Press Releases

    GA/EF/2963
    29 October 2001

    INADEQUATE RESOURCES KEY ISSUE IN UN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION, SECOND COMMITTEE IS TOLD

    Constraints, Priorities of Donors Also a Factor,
    Says Australia’s Representative

    NEW YORK, 25 October (UN Headquarters) -- While there were a number of challenges facing the United Nations in the area of development cooperation, the key issue was inadequate resources, Pakistan’s representative told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this morning as it began its discussion of operational activities for development.

    To ensure that United Nations operational activities better responded to the increasing development needs of developing countries, he said, sufficient resources should be provided on a secure and predictable basis. There was an urgent need for recognition by the donor community of its differentiated responsibilities in realizing the goal of universal development and providing the necessary resources for operational activities.

    It was also important, noted Australia’s representative, to acknowledge that donors too faced funding constraints and competing priorities. It was their responsibility to ensure that their finite resources were targeted most effectively, to achieve maximum development benefits. Efforts to improve the impact of development programmes and to better measure and report on them would be important for attracting core resources.

    In performing a review of operational activities, said the representative of Ghana, Member States too often took refuge in the principles of universality, neutrality, country-specificity and the goal of a coherent and integrated response –- as if mere reiteration would make it so. In reality, discussion and decision-making on operational activities had suffered from either imprecision or an absence of universal consensus on the principles and objectives, with inimical consequences for operational activities. That was why there had been such ambivalence in determining and meeting their funding requirements.

    With regard to financial contributions, Belgium’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said that since the funds and programmes had introduced a multi-year funding frameworks (MYFF) approach, the decision to terminate the annual Pledging Conference should be taken. As happened last year, the European Union would accordingly not take part in that Conference.

    A vital component of results-based management, he continued, was the monitoring and evaluation systems in operational organizations. In that regard, there were a number of weaknesses in the United Nations system, in particular shortcomings in the monitoring of projects by country offices and Headquarters.

    There were also major difficulties in learning lessons and profiting from recommendations made in evaluations.

    Introducing reports this morning were: Patrizio Civili, Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Safiatou Ba-N’Daw, Director of the Special Unit for Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries; and Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

    Statements were also made by the representatives of Iran (on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China), Russian Federation, India, Belarus, Japan, Cuba, China and Venezuela.

    The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. to continue its consideration of operational activities for development.

    Background

    The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this morning to begin its consideration of operational activities for development, including the triennial policy review of those activities and economic and technical cooperation among developing countries.

    The Committee had before it a note by the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) (document A/56/174), which provides a review and update on the programme and activities of the Fund for 2000. UNIFEM and its partners had a unique opportunity to review progress towards gender equality through involvement in the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, held to assess progress made since the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995). UNIFEM produced Progress of the World’s Women 2000, a new biennial report to support the review process.

    In 2000, states the report, UNIFEM’s work on peace produced momentum in the context of its work to introduce the issue of women and peace and security onto the agenda of the Security Council. The Fund was active in providing support to the Government of Namibia during its presidency of the Council in preparing an open debate on the issue. That was preceded by a non-governmental organization briefing under the Arria Formula, which culminated in the adoption of Council resolution 1325 (2000), on women and peace and security.

    In October 2000, the report continues, UNIFEM and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement allowing UNIFEM to execute projects or programmes in its areas of comparative advantage on the Programme’s behalf. The agreement opens up new modalities for cooperation and supports the continuing efforts to strengthen the synergy and further clarify the relationship between the two organizations.

    In the area of finances, 2000 saw a significant increase in total contributions –- more than 20 per cent over the previous year. Diversification of the Fund’s resource base remains a critical priority and one that continues to offer challenges.

    Also before the Committee was a report of the Secretary-General on operational activities of the United Nations for international development cooperation: Progress in the implementation of the multi-year funding frameworks and evaluation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (A/56/70-E/2001/58, Add.1 and 2).

    The report focuses on the multi-year funding frameworks (MYFF) as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen strategic resources management in United Nations funds and programmes and to reverse the declining trend in core resources. The MYFF was developed by the executive boards of United Nations funds and programmes in 1998 to create a sustainable funding strategy for UNDP, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Food Programme. Its aim is to increase the core funding of those organizations on a predictable, continuous and assured basis.

    The report concludes that the MYFF has not thus far secured a reversal of negative trends in funding for those agencies and programmes. Decline and stagnation in funding affects all in terms of a lack of synergy and a possible distortion of the priorities that the United Nations system is asked to support. Thus, the impact of operational activities for development of the United Nations system can be enhanced only by a substantial increase in their core funding on a predictable, continuous and assured basis.

