Ad Melkert, 3C Conference in Geneva

Mar 19, 2009

3C Conference, Geneva, 19 March 2009. Session 1- High-Level Panel Discussion
Opening Statement by Ad Melkert, Under Secretary-General and Administrator a.i. of UNDP

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to be here today representing the United Nations system as a whole, a system whose agenda very strongly supports coordinated, complementary, and coherent efforts, the 3C approach.   This conference provides an excellent opportunity for moving this agenda forward, and I wish to thank the Swiss Government for its leadership in convening this event.

This is the era that marks the humble recognition that no single recipe stands out to assure peace and stability and that all partners in multilateral endeavor should come together to achieve lasting success. The three pillars underlying the UN Charter: security, development and human rights cannot stand alone. National leadership and ownership is vital for homegrown reconciliation and reconstruction. And coordination between key actors is a must for raising the value of the dollars spent for a more fair and safe world.

Let me make a few comments on where we stand and what is still needed.

The notion of “integration” is the UN’s key to implementing the 3C approach.  The Security Council has established a number of integrated missions.  Increasingly, joint assessment and planning methodologies are being applied that bring together the security, political, development, and humanitarian actors of the UN system.  

The Peace Building Commisson’s expanding work program is another example of a more integrated and, crucially, longer term commitment to face the reality that often a peace agreement is only the beginning of a long process of healing and rebuilding.  The UN’s agencies, funds and programs are now part of a true UN Country Team “delivering as one”.

Although with ups and downs there is an encouraging trend of closer cooperation and stronger results.

In Liberia, the integrated mission has developed strategic planning and benchmarking that brings together the different parts of the UN presence in the country in a coherent strategic approach with common priorities for all UN actors.  This strategic planning process builds on the existing UN Development Assistance Framework that the UN funds, programmes and agencies had established in support of government.  In this way, mission priorities became linked with a strong notion of national ownership and the contributions of other international actors under government leadership.

In Afghanistan, UNAMA has been directed by the Security Council to help coordinate international civilian assistance and support progress towards the objectives outlined in the national Afghanistan Compact.   To this end, the mission is posting development advisors to the different provinces in an attempt to strengthen coordination, including the coherence between military and civilian efforts.  However, the approach taken by many bilaterals is to plan and execute their civil-military support within the framework of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, and this had made it difficult for UNAMA to promote a 3C approach at the national level.

Another example of an integrated mission facing challenges is in Haiti, where it has proven more difficult to establish a common strategic vision among the different UN partners, government and parliament as well as the many bilateral and non-governmental actors that do not take part in the overall coordination.  

On a more general note, the UN has established UN-wide leads and dedicated interagency mechanisms and integrated policies in a number of thematic areas, including mediation, rule of law, security sector reform, conflict prevention, electoral assistance, mine action, Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and small arms.  In Sudan, an integrated DDR unit has been able to bring different military and civilian components of the national DDR programme together effectively in cooperation between UNMIS, UNDP and UNICEF. The UN has also acted as the framework for global action in key policy areas with partners outside the UN based on 3C principles.  The follow-up to Security Council resolution 1325 on strengthening the role of women in peacebuilding is an example of this.

In the context of crisis and post-crisis situations, a further practical example of “3C” efforts comes in the form of the October 2008 Partnership Framework agreement between the United Nations and the World Bank.  This provides common guiding principles for working with national authorities and partners, including through the method of the post-conflict needs assessment.  It also calls on the World Bank Group and UN system organizations to improve inter-agency communications, strengthen joint planning, increase collaboration on funding mechanisms, and foster a culture of greater collaboration.  In addition, a Fiduciary Principles Accord will facilitate transfer of financial resources between agencies, when a trust fund is administered by one of the participating agencies.

It is clear from the examples above that integration is at the core of the UN’s 3C approach.  From this perspective, let me offer in conclusion some key messages for further discussions.

First, the role of multilateral organizations, including the UN, is key to effective 3C approaches.  However, effectiveness depends on being entrusted with a clear mandate and being enabled to provide the necessary leadership, resources and country presence.

Second, bilateral partners need to better support overall 3C engagement subscribing and living up to overall coordination.  

Third, national ownership and leadership are the key to long-term results.

Fourth, 3C approaches must make our support more, not less, effective and should not lead to higher transaction costs for national partners.

And finally, there is no way around the need for predictable resources to be committed over a longer period of time.  Building infrastructure, schools and health centers; creating jobs and markets requires resources.  Making institutions work for the people requires salary levels that are attractive and competitive and create a non-corrupt environment.  Ensuring international assistance at the requisite level of expertise and keeping staff for a longer period of time requires rewarding conditions.  And making the world a safer place requires for donors not to step down in these difficult times, but to step up.  Today’s economic crisis should not turn into tomorrow’s global threat.

Thank you.

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