UN: EU statement on operational activities for development of the United Nations system

UN: EU statement on operational activities for development of the United Nations system

UN 61st session; Second Committee, Agenda item 58: Operational activities for development of the United Nations system

Statement by Ms. Tarja Fernández, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union

2 November 2006, New York

Madame Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration."

The EU would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report on comprehensive statistical data on operational activities for development for 2004 (A/61/77-E/2006/59) and on the note transmitting the report of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme on the activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (A/61/292). The present brief statement should be read in conjunction with the EU statement about the TCPR mid-term review made during ECOSOC operational activities segment.

Madame Chair,

The comprehensive statistical data on operational activities for development 2004 provided in the report has been refined to better differentiate between long-term development and humanitarian funding. Accurate data is essential for good policy planning and decision-making.

We encourage the efforts by DESA to continue its work, in close coordination with the Office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs and the leading agencies active in the humanitarian area in order to establish a common standardized humanitarian assistance reporting system providing estimations on a regular basis. We recognise that standardisation is the way to render data more comparable, and it also saves resources.

We also further encourage DESA to work closely with all organisations of the UN system and with other major organisations such as WB and OECD/DAC to continue and accelerate efforts to make all the data it provides more representative and transparent. This data is very useful for enhanced planning of the work of the UN system at the country level.

An issue to be addressed by all members states is the adeqate regular resources that are essential for flexibility and predictability of the activities of these organisations. 

Madame Chair,

The EU is committed to working for the achievement of the MDGs, recognising that they can only be reached if both women and men are able to play an equal part in all areas of life. Gender equality in public life and political decision making is a prerequisite for democracy and is one of the elements that form the basis for sustainable development and for responsive, accountable governance.

The EU would like to reiterate that gender mainstreaming and women's empowerment need to be analysed and addressed in all of the operational activities by the UN. In this respect we commend the activities and achievements of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality and UNIFEM during the review period. UNIFEM's catalytic work has reached all parts of the UN system. We encourage UNIFEM to reinforce its work in close coordination with the other UN agencies, and particularly with those which are working closely with women, as UNFPA.

The EU is fully committed to the implementation of the Paris declaration on aid effectiveness. The report notes that the voices and perspectives of gender equality experts and advocates have largely been absent from the agenda-setting process in the new aid modalities. The EU gives its full support for UNIFEM’s strategy on mainstreaming gender equality into aid effectiveness.

Madame Chair,

In a broader context, the coming year will be a year for operational activities, including a comprehensive review of the TCPR resolution. We look forward, with great interest, to the outcome of the Secretary-General's high level panel on system-wide coherence to be published in one week's time. The EU is fully committed to being creative and constructive during all these processes.

I thank you, Madame Chair.

*Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.