    The report adds that the continued stagnation of regular resource funding since the adoption of MYFF impairs the effectiveness of the changes implemented over the past two to three years. It is also important to reduce the over-dependence of United Nations funds and programmes on a limited number of donors. The traditional pledging conference held in November 2000 yielded modest results -- among other things, none of the major donors pledged because of the timing of their budget cycles. In that regard, there is a clear need for the intergovernmental bodies to reconsider the role of the pledging conference held each November.

    Among its recommendations, the report states that increased multi-year pledging is necessary as a floor from which core resource commitments can continue to grow. It is essential to secure means by which the adequate funding of the United Nations in development remains on the agenda of ministers. To that end, it would be essential to develop specific procedures for the required funding of development, in the context of the financing for development process.

    The report says that, since funding commitments to the United Nations funds and programmes remain voluntary, governments should be further encouraged to ensure that funding commitments become predictable and that shared responsibility can be relied upon for expanded resources/donor base. It is fundamental to strengthen the monitoring capacity of programmes to show evidence-based progress by investing and collaborating with the United Nations development system in the collection of required data.

    Also before the Committee is a report of the Secretary-General on the triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system (A/56/320 and Add.1). The report outlines the challenges facing United Nations development cooperation and includes recommendations on the role and responsibility for development of the United Nations system for consideration by the General Assembly.

    Among those recommendations, the report states that the Assembly may wish to re-emphasize the need for a substantial and sustained increase in the core or regular resources for operational activities for development on a predictable, continued and assured basis in order to assist developing countries in facing the challenges of globalization. The Assembly may express concern that there has not been, so far, any significant change in the resource situation of operational activities.

    The report states that the Assembly may also wish to encourage the Economic and Social Council to strengthen its roles as a forum for reflection as well as for consideration of and overall guidance on operational activities for development. The Assembly may also wish to call for an intensification of efforts by all system organizations to introduce or continue, especially at Headquarters level, the process of simplification and harmonization of rules and procedures of the United Nations development system. That process should address, in particular, decentralization, financial management and country programming procedures, and should aim at reducing complexities and diversity of requirements.

    The Assembly may recognize the need to ensure that the services of specialized agencies of the United Nations system, including the smaller technical agencies, are within easier reach of requesting governments, the report states. The Assembly may also wish to call for renewed efforts in gender mainstreaming in the framework of the system’s operational activities through training and analysis of sex-disaggregated and gender-sensitive data.

    The report adds that the Assembly may wish to reiterate its call for a more concerted and coordinated effort to integrate and mainstream the modality of technical and economic cooperation among developing countries into the framework of United Nations development cooperation. That effort should take place in collaboration with the UNDP Special Unit for TCDC and all other relevant international institutions within the United Nations system.

    Also before the Committee is the report of the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) (document A/56/134 and Add.1), which describes actions taken by various Member States and United Nations organizations and bodies to assist the SADC.

    The report of the High-level Committee on the Review of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) (document A/56/39), provides a summary of the Committee’s twelfth session held from 29 May to 1 June, including a summary of the general debate, the thematic discussion on the role of TCDC in science and technology for development, as well as decisions adopted by the session.

    The Committee also had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the state of South-South cooperation (document A/56/465), which contains a review of the state of South-South cooperation during the period 1998-2000, especially in the areas of trade, investment, and monetary and financial arrangements, in the context of increasing regional and subregional cooperation in the South.

    The report states that in a world of global financial instability, any regional arrangement designed to achieve exchange-rate stability in order to prevent crises, and manage crises better if they occur, should also incorporate a number of other mechanisms, with the aim of ensuring enhanced regional surveillance, information-sharing and early warning. Domestic reforms would still be needed in many areas to provide a sound basis for regional cooperation. Just as domestic policy actions without appropriate global arrangements would not be sufficient to ensure greater financial stability, regional arrangements could fail in the absence of sound domestic institutions and policies.

    While countries of the South have, over the past two decades, resolved to work together to advance economic and technical cooperation among themselves at many intergovernmental forums and through the adoption of various declarations and action programmes, a more systematic and objective assessment of these frameworks and relevant regional and subregional cooperation arrangements and their implementation is needed, the report notes.

    Introduction of Reports

    PATRIZIO CIVILI, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-agency Affairs, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on the triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system (A/56/320). He said the report contained key policy recommendations whose purpose was to assist Member States in the formulation of the resolution they would eventually adopt at the conclusion of this year’s triennial policy review.

    The recommendations are the result of a wide-ranging assessment of operational activities, he added. They are based on a thorough collection of data from Headquarters and country-level sources; from the United Nations system as well as governments; and from both programme countries and donors. The recommendations cover a broad area, addressing traditional themes of field-level coordination. Those themes include: evaluation of strategic frameworks, the containment of transaction costs of operational activities, simplification and harmonization of procedures; strengthening the resident coordinator system; and monitoring and evaluation of operational activities of the United Nations system.

