Remarks During the ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment General Debate

Stefanie Amadeo
U.S. Deputy Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
March 1, 2017



Thank you, Mr. President.

Let me start by thanking all of the previous speakers for their contributions to this important and timely conversation on reforming the UN development system to be able to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

As previous speakers have noted, the moment for reform is now. Since the adoption in 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, several other agreements, like the Peacebuilding Architecture review, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, the New Urban Agenda of the Habitat III Conference, and the Grand Bargain of the World Humanitarian Summit, have proven that there is considerable interest and momentum for bold reform and efforts to bridge the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding divide.

This will require strong leadership from the Secretary-General and the Heads of the Funds and Programs and Specialized Agencies. And we have been pleased to hear the commitment by Secretary-General Guterres and Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed to lead such reform efforts, of the UN development system. We are also encouraged by the progress made towards the 2018-2021 Strategic Plans of the UN funds and programs and the important work being done to ensure these entities are aligned with and ready to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The United States has been and will continue to be a strong supporter for much needed reform of the UN development system. We will continue to work together with all of you to ensure that these efforts bear fruit in the coming months.

In today’s context of increasing need for humanitarian and development assistance, it is more important than ever that the UN demonstrate value, efficiency, and effectiveness. The entities of the UN development system must ensure that resources are being linked to measureable results; they must collaborate, when feasible and appropriate, in delivering development and humanitarian assistance on the ground; and – in order to make the best use of limited resources – they must implement best practices, including from the private sector. Supporting the implementation of the SDGs and ensuring that funds are available for development activities will require leveraging partnerships, in particular with international financial institutions and private sector actors.

Already, there are many examples of this sort of collaboration and coordination across the UN development system: from the lifesaving polio vaccination and immunization campaigns in Nigeria, Afghanistan, and many other countries spearheaded by UNICEF, WHO, and GAVI, together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to UNDP’s innovative partnership with the World Bank Group to support Yemenis through cash-for-work programs in line with commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit.

It is our hope and expectation that the Secretary-General and UN development system entities will capitalize on the mandates they have been given by Member States in the QCPR and in other resolutions, to take the necessary steps to ensure that the system is ready to play its part in delivering on the shared, global agenda.

Thank you.