India supports UN move for major restructuring

United Nations,   The world organisation is launching a major restructuring of its development system to streamline its activities and empowering the resident coordinators at the national level.

India supported the reorganisation while warning that the funding for it remains uncertain.

Under the new set up, the 129 Resident Coordinators will be the “highest-ranking representatives” of the UN in the countries they are posted to and have the entire UN team report to them for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the UN.

There could be as many as 30 UN agencies and offices organisations operating in a country and new set up aims at better coordination both at the UN level and with the member countries with one point of interaction.

The Resident Coordinators and the development structure will report to Deputy Secretary-General Ameena Mohammed.

Their functions would be separated from that of the Resident Representatives of the UN Development Programme.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the reforms were the most ambitious and comprehensive transformation of the development activities of the UN undertaken in decades and would deal with the “historic deficit” in coordinating its activities across countries and agencies.

These reforms are a part of the reorganisation underway in management and peacekeeping to implement Guterres’s promise to make the UN more efficient and transparent.

Implementing the new system would require $255 million annually, a major portion of which would have to come from contributions beyond the budget, according to the UN.

India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Tanmaya Lal said: “The volume of funding and the time of its availability remain uncertain at this stage.”

“The proposed enhancement of cost sharing by various agencies; levies on earmarked funding; and voluntary contribution, all are likely to involve considerable uncertainty and possible shortfalls,” he added.

Expressing some reservations with final proposals that were presented to the General Assembly as a resolution and adopted by it, Lal said that India had supported Guterres’s reform proposals, especially to delegate authority and increase accountability, but they had been modified substantially, especially with regard to funding.

But because of the explanations given by UN officials, India supported the resolution and “we remain committed to constructive engagement with the Secretariat and all our partners to see these reforms move ahead,” Lal said.