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Viet Nam & UN  »  Legal Issues  »  66th General Assembly
 
Remarks by H.E. Mr. Le Hoai Trung Ambassador Extraodinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations (At the Meeting related to the Delivering as One after the Montevideo Conference) New York, 22 February 2012
02-24-2012, 01:09 pm

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Le Hoai Trung

 Ambassador Extraodinary and Plenipotentiary

 Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations

(At the Meeting related to the Delivering as One after the Montevideo Conference)New York, 22 February 2012

 

 

First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Canepa, Chief of Cabinet, Presidency of Uruguay and Ambassador Morten Wetland of Norway for convening this briefing as a follow-up to the Fourth Intergovernmental Conference on Delivering as One held in Montevideo, Uruguay in November, 2011. I would like to take this opportunity to express high appreciation of the strong support from Norway for the process in Viet Nam from its beginning.  We appreciate the participation of UNDG Chair Helen Clark, the distinguished Assistant Secretary-General, and distinguished representatives of member states and different UN organizations in the event.  I am pleased to share with you the experiences of DAO implementation in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam’s shares the view that development cooperation is an important area of work of the United Nations.  It promotes and provides the long-term foundation for the Organization’s activities in other areas, including the maintenance of international peace and security and the protection of human rights.  Viet Nam supports efforts aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of development cooperation.  We are aware this requires many things, e.g., political will, the right organization and mechanisms, and resources.  But Viet Nam is convinced that we should also try concrete measures such as those related to DAO.

1.  As a starting point, I would like to briefly explain the reasons that Viet Nam has pursued  DAO approach.  Viet Nam always attaches importance to the enhancement of the effectiveness of development cooperation with its international partners.  It reflects the view of the Vietnamese Government that domestic resources are critical and external resources are important to our development process.  In this regard, we have to find ways to work with our international development partners composed of more than 50 Governments, inter-governmental organizations and more than 500 international non-governmental organizations.  That is a reason for which the Vietnamese Government constantly undertakes reforms of policies and management of development cooperation.  One of the related events is the agreement between the Government and the Development Cooperation Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2002 about Viet Nam as a pilot country in Official Development Assistance (ODA) harmonization.  Before that, Viet Nam was also one of the first pilot countries for the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) framework which was initiated in the 1990s.

There are more than 20 resident or non-resident UN organizations working in Viet Nam.  You can imagine that just to understand and implement the different policies, management practices and procedures of the UN and all other development partners is already a challenging task.  From our own experience of 4 decades of cooperation with the UN, we highly appreciate the contributions and comparative advantages of the UN organizations.  Then, we would have to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the cooperation since the UN resources for Viet Nam accounts for only about 1% of ODA for Viet Nam in monetary terms.  And that is why we were working with UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA to try to harmonize the different aspects of their work.  And in 2005 and 2006, the Government of Viet Nam, the UN Team in Viet Nam and a number of bilateral development partners, including Norway, launched what we called as “the One UN” on a voluntary basis, with the immediate participation of UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA and open to all other UN organizations.  When DAO was initiated, our Government agreed to join DAO through the then existing “One UN.”

2.  As to the results achieved so far, we would like to stress that

- A strategic and result-based One Plan (2012-2016) has been developed based on key national priorities and UN comparative advantages. It is a marked departure from agency-based planning to joint UN programming with the Government and other development partners.

- A One Plan Fund has been established to facilitate the mobilization of un-earmarked and multi-year funding.  It has increased from 17% of total expenditure in 2008 to 34% in 2010 for a total of approximately US$ 100 million raised in 2008-2011.

- The Resident Coordinator has assumed more of the true coordination role in the UN development cooperation while all UN organizations can bring into play their roles and comparative advantages.

- The development of One Set of Management Practices made a leap with the signing of the Harmonized Programme and Project Management Guidelines (HPPMG) and they are now being adopted and used by a growing number of UN agencies.

- The Green One UN House is well under way and its workspace will be organized around programmatic and operational clusters rather than by Agency and which is expected to generate an estimated savings worth USD 0.5 million per year.

The process, among other things, has brought about greater coherence in policy planning, programming and intervention, wider participation in the various processes and more favourable conditions for the delivery of up-stream policy advice and other kinds of support to the Government in line with the Government priorities in the new stage of development which includes the focus on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.  It has also led to greater harmonization of management practices and procedures.  There remain things to be done, e.g., the planning and allocation of resources in a focused and coherent way, the integrated monitoring.

3.   We can draw a number of lessons from our experiences:  

- National ownership and leadership is crucial to the process.  It determines the will to undertake the reforms, policies and measures to promote the process, efforts to deal with difficulties that emerge and the commitment of organizations and human resources.

- In Viet Nam, we established the Tripartite National Task Force (TNTF) consisting of representatives Government agencies concerned, UN organizations and development partners.  The Task Force provides the necessary political support and helps deal with emerging issues, taking advantage of the wisdom and advantages of every party. In this regard, I would like to stress the important roles of the representatives of a number of UN organizations who worked hard, endured the stress and try to overcome difficulties that arose during the process. 

- We also established the Programme Coordination Groups (PCGs), a joint Gov-UN coordination mechanism, to enable UN agencies to work effectively with partners on key thematic issues for delivery of results.  The joint research and analytical work conducted by PCGs were major input for the preparation of the One Plan for 2012-2016 which now serve as both a strategic framework and an operational document for all involved partners.  All PCGs now hold mid-year and annual review meetings together with their Government, donor and civil society counterparts. And to improve planning, PCGs now prepare joint annual reports and joint annual work plans, leading to more coordinated support and advice, new synergies and reduced overlap among agencies.

- We find the appropriate time to start new cycle of cooperation:  in order for the One Plan to capture the Government’s development priorities, programming for new cycle of cooperation must start at such a time that coincides with a new Socio-Economic Development Plan of the Government.

-  The support of the leadership and staff at the headquarters of the UN and its organizations is very important at in both substantive and technical aspects.

5.  We would also like to make a number of suggestions:

-  For DAO to succeed, the change and support from the top level, including the Executive Boards and Headquarters are very important.  The need for policy coordination and further harmonization of the rules and regulations alone much require it. For example, harmonization of financial and procurement authorization levels and programming instruments, clear modalities for defining and reporting on UN overhead costs and transaction costs, and harmonization of post classification and human resources management rules.

-  Continued performance-based funding is critical to development cooperation, especially so for the DAO initiative.  Country-level un-earmarked and multi-year funding is extremely important.  Global-level funding should also be used to promote the successful pilot schemes.

-  The experience of DAO in 8 pilot and more than 30 other countries have yielded initial positive results and this experience and lessons learned should be reflected in the QCPR which is an opportunity for us to promote development cooperation.

We hope that the DAO initiative – though it can be carried out in different ways in different countries to suit each country’s circumstances – will be adequately examined for possible actions.  We also hope that DAO will be more than an initiative about processes and it will also be one substance for results and will be backed by adequate resources.

I thank you for your kind attention.



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