Time to shift focus to delivery on-the-ground

2020-10-05 AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Sustainable Development

Mr. Chair, we would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report and [the
Deputy Secretary-General] for presenting the salient points of the SG’s report on
operational activities for development and south-south cooperation.
AOSIS supports the Committee’s decision to focus its attention during this very
difficult and challenging time on the QCPR. We note the critical role the UN
development system plays in development on-the-ground and therefore we look
forward, as always, to engaging the system and guiding its operational activities for
We commend the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General for their
unwavering commitment to the repositioning of the UN development system in
order to respond to programme countries’ needs and priorities. This encapsulates the
role of the UN as a tangible body in Member States. AOSIS would also like to
express its gratitude for the review of the Multi-Country Offices and the
recommendations to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and overall performance
of those offices to the constituencies they service. We are reminded that this is an
ongoing process that needs monitoring and reporting on, as well as making the
necessary adjustments where needed to ensure that the service provided by the
system meets challenges as they occur and the countries serviced by MCOs are not
left behind in the development trajectory.
AOSIS wishes to reiterate that even though several of the countries serviced by
MCOs are SIDS, MCOs and SIDS are not synonymous and therefore there needs to
be SIDS specific approaches to addressing the challenges SIDS face outside of the
MCO process.
For this cycle, and as we embark on the Decade of Action AOSIS believes that it is
time to shift the system’s focus to delivery on-the-ground and therefore we look
forward to providing the system with the sort of guidance to achieve that goal,
including the integrated policy advice, programme support, leveraging of
partnerships and brokering we require. With only 9 more years to accomplish the
implementation of the 2030 Agenda we think it is high time that we are all on the
same page and trajectory in order to be successful.
AOSIS’ calls will be limited in this regard. First, we will be calling on the system
to adopt and mainstream a more climate and environmentally responsive approach
into the cooperation framework and in its policy advice to programme countries. We
also look forward to the entities of the UN developing system honouring their
climate promises made during the Climate Summit in line with urgency for action
to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Second, we will continue to encourage the UN development systems and its entities
to work along with the international financial institutions and development partners
to respond more appropriately to high indebtedness of SIDS.
The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced our assertions that the current system remains inadequate
to meet SIDS challenges. Income-only thresholds to determine access to finance is
woefully outdated as a metric of need. The system would be better placed by
adopting a multi-dimensional vulnerability index that guides access and eliminates
the greater costs of inaction in the long-term.
Third, in the realm of responding to COVID-19, SIDS will need the UN
development system to utilize its convening power and brokerage role to ensure that
all countries have the wherewithal to combat the pandemic and ensure recovery that
is worthy of meaningful development. In this regard, we want to reiterate the calls
of our Heads of States and Governments for all countries to have equitable and
timely access to any coronavirus vaccine, which becomes available. We would also
like to stress the continued call of SIDS that recovery be premised on the guarantee
of all countries to survive any future shocks and crisis.
For us, this means abiding by the commitments we made in the Sendai Framework and Paris Agreement.
As a part of the global south, AOSIS contends that South-South cooperation remains
critical in providing the resources and peer-to-peer partnerships required to help in
the facilitation of the 2030 Agenda. However, this sort of cooperation cannot be a
replacement for, or a substitute for North-South partnerships and obligations to
commit ODA to developing countries. Dwindling support in the latter will only
serve to entrench poverty and calamity. It is perhaps useful to recall that SIDS
economies are not structured to enlist the resources required to meet our multilayered
challenges from domestic resources or private finance. The one-size-fits all
approach here is inappropriate.
Mr. Chair, AOSIS looks forward to engaging in the QCPR negotiations as a steadfast
and committed group. We look forward to guiding the system and placing us all on
a firm path to development.
Thank you.

Sub Topic: UN Development System Reform

Forum: GA

Meeting: GA75