Exclamation of Position by Ambassador Patrick F. Kennedy at the United Nations General Assembly

Ambassador Patrick F. Kennedy
Senior Advisor
UN Management Reform and Budget
New York, New York
October 28, 2021


The United States joins consensus on this resolution and would like to express our sincere thanks for the co-facilitators — Ambassador Mimouni and Ambassador Hermann — for their tireless work to help member states find agreement on this important but also contentious resolution.

The United States remains committed to supporting the efforts of the Secretary-General and member states to make the Resident Coordinator (RC) system fit-for-purpose — to help UN country team agencies deliver greater and more coherent development results to assist countries to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals.

Since the launch of the new RC system in 2019, the United States has contributed $23 million per year to the RC system trust fund, totaling $69 million to date. As the top financial contributor — and like many donors who have contributed to the RC system and the UN development system as a whole — we expect accountability from the RC system on the use of public funding. In this regard, we welcome the resolution’s call to the Deputy-Secretary-General as the chair of the UN Development Coordination Office to report to member states on RC performance, using a results framework with multi-year indicators. We also welcome the call to the Secretary-General to provide additional and necessary information to member states to ensure the independence of the system-wide evaluation office. We urge the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General to respond to these calls as top priorities in their implementation of this resolution.

While the United States supports sustainable and predictable funding for the RC system, we regret that during the negotiation process, some sought to focus on the RC system’s funding model in a way that excluded meaningful discussions on the critical issues of accountability and results of the RCs and the RC system. We felt it was premature to discuss changing the current funding model, especially in an environment lacking in transparent and independent information

and analyses of the RC system’s budgeting and expenditure processes, including efficiency gains and cost savings, as well as RC performance, results, and accountability.

We firmly believe that RC system funding should be linked to RC performance and results. A productive funding arrangement is one that empowers the RCs to carry out their work effectively and impartially, and incentivizes them to achieve the development results member states envisioned for the RC system, including upholding the values and principles of the UN. Such a funding arrangement should also generate and account for reform-related efficiency gains the Secretary-General envisioned at the outset, such as through common back-office functions and common premises. To better understand the needs of the system, the RC system should report on how the resources made available through efficiency gains are being utilized. As the RC system made the generation of these savings possible, their use to fund RC system operations is a logical conclusion.

Moving forward, the United States will continue to engage with Member States and the Secretariat to implement this resolution, to ensure the RC system is fit-for-purpose with the appropriate accountability mechanisms for performance and results, and its budget and funding provide the right transparency, accountability, and incentives for continued reform for the RC system.