by Ambassador Bui The Giang, Deputy Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations on
One UN Reform
New York, 19 November 2008
you very much for organizing this important meeting. I also thank the Chairman of
the IPU Advisory Group and Ambassador Augustine Mahiga of Tanzania and Ambassador John P. Kavanagh of Ireland for
their introduction to and careful and practical observations of what have so
far been achieved in realizing “Delivering as One” on the ground, and the
panelists for their valuable discussion and contribution.
strongly believe that this follow-up review will definitely maintain and add momentum
to the process of further improving efficiency and effectiveness of UN
development work at the national level.
my country, the One UN Initiative process effectively started in February 2006,
although both Government and UN agencies tried to better use of ODA, including
UN assistance, long before the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the
Hanoi Core Statement on Aid Effectiveness in July 2005.
idea had been shared by many UN Agencies, but its materialization in reality
has never been so smooth.That the concept of One UN has to be changed to “Delivering
as One” alone spoke for itself. At first UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNIFEM, UNADS
and UNV joined the Initiative. And all the remaining 8 agencies, which are FAO,
IFAD, ILO, UNESCO, UNODC, WHO, IOM, UN-Habitat, followed suit only a year later.
that spirit, both Government and UN agencies have engaged in efforts to work
out and implement the 5 Ones, which are One Management, One Plan, One Budget,
One set of Management Practices and One UN House.
reasons, let me briefly take stock of progress and challenges of the process of
implementing the Initiative in my country. I am happy to note that progress has
been seen in all 5 Ones.
With regard to
the One Plan, I would say that the principles
and road map for implementing it was approved by our Prime Minister in May 2007.
This Plan would be implemented in phases. In phase one, it was intended to
include UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNV, UNAIDS and UNIFEM. In phase two, the plan
will be expanded to cover FAO, IFAD, ILO, UNESCO, UNODC, WHO, IOM, UN-Habitat.
recent establishement of the One Plan Steering Committee headed by a Deputy
Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the UNRC as its
Co-Chairs, both Government and all UN agencies will be abiding by the one and
the same plan and trying as to how their plan can best support the country in
its socio-economic development.
The UN has
also set up 11 Program Coordination Groups, which will coordinate work in 11
main sectors. Thanks to this simplification and harmonization, instead of the
100 plus meetings to review work of projects and programs, it is necessary now
to sit for 11 metings. As a result of this new development, UN programs have become more comprehensive and
can better increase their scope of cooperation with the country. It thus helps
increase the number of their joint-programs, to quote only one example.
With regard to
the One Budget, one has to say that,
in fact, it was inseparably reflected in the process of articulating the One
Plan. Toward this end, a Common Plan Fund together with its management
regulations was also established. Until now it has been generally accepted that
resources mobilization and a more effective and efficient use of it is
In order for
the One Plan Management to work, the
draft Harmonized Program/Project Management Guidelines (HPPMG) has been made
available, harmonizing Government’s and UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF in programs and
projects they funded. Its rently completed 5th draft will soon be
sent to UN agency Headquarters and our Prime Minister for approval, possibly by
the end of this year. Once aproved, the HPPMG
will first be applied by UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF. And by 2010, all other UN
Agencies will apply the HPPMG.
Also to this
end, an Operating Plan Management (OPMP) has been set up to be oversee
cooperation between Government and UN agencies in various priority sectors and branches.
I now wish to
have a few words about the One Leader.
this is the formation of a common mechanism and organization whereby the one
common leader who will act as UN Coordinator and to whom more power has to be
delegated. With this drastic change in place, each UN agency would have its own
National Director instead of having a Resident Representative. The idea is also
now under consideration by UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF Headquarters. In parallel, all the 14 agencies in the
countries are discussing a mandate for the Coordinator and his/her relations with
other would-be UN National Directors. If approved, the “format” will soon be
applied in Viet Nam .
Finally, the One UN House is receiving positive response to and support of UN
agency Headquarters and a number of donors. Bilateral consultations concerning
technical and professional aspects are taking place, while a land plot has been
marked out by the Government. As planned,
construction of the One UN House will be completed in 2009-2010. The
only lingering problem is each agency’s financial contribution.
prejudging the evaluation of “Delivering as One” in 2009, I just want to refer to
the initial common agreement of the
Government and UN agencies and donors in my country that, in spite of difficulties
and challenges in reaching consensus at first among UN agencies, concerning goals
and targets of the reform, implementation of the “Delivering as One” in Viet
Nam, has been proven to be effective. Cooperation between UN agencies and the
Government has become comprehensive, especially with the UN Resident
Coordinator and heads of the 14 UN Agencies in the country actively taking part
in the process.
It is yet to
be quantified, but all these first fruitful achievements have paved the way to
reducing transaction costs, time consumption, simplification and harmonization
of administrative workload, while at the same time improving ownership,
transparency and accountability.
Although it is
still early to arrive at any conclusion, I wish to reconfirm that, experiences
so far gathered in my country have shown
that there is no one size fits all, and that experiences in one country
can’t automatically be used in other countries. But each one, for her own
benefit, would have to be creative and
practical enough and own this process.
I thank you.