Follow-up to the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals
CEB strongly welcomed the Outcome of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals at its sixty-fifth session, held in New York in September 2010. CEB agreed to examine how best to bring together the different policy strands in an integrated approach to contribute to the urgent action required over the coming years in supporting individual country efforts to reach the Goals.
The work of the United Nations system in that regard focused on efforts to support Member States in the implementation of the Outcome. Under the leadership of the Secretary-General, CEB has come together in support of greater accountability and coherence in tracking the commitments of the Millennium Development Goals. At its spring 2011 session, CEB agreed on an integrated implementation framework to ensure that the delivery of official commitments on the Millennium Development Goals will be monitored publicly on an electronic platform. The framework will also assist in enhancing the matrix of official commitments made by Member States, encouraging donor countries to update their commitments and provide details of their implementation, and recipient countries to identify how they are pursuing the Millennium Development Goals in their national development strategies.
The framework will be based on a concept of shared accountability and responsibility and will ensure that there is no duplication or overlap in existing mechanisms for monitoring specific Goals. In addition, existing efforts and mechanisms will be assessed to borrow lessons learned before proceeding further. Work already undertaken on specific goals will feed into the framework, thus bringing more clarity into the system to ensure less fragmentation of implementation mechanisms. The framework will focus on both policy and monetary commitments made by stakeholders and will undergo further consultations within the United Nations system and with other stakeholders. The integrated implementation framework will be a fully transparent, web-based tool, which will be undertaken by the Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force. The Task Force will enhance its present framework for monitoring progress towards Goal 8 and expand its coverage to the international commitments made in support of Goals 1 to 7, based on information provided by the “gatekeeper” agencies for each Goal.
In response to calls from Member States on the need for the United Nations system to support the design and implementation of national strategies aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals, CEB, through the United Nations Development Group, is assisting in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goal acceleration framework, to support country-specific acceleration plans. The framework feeds into the development of country action plans. It helps Governments systematically to identify the bottlenecks preventing progress in achieving the Goals, as well as tested and reliable solutions that can help to overcome such impediments. The analysis and needed actions feed into the United Nations Development Assistance Framework process at the country level, further leveraging the United Nations system value added behind country efforts to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Ten countries started to pilot the approach during the reporting period, first choosing specific off-track targets as their main focus area and then identifying the constraints, the practical solutions to address them and the partners to help implement those solutions. The pilot countries included Belize, Colombia, Ghana, Jordan, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Papua New Guinea, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Under the aegis of the High-level Committee on Programmes, CEB has been engaged in a reflection on the linkages between the Outcome and the broader development agenda, including the need for fairer, greener and more sustainable globalization. It has considered that a significant challenge would be how to balance the specificity and measurability of each of the Goals with the broader policy framework that was needed to address the inequalities that the Outcome delineated and to reinforce a sustainable development approach.
In continuation of previous work on globalization carried out by CEB and to address interrelated challenges of the twenty-first century, including strengthening the United Nations system role in promoting the advantages and addressing the disadvantages engendered by globalization, the system has reflected on how it is using its expertise, universality and advocacy function to support Member States in creating a stronger bridge between global agreements and national policy implementation. To contribute to that process of reflection, the outgoing Chair of the High-level Committee on Programmes, Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Organization, convened a technical brainstorming meeting in Santiago in January 2011 with the participation of the executive secretaries of the regional commissions.
The work of the High-level Committee on Programmes on that front highlights the role of the United Nations system in providing an intellectual reflection that cuts across and beyond sectoral approaches to address the obstacles that have prevented and may continue to stymie further progress in achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. CEB has highlighted that it has an integrative role to play in bringing together the various major inter-agency mechanisms to build on the strengths of the United Nations system in the normative and analytical work that it might pursue as a contribution to the intergovernmental processes ahead, both at the level of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council and within the governing bodies of system organizations. To that end, an important objective is to support Member States in forging a development paradigm that is fair, green and sustainable.