage and faces a number of challenges that might be also the case in other countries. For example, the accountability system in the UNCT is still agency-specific and procedures, rules and regulations at the Headquarters are not compatible with ongoing efforts to UN coherence at country level. Indeed, I have approached recently to the UNCT leadership in Mongolia and what they were underlining is that the lack of clarity and guidance on good practices from the Headquarters level to enhance capacity of RC system to coordinate and monitor implementation was the main challenge. I would really appreciate if representatives from the UN development system would comment on this.

 

6.    In the context of the ongoing efforts towards UN coherence in my country, we closely follow pilot process with respect to Delivering as One and look forward to final evaluations and report by the SG in 2009. We thank co-chairs in taking steps towards contribution to the overall evaluation process by making field trips to Tanzania, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Vietnam.

 

7.    At the end, let me assure you that the Government of Mongolia will be further working on together with the UN in its drive towards more coherence, effectiveness and efficiency at the global, regional as well as at the country level.