8 July 2002

Statement by
H.E. Dr. Nasrollah Kazemi-Kamyab
Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
to the United Nations
Statement for Operational Activities segment of ECOSOC
New York- July 8, 2002

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. President,

Associating myself with the statement made by the representative of Venezuela on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I would like at the very outset to express my sincere appreciation to the Secretary-General for his interesting, informative and very useful reports on progress on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 56/201 on the “triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities of the United Nations system for development”. The operational activities of the United Nations system have always been very close to the heart of the developing world. My country views them as the actual manifestation of the UN´s mission and mandate in the field of development and pursues their formulation and execution with keen interest.

We believe that poverty eradication in its broad interpretation should continue to be the major pillar of operational activities of the United Nations. The right policy mix and institutional capacity, along with adequate international assistance, can significantly and rapidly reduce poverty. The United Nations system can play an important role in this process, especially through supporting capacity building. However, the major factor constraining such a UN role is declining financial resources for multilateral assistance and lack of resources at the domestic level. This situation needs to be addressed and redressed, both at the international and national levels.

Provision of financial resources for operational activities of the United Nations is a precondition for ensuring efficiency and impact of such activities for development. Funding for these activities should be sufficient, secure and stable and on a predictable, continuous and assured basis, and equally important, commensurate with the increasing needs of developing countries. The core or regular resources have been and still continue to be the bedrock of the operational activities of the United Nations system; they allow funds and programmes to follow the multilateral agreed targets for development.

At Monterrey, announcement of increases in official development assistance have had the important effect of signaling an end to the downturn that has characterized ODA for the several past years. In this regard, while stressing the need to achieve the targets for resource mobilization which have been identified in the programming arrangements of UN funds and programmes, we urge the international community to channel part of the pronounced increases in the ODA to strengthen the core resource base for operational activities of the UN system and in support of multilateralism which is the cornerstone of international development cooperation.

Mr. President

My delegation considers capacity building as a major component of the overall efforts to achieve the goals of poverty eradication, economic growth and sustainable development. The role the United Nations system can and, in fact, should play, finds its highest prominence in this context. Put in very practical terms, the question for us is how to strengthen the development role of the UN system; how to enhance the effectiveness of its development activities and its support for national capacity building strategies and programmes by promoting access to and transfer of knowledge, know-how, technology and related equipment.

The United Nations system has acquired substantial experience and knowledge in the area of capacity building since its inception. There is now considerable scope for the system to draw on it to help define the benchmarks and indicators to be used by the recipient countries in designing, managing and strengthening their capacity to achieve internationally agreed development goals. To this effect we welcome proposals of benchmarks and indicators for capacity building to be formulated collectively by the UN system and in collaboration with recipient countries as elaborated in the report of Secretary General.

Capacity building and its sustainability as a key goal of technical cooperation continue to receive its due attention in the South-South cooperation and technical cooperation among developing countries in the context of operational activities. Last year renewed emphasis and commitment to south-south cooperation emerged after the adoption of Tehran Consensus by the Group of 77, which stressed that technical and economic cooperation among developing countries is a top priority. My country as a member of developing community stands ready, within the framework of South-South co-operation, to work closely with other members of the south and all the stakeholders, for building stronger southern institutions at the global level, bridging the knowledge and information gap and building broad-based partnership. It should be clear, though, that this partnership and co-operation that needs to be supported by the international community should not be viewed as a substitute for but rather as a complement to North-South co-operation.

Mr. President

Finally, achieving greater coherence and coordination in the operational activities for development for improving efficiency and effectiveness of such activities; promoting a country-driven collaborative and coherent response by the United Nations system with a view to making a greater impact at the country level, and supporting fully the national priorities of recipient developing countries have constituted the major objectives for such activities. We would like to stress that in the coordination of operational activities the major responsibility lies with the national government for coordination of all assistance and developmental activities. Moreover, country-ownership of the programme and projects should be ensured. To this end and with a view to playing the central role in contributing to the formulation of their overall national development strategy, programme countries should be fully participating in all phases of designing, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects.

I thank you

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