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Second Committee

(New York, October 14, 2009)

Statement by Ambassador Claudia Blum, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, Item 58: Operational Activities for Development


Mr. Chairman,

My delegation associates itself with the statement delivered by Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and the declaration made by Mexico on behalf of the Rio Group.

Among the tasks of the Second Committee, Colombia attaches special importance to the discussions on operational activities for development, as an area with practical orientation. Amidst a complex international juncture -marked by the economic crisis and its adverse impact on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals- the relevance of UN funds, programs and specialized agencies is evident.

In this context, the General Assembly must confer a high level of priority to the strengthening of operational activities. In the framework of the implementation of the comprehensive policy review contained in resolution 62/208, it is essential to ensure the continuity of the processes aiming at enhancing the impact of cooperation by the UN system. The consolidation of a results-oriented culture, ever more transparent and with effective accountability, represents a vital field of work.

Likewise, pursuing coherence across the UN system demands the commitment of the General Assembly. My delegation acknowledges the progress achieved last year in the process conducted by the Ambassadors of Spain and Namibia, and expects that this Body will continue to promote actions that complement the decisions already taken.

Mr. Chairman,

Coherence should not be considered as an end in itself. Rather, coherence supports the achievement of greater effectiveness in the actions of the UN development system. In this regard, Colombia insists on the importance of enhancing the coordination of the activities of the system with the Governments of recipient countries. A better coordination allows securing a higher alignment with national priorities and specific challenges. The improvement in the construction and use of UNDAF, with agreed and verifiable results indicators, constitutes a valuable instrument for the coherence and effectiveness of operational activities.

A financial basis that is stable, sustainable and has an adequate balance between core and non-core resources also constitutes an essential factor for the achievement of agreed objectives in this field. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize the comprehensive statistical analysis of the financing of operational activities submitted by the Secretary-General to ECOSOC and the General Assembly in the present year.

Furthermore, we highlight that Colombia was listed as one of the top five contributors to the system in terms of local resources. This fact reflects our confidence in the beneficial role of the UN in the promotion of development.

The top six countries in this list are middle-income Latin-American countries. This circumstance describes the general situation of the region. Paradoxically, when crosschecking this analysis with information presented this year in the context of Executive Boards of funds and programs, we note that the allocation of core resources for programming and coordination activities in Latin America and the Caribbean presents the lowest levels. Furthermore, the region presents the lowest proportion of core resources against non-core resources.

While Colombia strongly supports the urgency of strengthening cooperation actions to ensure the advancement towards the MDGs in the regions of the world that are lagging behind, we call for a better acknowledgment of the specific needs of middle-income countries. These countries, where over half of the world's poor live, present internal asymmetries in their development and are undertaking tremendous efforts to overcome them. Therefore, they require adequate levels of international support and cooperation. It is worth noting that middle-income countries have become multipliers of development in a manner ever more visible.

As far as South-South cooperation is concerned, it should have a complementary role in this regard. In recent years Colombia has significantly increased its participation in initiatives under this cooperation modality, in areas such as the environment, energy and population issues. In this context, we express our recognition to the Government of Kenya as host of the Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held this December, as well as the efforts of Qatar in the process leading to the event, in its capacity as President of the High-level Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

Colombia considers that it is crucial to continue strengthening the dialogue among all relevant actors with a view to further enhancing operational activities for development. We embrace this objective with an open spirit and we value the opportunities for complementarities among the processes that take place within the UN system and other multilateral initiatives, such as, inter alia, the agenda on aid effectiveness.

Poverty eradication, the revitalization of economic growth and the consolidation of sustainable development entail superior goals that deserve the permanent search for effective cooperation alternatives that deliver real results in recipient countries. This would be the best contribution that the UN system could make to the fulfillment of development objectives.

I thank you.


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