    He said the report also sought to address newer questions on the role of United Nations development cooperation in assisting developing countries to seize the opportunities and meet the difficult challenges arising from globalization. It also addressed over-arching concerns such as resources for operational activities, national ownership and capacity building.

    SAFIATOU BA-N’DAW, Director, Special Unit for TCDC, introduced the two reports before the Committee on the topic. The first, on the twelfth session of the High-level Committee on TCDC, argued that TCDC activities could make a big difference in people’s lives if they were focused on strategic areas, notably, human resources development. It also emphasized the need for South-South initiatives in building information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructures, computer skills and policies conducive to sustainable development.

    In practical terms, she continued, the report showed that TCDC made visible contributions to development goals through new South-South partnerships. TCDC pivotal countries at the mid-income level had assumed a lead role in many respects. They served as the key hubs and benefactors of South-South cooperation, as they opened their training institutions and other facilities to partners elsewhere in the developing world.

    Turning to the second report, on the state of South-South cooperation, she said that South-South economic cooperation had continued to be a framework for finding solutions to common problems. Recent financial crises had generated interest in monetary and financial cooperation among developing countries at regional and subregional levels. The past two years had also seen the establishment or strengthening of regional and subregional groupings that promoted cooperation on a wide range of issues, including trade, investment and natural resource management.

    She added that the real value of economic cooperation among developing countries was in diversifying and expanding development partnerships and economic links, on the basis of equitable forms of global interdependence.

    NOELEEN HEYZER, Executive Director, UNIFEM, said that despite what was already known, the world community too often failed to act on that knowledge. What was becoming increasingly clear was that the international community was not moving quickly enough from standard-setting to implementation. Needed were three elements –- accountability, commitment and transformation -- which formed the acronym ACT. Strengthening tools of accountability for the norms and standards agreed to was essential. Innovative tools of accountability were being developed and the challenge was to ensure their availability to all and the capacity to use them.

    Strengthened commitment to action and implementation was equally needed, she continued. Measuring commitment was difficult, but a lack of commitment was fairly obvious where it existed. The extent of action on the proposals in the "Beijing+5" outcome document -- that all countries undertake a review of existing legislation by 2005 to remove gender-discriminatory provisions -- would be a good indicator of commitment.

    The actions and the vision of the international community needed to be focused on transformation, she said. In the Fund’s work with governments and women’s organizations worldwide, a continuing obstacle was the gap between the norms and standards agreed to and the continuing cultural and behavioural obstacles to implementing them. Perhaps that was nowhere more evident than in the Fund’s work on ending violence against women.

    BAGHER ASADI (Iran), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, said that provision of financial resources for operational activities, particularly regular and core resources, was a precondition for ensuring the efficiency and impact of such activities for development. Funding for those activities should be sufficient, secure and stable and on a predictable, continuous and assured basis, as well as commensurate with the increasing needs of developing countries in facing the challenges of globalization and integration into the world economy.

    He stressed that in the coordination of operational activities, the major objective should be greater integration of those frameworks in the national development processes of developing countries, and addressing their priorities through full involvement of recipient countries. The responsibility for coordination of all external assistance and development activities lay with national governments. It was imperative to ensure the full involvement and participation of governments in all phases of the preparation of common country assessments and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, as well as their consent to the finalized agreement. Moreover, those instruments should not put excessive burdens on the programme countries through increasing transaction costs.

    Turning to South-South cooperation, he said that the latest manifestation of the collective resolve of the South to further promote and consolidate such cooperation was to be found in the Tehran Consensus, as adopted by the Tenth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries, held from 18-22 August. The Consensus urged the international community, including the United Nations system, to re-examine their development policies and practices and to provide vigorous support, including the requisite financial resources, to all forms of South-South cooperation. It also lent support to the ideas of launching an International Decade on South-South Cooperation and the designation of a United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation.

    While there had been an increasing pattern of cooperation among developing countries, it had not been commensurate with existing capabilities and capacities in the South or with the comprehensive range of commitments agreed to in past documents, he said. More had to be done both individually and collectively. Having emphasized the indispensability of South-South cooperation, he added that it could not, nor was it intended to, replace North-South cooperation. They were supposed to be complementary and mutually supporting and reinforcing.

    JEAN DE RUYT (Belgium), spoke on behalf of the European Union and Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey and Iceland. He said that during the triennial review, top priority should be given to harmonization of procedures. He would also like to see concrete results over the next few years. Contrary to previous resolutions, the review should define an agenda for the harmonization process -- that meant identifying by name the procedures that needed to be harmonized; drawing up the responsibilities for implementation and follow-up; and defining a precise calendar for achieving that aim.

    He added that the procedures that needed to be harmonized as a matter of priority included: the devolution and delegation of decision-making powers; financial regulations; procedures for implementing projects, and in particular requirements in terms of follow-up and reporting; the pooling of services in country offices; and the payment of national project staff.

