Antigua urges provision of adequate funding for UN system operational activities

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John Ashe

CARICOM has frequently underscored the importance of the provision of adequate and predictable funding for the UN system and in particular for its operational activities.

So says the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador John Ashe. He told the General Assembly's Economic and Financial Committee that in spite of the continued appeals by CARICOM, there have been negligible improvements in the adequacy and predictability of funding provided for operational activities for development. He added that unfortunately, this has created a host of limitations and is being worsened by a number of old and new challenges but in particular by the continued and protracted global and financial crisis

John Ashe: The UN's operational activities for development must be flexible and responsive to the development needs of programme countries and carried out for the benefit of programme countries, at the request of those countries and in accordance with their national policies and priorities for development. Quantity, quality and predictability of development assistance from the UN system are important issues and Member States should ensure that the requisite resources are provided on an adequate and predictable basis. Considerable emphasis must also be placed on the strengthening of the multilateral framework for development. The significant and growing imbalance between core and non-core funding continues to weaken the multilateral framework of development assistance by facilitating the imposition of conditionalities tied to funding, and promoting a disjointed approach to programme delivery that undercuts development effectiveness.

According to Dr. Ashe, this alarming imbalance in core and non-core funding is strategically fashioned to suit donor partners' in-favour of recipient countries. He stressed that irrespective of the stated rationale for the increased provision of non-core resources, what is clear is that they are quite unpredictable, which serves to increase operational costs and further fragment the UN system, including at the country level.

John Ashe: It is therefore critical for us to ensure there is an equitable balance between core and non-core funding resources as well as to ensure an increasing and even-handed base of development assistance from the UN system and other sources. The development assistance offered should be responsive to national policies and plans. They should also be free from conditionalities that often times can create an obstacle in being efficient and effective. CARICOM maintains that in tackling the continuous development challenges of recipient countries, operational activities for development should take into account the need to encourage national capacity building. In order for developing countries to address national priorities and achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the development activities of the UN systems must be based on a reliable source of core funding.

NAR: Ambassador Ashe said CARICOM believes the UN system can be instrumental in addressing the long-term development challenges of recipient countries by ensuring the promotion and transfer of new technologies to developing countries, among other things.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 3’42″

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