by H.E. Mr. Le Hoai Trung
Ambassador Extraodinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to 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’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.
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.”
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
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
- 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.
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
3. We can draw a number of lessons from our
- 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
- 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
- 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.