Remarks by Ambassador Chris Lu at Resident Coordinator System Funding Consultation

Ambassador Chris Lu
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
New York, New York
November 30, 2023

AS DELIVERED

Madam Deputy Secretary-General, thank you for convening this second dialogue with Member States. Just a few weeks ago, we heard from a number of Resident Coordinators about the critical work they are doing. It’s an important reminder of the need to continue to support them.

Regarding RC system funding, successive QCPRs have affirmed the voluntary nature of UN operational activities for development. The United States is the largest voluntary donor to the RC system, having given a total of $110 million since 2019. The U.S. thus views voluntary funding as the core of member state support for the RC system, so we would have serious concerns about moving from voluntary contributions to assessed funding.

At the same time, we acknowledge that there remains a persistent funding gap that must be addressed. To that end — and in the spirit of constructive engagement — we would like to request more information on all three funding streams for the RC system.

  • Specifically, we welcome more information on the cost-sharing and levy funding steams, including options to grow revenue from those two streams.
  • We also welcome specific information on the equation used to determine the cost-sharing contributions from agencies within the UNDS and ideas on how the equation could potentially be applied more robustly to humanitarian agencies. This would help reinforce the RCs role as a coordinator across the entire UN system.

As we consider how to strengthen and improve the RC system, the United States is guided by the principles of transparency, accountability, efficiency and results. We appreciate the continued efforts of the Development Coordination Office to provide Member States information, and we suggest formalizing that exchange – moving away from ad hoc briefings and questions and answers, and towards a systematic approach. This would ensure that both sides – Member States and the UN – are set up for success, and it would form the basis for future Fifth Committee consideration for any funding proposal.

We also would like to gain more information from you on what enhanced oversight of the RC system might look like. Specifically, we agree with the comments from the United Kingdom, and we would like to make two additional suggestions:

  • Could ECOSOC’s Operational Activities Segment be enhanced to allow for a more fruitful exchange on the RC system, on both evaluation of the RC system and also funding, moving beyond simply receiving reports?
  • In addition, or alternatively, should a Steering Committee be considered like other pooled funds have?

We appreciate your continued efforts to engage Member States, and we look forward to being an active and constructive partner in these discussions.

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