Second Committee: Operational Activities for Development

6365386329_f24a5e7976_zMs. Zina Mounla stated that in response to ECOSOC resolution 2013/5, the full analysis of funding of United Nations operational activities for development has, for the first time, been merged into the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the Quadrennial comprehensive policy review. The funding analysis consolidates financial data on contributions and expenditures of the UN entities that reported funding for operational activities for development in 2012. Together, the UN operational activities for development account for approximately 60 per cent of the funding for all UN system-wide activities. Peacekeeping operations accounted for about 20 per cent, while the global norm and standard setting, policy and advocacy functions of the United Nations system accounted for the remaining 20 per cent. The funding environment remains challenging as almost all of this growth was in the form of non-core resources.

She further noted that while an increase in core funding remains a priority, contributions from countries towards their own country programmes and private sector partnerships are key elements to these strategies. Mr. Gopinathan Achamkulangare introduced JIU’s report on the ‘Selection and appointment process for United Nations Resident Coordinators, including preparation, training and support provided for their work.’ The report provides an assessment of the operation of the existing selection and appointment process for the UN Resident Coordinators, and the effectiveness and efficiency of the related institutional support mechanism, including the preparation, training and support provided. The report identifies and analyses the existing challenges faced in the selection and appointment process of Resident Coordinators and makes recommendations aimed at improving it.

Mr. Yiping Zhou introduced the report of the Secretary-General on “The State of South-South cooperation”. This report reviews the main trends and progress made by the UN development system to bolster support to South-South and triangular cooperation for development over the past year. Mr Zhou highlighted that there are enormous opportunities for South-South cooperation in achieving the internationally-agreed development goals, including the MDGs, while anticipating the post-2015 development agenda. Furthermore, the report recommended the establishment of an interagency coordination mechanism under the UNDG to enhance and support the south-south cooperation. It also recommended focusing UN support on those areas where it has previously proved more effective.

Meeting: 26th and 27th Meetings of the Second Committee: Operational activities for development (A/69/215) [item 24]
Date: 29 October 2014
Speakers: Ms. Zina Mounla (DESA on behalf of Assistant Secretary General, Thomas Gass); Mr.Gopinathan Achamkulangare (Inspector, JIU); Mr. Yiping Zhou (Envoy of the Secretary General on South-South Cooperation).
Location: Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters, New York.
Written by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon

Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Lessons Learned from Typhoon Haiyan

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H.E. Mr Libran Cabactulan stated that the Typhoon Haiyan has taught significant lessons to the Philippines and other member states. All partners and shareholders, shared the cost and capacity to make response more effective. Ms Kang highlighted that the 2004 Indian Tsunami reflected the need for a fundamental reorientation in humanitarian response and the Typhoon Haiyan response gave us an opportunity to assess the same.

Following, Ms Nanette Salvador-Antequisa stated that ‘Ecosystem Work for Essential Benefits’ with their respective partner organisations have provided relief to 10,000 families. The challenges they faced were in areas such as storage, distribution, funding for the transportation of the goods and retaining their staff because of lack of resources (technical and financial). Further critically addressing the Cluster, she stated that they should be based on more practical issues and should give platform for local groups to have a greater voice.

Mr Andy Featherstone highlighted the key findings and recommendations of a high-end study, ‘Missed Again: making space for partnership in the Typhoon Haiyan response.’ First, the partnership of National and International NGOs strengthened the relevance, effectiveness and coverage of humanitarian assistance, through utilizing their respective resources: proximity to and knowledge of communities and their technical and financial resources. Second the humanitarian leadership and coordination mechanisms had an international look and feel. Third, the recommendations were as follows: (i) create an enabling environment for partnership; (ii) the need to ‘localise’ surge responses; (iii) an obligation to prioritise preparedness.

Next, Mr Butch Meily spoke on the role of the private sector in the Typhoon Haiyan response, where they plugged the gaps in government sector response. A case in point: the Department of Education needed emergency food aid, so instead of using the government process of bidding, the private sector, provided food aid for 27,000 students for one month. Lastly Mr Randolph Kent, questioned the sustainable impact of private sector within the humanitarian sector. He importantly highlighted that we must identify the core business interest of the companies in engaging with humanitarian assistance i.e. economic incentives and interests, and not just limit their involvement to philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. 

Meeting Title: The role of partnerships in humanitarian response: lessons learned from Typhoon Haiyan
Speakers: Chair- H.E. Mr Libran N. Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to the UN; Moderator- Ms Kyung-wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; Panellists- Ms Nanette Salvador-Antequisa, Executive Director, Ecosystem Work for Essential Benefits; Mr Butch Meily, President, Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation; Mr Andy Featherstone, Co-author of new research commissioned by ActionAid, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, and Tearfund documenting the application of partnership approaches with national and local actors during the response to Typhoon Haiyan; Mr Randolph Kent, Co-author of a recent series of studies commissioned by UN OCHA, ODI, HPG, and Vantage Partners, and supported by DFID, on business community ad public-sector partnerships in disaster response.
Location: Conference Room 7, NLB, United Nations, New York.
Date: 24 June 2014
Written by WIT Representative: Aslesha Kaur Dhillon
Edited by WIT Representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark