Helen Clark: IV High Level Intergovernmental Conference on Delivering as One

Feb 21, 2012

Remarks by Helen Clark, Chair of UNDG and UNDP Administrator

Consultations with Delivering as One pilot and voluntary adopter countries: Report from and follow-up to the IV High Level Intergovernmental Conference on Delivering as One

21 February 2012, 1:15pm – 2:45pm

I sincerely thank Dr. Diego Cánepa and the Government of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay for hosting this first-ever gathering of all Delivering as One pilot and voluntary adopter countries in New York.

It is a pleasure to be here today with you to reflect on the outcome of the Montevideo Conference and discuss how we can jointly take it forward.

Five years after the launch of the Delivering as One initiative, the momentum is stronger than ever. Almost thirty countries are now implementing Delivering as One and many more who are not here with us today have been inspired by the approach.

The overall message of the Montevideo Conference is clear: Delivering as One delivers results. Your governments reaffirmed that the reform initiative should be carried beyond the pilot phase and become the future face of the UN development system. 

Five important messages, in particular, emerged from Montevideo:

First, all countries which have adopted the Delivering as One approach report that national ownership and leadership have been enhanced, and that your governments themselves are also delivering more coherently as a result. 

Second, where applied, Delivering as One is reported to have enhanced the effectiveness of the UN system in its support to MDG acceleration. Your governments now have greater access to the broad range of expertise and resources of the UN family. The approach has also helped to eliminate duplication, and has improved the way in which the UN system helps address cross-cutting issues. 

Third, Delivering as One meets the differentiated needs of your countries – from LDCs to middle-income countries and from situations of transition from relief to development.  By delivering as one, the UN development system has quickly adapted to changing country needs.

Fourth, each of the four pillars of Delivering as One, as well as the UN system’s ability to speak with one voice, has been shown to be essential. Together, they have made our work more relevant, more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more accountable.

Fifth, strategic and focused leadership at all levels has proven to be critical for success.

The UNDG is fully committed to build on these lessons and success stories.

As we reflect on these achievements, we are also mindful of the many challenges which still lie ahead of us. Above all, we need to strengthen our results and reporting frameworks further, continue to enhance accountability, and accelerate business process reform at our headquarters.

Sustaining the reform process was a major focus of the discussions in Montevideo. The months ahead will be critical for the process, and will provide member states with the opportunity to shape a new and forward looking vision for the UN development system.

The General Assembly’s deliberations on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) later this year will provide important guidance to the UN development system, as we adapt our activities to the shifting development co-operation landscape, and work to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance of our work.

In a resource-constrained environment, we all recognize the importance of making every development dollar count. The QCPR can reaffirm the importance of achieving results and seeing best practice infuse our work. 

The independent Evaluation of Delivering as One in the eight pilot countries will be an important input to the QCPR. So will be the many lessons which have been learned in the 21 ‘self-starter’ countries, which will not be reflected in the Independent Evaluation.

The next intergovernmental conference on Delivering as One in Tirana can help broaden the dialogue, with the aim of taking the approach beyond the pilot phase. Based on the outcome of the Independent Evaluation, The Tirana gathering can play a critical role in distilling the lessons learned from the pilots into concrete recommendations for the QCPR.

I am grateful to the Government of Albania for its leadership and vision in hosting this important conference.

Since the very beginning, you, the governments of the Delivering as One countries have been firmly in the driver’s seat of the reform process. Without your leadership and advocacy, the UN development system could not have come so far.

Where the process goes from here will depend a good deal on your continued vision, leadership, and joint advocacy, particularly here in New York over the coming months.

Last month, the Secretary General presented his vision to the General Assembly in a 5-year action agenda for his second term. The Secretary General called for a second generation of delivering as one, with a focus on managing and monitoring for results, ensuring increased accountability, and improving outcomes.

The UN Development Group supports the Secretary-General’s vision and is committed to playing its part in realising it.

I look forward to hearing how you see the future of Delivering as One moving forward, your perspectives on the opportunities in the months ahead, and what we can do to support you.

We in the UN Development Group remain at your disposal, and look forward to working with you on sustaining the momentum behind Delivering as One to bring about a UN development system which is more effective and efficient, and helps countries to bring about the transformative change they seek.

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