The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) exists in 136 countries, covering all of the 180 countries where there are United Nations programmes. The UNCT encompasses all the entities of the UN system that carry out operational activities for development, emergency, recovery and transition in programme countries.
The UNCT ensures inter-agency coordination and decision-making at the country level. The main purpose of the Country Team is for individual agencies to plan and work together, as part of the Resident Coordinator system, to ensure the delivery of tangible results in support of the development agenda of the Government.
The UNCT membership, roles and responsibilities must also be laid out clearly within each UNCT. These will include accountability to each other and the Resident Coordinator, taking responsibility for elements of the RC/UNCT work plan, particularly in oversight of subsidiary groups, mobilization of resources for the UNDAF and UNCT plans, and taking part in mutual assessments. This will not prejudice their relationship with their own agency.
The UNCT is led by the UN Resident Coordinator (RC), who is the designated representative of the UN Secretary-General. The RC reports to the UN Secretary-General through the Chair of the UN Development Group.
As international civil servants, all UNCT members are expected to comply with the UN Charter and Standards of Conduct of the International Civil Service and indeed as leaders, UNCT members are expected to exemplify the highest degree of compliance possible. This includes an expected set of personal qualities (such as inclusiveness, integrity and ethics, respect and trust, respect for diversity, non-discrimination, freedom from harassment, promotion and protection of human rights, and creativity) and also business process standards (such as teamwork, transparency and accountability, participatory management, open communications, timely dissemination of information, quality performance and oversight, and results orientation) for the UNCT.
All UNCT members have direct-line accountability to their own organization, as well as collegial accountability to the RC and rest of the UNCT for producing results under the UNDAF, recognizing that a well-functioning UNCT allows each organization to be more effective than acting alone. The UNCT will assign various leadership roles to its members on programmatic and management issues.