Background

The Chair of the United Nations Development Group, Helen Clark, introduced the reports of the meetings of the Group, held on 9 May and 19 September 2013.

Discussion

Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, supported Ms. Clark’s efforts but expressed his concern at the calls from Member States for more coordination and effectiveness but their lack of financial support for achieving such objectives, putting the Resident Coordination system at risk. Babatunde Ostimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, also thanked Ms. Clark for her leadership.

Taleb Rifai and Michel Jarraud, Secretaries-General of the World Tourism Agency (UNWTO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) respectively, while reiterating their interest and expectation to remain part of the system, expressed strong concern at the cost-sharing formula being put forward and called for more flexibility to address the special circumstances of smaller agencies that do not require the same kind of services, have very limited country-level engagements and have to function with much smaller budgets.

Ms. Clark addressed these concerns, reiterating that such considerations had been taken fully into account in the present formula, which not only made allowances for separate base fees for small and large agencies, but also took into account budget sizes for staff and for development activities, as well as the scale of involvement of each participating organization in the programmes of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework. She added that humanitarian agencies were also charged differently, as their coordination costs were handled separately. Finally, she mentioned that the current funding being sought was some $11 million less than when the negotiation started in 2011.

Action

The United Nations Secretary-General requested the Chair of the United Nations Development Group to consult further with UNWTO and WMO on the strong concerns of those agencies regarding the cost-sharing scheme. With that understanding, the Board took note of progress and endorsed the reports of the United Nations Development Group.