DDG TC Closing Statement to the Board June Let
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DDG-TC Closing Statement to the Board, 3 June 2008 Let me start by thanking you for your expressions of support. These are stimulating and greatly appreciated, and I will convey them to the staff of the Department. I can assure you that we have taken note of your suggestions regarding future TC Reports, and the specific comments on the current draft. Four issues were mentioned by you on a recurring basis: First of all, financing is clearly of concern for all of us — judging by the amount and diversity of statements — both in regard to the Regular Budget and the TCF. You have requested that TC make constructive proposals on financing issues through a strengthened funding mechanism. In this context, I refer to the paper issued by the Secretariat last August, GOV/INF/2007/15, titled ‘TC Programme Resources — Sufficient, Assured and Predictable’. While the various finance issues are interlinked, and a more comprehensive review within the framework of the 20/20 exercise would be appropriate, we would also appreciate receiving feedback on this paper. We take note of your request to tighten the application of the Due Account mechanism and to review the rates applied to ensure that the mechanism is as fair and effective as possible. As concerns the impact of the exchange rate and the loss of purchasing power of the US dollar, we take note of Member State requests that this be assessed. It is gratifying to hear some statements supporting an increased TCF target, allowing us to meet rising demands while maintaining the good rate of attainment already achieved. Two regions have raised issues with regard to the regional target shares of the TCF. I would like to point out that there are no such targets. The TCF is one single fund, and is not divided into regions. Although there are fluctuations in the actual disbursements, there is a clearly discernible trend to support the needs of the less developed countries within the regions — and less developed countries are not spread evenly across the globe. This trend is in line with Member State requests and with the recommendation of the External Auditor to both target the needs of the least developed countries and work towards achievement of the MDGs. Member State cooperation in support of this process is greatly appreciated. The issue of mobilization of extrabudgetary resources was raised, and one Member State referred to significant opportunities announced at a recent international conference, specifically for Africa. This confirms our conviction that TC must reach out to this kind of funds, and further increases the relevance of my statement yesterday regarding Programme Support Costs for extrabudgetary contributions over and above the TCF. National Participation Costs were also mentioned, and a request was made to apply them in a more flexible manner. Several statements were made with regard to implementation. There are always fluctuations in the implementation of the individual components of the TCP from one year to another — this is natural, as the programme is a living entity, and as outlined in the report, multiple factors impact on its implementation. I would like to point out, however, that between 2006 and 2007 the number of Member States receiving support rose from 115 to 122 — seven additional countries. The implementation of individual components rose from 10,444 to 11,623. I am always impressed by these high figures. They stand on the back of a remarkable amount of work. Page 2 I would like to stress that implementation cannot continue growing in this way without additional support — it is simply not sustainable. It is clear that we need additional resources in order to respond to the increasing needs of Member States. On the issue of the One UN initiative, the Agency’s contribution to development cannot be made in isolation but rather needs cooperation with all relevant partners and actors in a country, including the UN system. The Agency’s TC country level strategy is much in line with the One UN concept, and our aim is one of inclusion rather than self-exclusion. Several Members of the Board have suggested new initiatives. As I explained yesterday, we are not well placed to take up new initiatives at this moment in time. 2008 is a year of intense programme design and formulation; it is an implementing year as well. However, I have good news for you: the coming three year cycle will allow us to analyse possible efficiencies to be introduced in the overall management of the TCP and to take up some new initiatives within the framework of the 20/20 process. We therefore look forward to your discussion of the Report of the Commission of Eminent Persons in September.