72 UNGA: Statement by Cuba at the ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment. New York, 1st March 2018.

Mr. Vice President,

My delegation fully supports the statements delivered by Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China; Maldives, on behalf of AOSIS; and El Salvador, on behalf of CELAC.

We welcome the Secretary-General's reports on the repositioning of the United Nations Development System (UNDS) and the implementation of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR). We recognize the spaces for exchange on this issue and agree on the usefulness of taking full advantage of debates in the framework of ECOSOC, as well as appropriate consideration in the General Assembly, as part of an inclusive and transparent process that allows endorsing the mandates of the QCPR.

Mr. Vice President,

Cuba attaches great importance to the United Nations Development System and the principles that guide its action in programme countries, which are its voluntary and grant-based nature, neutrality and multilateralism. These fundamentals should govern the process of repositioning the System, bound by the necessity to show full adherence to the mandates of General Assembly resolution 71/243, as a guiding document on this issue.

The repositioning of the United Nations Development System should also consider, as an essential principle, the leadership and ownership of national Governments over their own processes at all levels and the System's responsibility to ensure adequate governance, transparency and accountability mechanisms for national Governments, particularly with regard to the work of the Resident Coordinator and the United Nations Country Team.

Sustainable development is and should remain the cornerstone of the Development System operational activities. In this regard, it is important to preserve the flexible and inclusive attention of the System to the priorities of the Country Programmes and to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, its 17 goals and other internationally agreed objectives, which are outstanding matters.

In the repositioning process, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) should be consolidated as the governing document for operational activities of the System at the national level, including the work of the Resident Coordinator.

The Development System should ensure a flexible approach and continue to support all Country Programmes regardless of their assistance modality, on the premise that "there are no one-size-fits-all solutions or pre-conceived formulas for development" and in full compliance with the mandates set out in the QCPR.

We recognize the interrelation between the different operational areas of the System in certain contexts, in accordance with operative paragraph (OP) 24 of resolution 71/243. Thus, the universal assimilation of the interrelation between UN pillars goes beyond the mandates of UNDS agreed upon in the above-mentioned resolution.

As for the Resident Coordinator, we recognize the need to strengthen his authority over the Country Team in order to implement the UNDAF. However, we emphasize our opposition to proposals that lead to distortion of the development mandate of this official, deviate from unwavering principles such as full respect for the sovereignty of recipient countries and non-interference in their internal affairs and make it difficult for the authorities of recipient countries to interact with the different actors in the System.

With regard to the proposal to fund the Resident Coordinator, we believe that further analysis is required, also considering the additional financial implications for developing countries.

The proposed merger of the Executive Boards and the establishment of an additional Operational Activities Segment in ECOSOC requires further discussion in light of the adverse implications for the involvement and representativeness of developing countries; as well as for the ability to adequately follow-up the fulfillment of the particular mandate of each entity.

Mr. Vice President,

The repositioning process should result in a more efficient and effective United Nations development system to support the efforts of developing countries in order to achieve sustainable development and other internationally agreed development goals.

In this process, strengthening the functions and capacities of Regional Economic Commissions is essential. To this end, the specific realities of each region, the capacities developed and the experiences accumulated by each Regional Commission should be considered.

In this context, we reaffirm our full support and commend the work carried out by ECLAC, the 70th Anniversary of which we will celebrate in Cuba during its thirty-seventh session, next May.

Mr. Vice President,

We are grateful for the proposals aimed at reversing the imbalance between core and non-core resources. In this respect, we note the importance of preserving the principles that guide the functioning of UNDS and its funding architecture.

The role of North-South cooperation is essential in mobilizing resources, particularly the commitments and contributions of donor countries concerning Official Development Assistance.

At the same time, we wish to point out that partnerships must be seen as a complementary source of resources, to be developed on the basis of clear and effective monitoring, transparency and accountability mechanisms.

Allow me to conclude by reaffirming my delegation's willingness to constructively contribute to the discussions on this important agenda item.

Thank you very much.