Statement by the Permanent Representative of Cuba to the UN in the Operational Activities Segment of the ECOSOC

Mr. Chairman,

Our delegation endorses the statements by Ecuador on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, the Maldives on behalf of the Small Island Developing States and by El Salvador on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Cuba attaches great importance to the principles guiding the activities of the United Nations Development System (UNDS) in our countries, its intergovernmental nature and its strictly development-related objective. The recent Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) of Operational Activities reaffirmed these premises.

Accordingly, UNDS agencies, funds and programs shall provide assistance and support to Member States in the balanced and integrated implementation of 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as other global development goals that are still pending issues.

We believe, however, that calls for integration, although important, should not be interpreted in any way, as the imposition of uniform models and pre-established formulas.

In order to implement an inclusive Agenda, discrimination must be eradicated and priority to some activities to the detriment of others must be avoided. Cuba rejects the intention of some donor countries to manipulate operational activities for development based on their hegemonic desires and the imposition of models that facilitate their interests of domination.

We emphasize that the decontextualized assumption with a universal nature of notions that transcend the mandates of the entities on the ground, just bias and in some cases, politicize the development.

The purpose of the UNDS presence in our countries is to contribute to development in its three dimensions.

Mr. Chairman,

The UNDS shall focus its action on the ground in the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, as the world's greatest challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

It must, at the same time, respond to the particular needs and priorities of each State, in accordance with the guidelines provided in the respective United Nations Development Assistance Framework or other planning frameworks. Respect for national sovereignty is essential in this regard.

Anchoring development assistance to rigid classifications of countries, cold models or priorities defined from the superstructure, only serves to undermine the specific realities of our peoples and accentuate the underdevelopment gap.

Mr. Chairman,

We would like to emphasize that calls for coherence should take into account the coherent and synergistic involvement of the UNDS as a whole. Likewise, increasing the impact of operational activities for development goes hand in hand with effective mechanisms of accountability, monitoring, implementation and evaluation by the Funds, Programs and Agencies of the System, as well as the interagency coordinating bodies.

There is a need that developing countries play a decisive role in UNDS governance, based on equitable and non-discriminatory geographical representation, which encourages accountability and effective participation of these countries in decision-making, directly and largely reflected in their own fate.

On the other hand, we consider that financial information continues to show disheartening imbalances between core and non-core resources. We believe that this is one of the fundamental causes of the incoherence of operational activities. We regret the current serious decline in core resources, as they should be the cornerstone of the operational activities of the United Nations.

The tendency to prioritize non-core resources allocated in a discriminatory and conditional manner on specific activities continues to bias the overall mandate of UNDS funds and programs, fragmenting the system and fostering competition and overlapping of development entities.

We also regret the failure of donor countries to meet their ODA commitments.

In view of this trend, we urge the UNDS to continue its efforts in the search for practical and viable solutions to reverse this situation. Such solutions shall not in any way diminish the intergovernmental nature of the United Nations or be implemented without strict adherence to the mandate of Member States.

Any proposals for innovative mechanisms to finance operational activities for development shall be by nature and definition, flexible, predictable, as well as a complement to but not a substitute for ODA.

The mandates, authority and characteristics of each entity, their levels of specialization and their capacities in the effective mobilization of resources for the implementation of programs according to their spheres of action must be respected.

Partnerships with civil society and the private sector concerning funding, where appropriate, should be accompanied by effective mechanisms of transparency and accountability of the resources provided by these actors.

Mr. Chairman,

Each of our countries constitutes a unique and unrepeatable challenge for the UNDS. We recognize that much remains to be done to achieve effective development assistance that sustainably drives the progress of our peoples.

You can always count on Cuba to achieve this goal.

Thank you very much.