Background

The Chief, Development Cooperation Policy Branch, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN/DESA, offered an overview of the TCPR resolution, providing some background and historical references on this document and describing the management process UN/DESA would be leading for the full implementation of the resolution.

The representative of UN/DESA explained that, every three years, the General Assembly undertakes a comprehensive review of UN system work at the country level.  The resulting TCPR document is a key tool for Member States to provide policy guidance to the UN system development cooperation activities.  The objective is to increase the operational relevance, coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of this work.  The last TCPR resolution, A/RES/62/208, also provides for a very systematic follow-up process.

UN/DESA is responsible for the preparation of a Management Report on the implementation of resolution 62/208, which ECOSOC would be reviewing in July 2008. This year, the General Assembly would conduct a review of the financing of operational activities, and would consider the possibility of moving from a triennial to a quadrennial review of operational activities, in order to ensure that strategic plans of UN Funds and Programmes are guided by the review. Subsequently, in 2009 and 2010, ECOSOC would review the status of implementation of the TCPR resolution.

Negotiations of TCPR followed intensive consultations on the recommendations of the Secretary General’s High-level Panel on System Wide Coherence.  The process resulted in a resolution that is detailed and rich in recommendations, with a strong focus on implementation and on national ownership and leadership. It addresses very concrete recommendations to the UN system, Resident Coordinators, UN Country Teams and Governing Bodies; it also envisions an important role for CEB.  The resolution encourages the Secretary-General, through CEB and UNDG, to make efforts to enhance the coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of the UN system. 
The TCPR resolution also addresses numerous and important management issues. Together with general calls for results-based-management, accountability and transparency of the UN development system as an integral part of sound management, as well as for harmonization and simplification of rules and procedures, the TCPR resolution includes a number of recommendations with clear links to the current and potential programme of work of HLCM. Among these, the following were highlighted:

Financing

  • Need for a comprehensive data and reporting system on financing of operational activities;
  • Linkage of resources with increased effectiveness, efficiency, effectiveness and coherence of the UN development system;

Human Resources

  • Secretary-General to improve the transparency and competitiveness of the recruitment process for senior posts in the UN development system;
  • Heads of agencies, funds and programmes to fully cooperate with the Secretary-General, through CEB, in harmonizing recruitment processes for senior staff by 2009;
  • UN system to adopt comprehensive policies for human resources and workforce planning and development;  Secretary-General to prepare a report identifying human resources challenges within the development system at the country level;
  • Secretary-General, through CEB, to intensify efforts on inter-agency staff mobility, re-profiling and training.

Measures related to transaction costs and efficiency

  • Agencies, funds and programmes to accrue to development programme any savings resulting from reductions in transaction and overhead costs;
  • Governing Bodies to review cost recovery policies to ensure that core resources do not subsidize projects undertaken through extra-budgetary resources;
  • UN system organizations to make further progress on the harmonization of cost recovery policies;
  • UN system organizations  to continue harmonization efforts such as IPSAS; standardization of audit and ratings; and HACT;
  • Agencies, funds and programmes to harmonize and simplify their business practices in the areas of  human resources, ERP systems, finance, administration, procurement, security, IT, telecommunications, travel and banking.

ICT

  • UN system organizations to increase usage of ICT to facilitate the contribution of agencies, funds and programmes to the UNDAF, as well as to enhance overall information sharing.
  • United Nations development system to continue efforts to strengthen evaluation across the system and to promote a culture of evaluation.

 

Discussion

Member organizations commented that the TCPR is comprehensive and ambitious and that there is a need to continuously interact with Member States, in particular on issues related to efficiency gains, cost recovery rates and use of administrative savings for programme, in order to make a stronger link between the expectations of Member States and what can be achieved.

Action

HLCM thanked UN/DESA for the comprehensive briefing. The Committee noted that the management-related recommendations included in the TCPR document had many links to the Plan of Action for the Harmonization of Business Practices. This indicated that HLCM was already acting in line with the TCPR resolution.

The various HLCM Networks, in cooperation with relevant UNDG mechanisms, would conduct a detailed analysis of the TCPR recommendations in their respective areas, with a view to evaluating the feasibility, resource requirements and possible timeframes of any required follow-up actions that were not already part of their programmes of work. Networks would report back on this to HLCM at its next session.