Statement on Country Program Documents at the UNICEF Executive Board Meeting (via VTC)

Ambassador Richard Mills
Acting Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 11, 2021


The United States is pleased to join the Board in adopting all Country Program Documents presented for approval at this session.

We thank UNICEF for their engagement in addressing Member States’ concerns regarding the CPDs, and look forward to early, proactive engagement in the future. We also thank program countries for their constructive efforts to address Member States’ concerns which demonstrate a collective commitment to Board oversight, the objectives of the CPD instrument, and consensus-based adoption of CPDs.

We will continue to encourage discussions to further align and improve the effectiveness and transparency of the development of Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks and CPDs. This is an important year for implementation of the QCPR and review of the Resident Coordinator system. Board discussions will continue to provide an effective platform to further these efforts.

While the Board traditionally adopts CPDs on a no-objection basis, oversight of CPDs is critical to the effectiveness, accountability, and integrity of the UN development system. The Boards have a responsibility to ensure that UN Funds and Programs’ activities are consistent with the UN Charter, relevant international norms and standards, promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and effectively meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations of program countries.

In this spirit, we share the following observations to further Board discussions on CPDs.

First, CPDs are agency-specific country level tools that should clearly define the organization’s support for addressing a program country’s most pressing domestic development needs in a targeted and impartial way.

Second, we recognize Member States’ calls for UN development system support for South-South Cooperation, as well as regional and international cooperation in CPDs to achieve country-level development objectives. However, while regional and international cooperation in CPDs could help build capacity in support of country-level development goals, regional and international cooperation references should not imply endorsement or support and should not be a CPD goal in itself.

Lastly, CPDs are not the appropriate instrument to advance agencies’ own global programmatic and fundraising objectives or to promote program country foreign policy platforms and global development goals.

The United States appreciates the continued efforts of UNICEF and all Member States to ensure the effective oversight of CPDs on behalf of the populations they seek to serve.