    In the initial phase, the implementation of those measures was the primary responsibility of the Funds and Programmes and their respective governing bodies, he said. The European Union invited those bodies to submit to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) their agenda for the harmonization process no later than 2002. That should be followed by progress reports starting in 2003.

    With regard to financial contributions, he said that, since the Funds and Programmes had introduced a MYFF approach, the decision to terminate the annual Pledging Conference should be taken. As had happened last year, the European Union would accordingly not take part in the Conference.

    He said that a vital component of results-based management was the monitoring and evaluation systems in the operational organizations. In that regard, there were a number of weaknesses in the United Nations system, in particular shortcomings in the monitoring of projects by country offices and headquarters. There were also major difficulties in learning lessons and profiting from recommendations made in evaluations. The institutional memory of the United Nations organizations was poor in the field.

    The triennial review should emphasize the need to improve monitoring and evaluation systems, he said. One possibility would be to ask the Secretary-General to carry out an evaluation of those systems in the operational organizations. A study should also be made of how to pool results of evaluations between the various United Nations agencies. There should also be greater use of the joint implementation of mid-term evaluations and reviews.

    KWABENA OSEI-DANQUAH (Ghana) said that, in performing a review of operational activities, Member States too often took refuge in the principles of universality, neutrality, country-specificity and the goal of a coherent and integrated response -– as if mere reiteration would make it so. In reality, discussion and decision-making on operational activity had suffered either from imprecision or from an absence of universal consensus on the principles and objectives, with inimical consequences for operational activities. That was why there had been such ambivalence in determining and meeting their funding requirements.

    Perhaps the state of confusion was best reflected in the diminished attention given to the needs of vulnerable or marginalized segments of societies, he said. That occurred in a situation where aid resources were concentrated in countries with sound policies. Even the Secretary-General admitted that the United Nations development system would have to play its role with reduced resources. If the international community expected the United Nations development system to play a certain role, should not the requirements of that role determine the level of resources needed?

    While common country assessments and UNDAF still had a role to play in enhancing coherence in operational activity, the goal must be to intensify capacity-building initiatives to enable national governments to coordinate external aid effectively and at less cost. Capacity was in fact the real key to ownership. Common country assessments (CCA) and UNDAF must be used in a flexible manner responsive to prevailing conditions. In that regard, it was important to evaluate analytical information to determine the continuing relevance of common country assessments. In the face of diminished resources available for operational activities for development, every effort must be made to reduce costs, particularly through eliminating duplications.

    JOHN DAUTH (Australia) said that the reports called for increased core funding to sustain reforms. He believed that core funding remained dependent on improved results in the field. Furthermore, the reform agenda should not be an "add on" requiring extra resources, but an integral part of core budgets and agency objectives. It was also important to acknowledge that donors too faced funding constraints and competing priorities. It was their responsibility to ensure that their finite resources were targeted most effectively, to achieve maximum development benefits. Efforts to improve the impact of development programmes and to better measure and report on them would be important for attracting core resources. Also, efforts towards broadening the traditional donor base must be continued.

    He expressed concern over references in the report to the forthcoming International Conference on Financing for Development as a forum for gaining "renewed consensus and commitment" on financing United Nations development cooperation. That was a conference on exploring the best ways to harness domestic and international financing for development, and not a conference about United Nations financing.

    YURIY ISAKOV (Russian Federation) said that despite some progress, the reform of United Nations operational activities was far from over and still remained an urgent task. What was most important was to continuously adjust the reforms based on their impact. In that regard, he supported actions aimed at improving the methodology of assessing the impact of operational activities on poverty eradication in programme countries. He also supported efforts to strengthen the role of national governments in the management of country programmes and enhancing their responsibility for the implementation of such programmes.

    He said he remained concerned over the difficulties in mobilization of resources to finance operational activities for development. That problem required the close attention of both the executive boards of operational programmes and funds and the main bodies of the United Nations, primarily the General Assembly and ECOSOC. In the resolution on the triennial review to be adopted at the end of the session, Member States would have to define concrete steps to further raise the effectiveness of operational activities in the interest of recipient countries.

    BHAGWANT S. BISHNOI (India) said the Secretary-General’s report clearly stated that in order to be relevant to national development, the United Nations system had to move beyond issues of management reform to issues of substance. It also had to move away from coordination among system organizations and common premises of United Nations country offices to coherence with national policies and programmes.

    While he endorsed most of the recommendations contained in the report on the triennial policy review of operational activities, he was not clear regarding recommendation 6, on whether ECOSOC had any mandate to provide guidance to bilateral aid agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. He could also not support recommendation 8, which called for harmonization of the coordinating frameworks of different multilateral institutions. The frameworks established by international financial institutions were often based on conditionalities. He could not accept the incorporation of those or any other conditionalities in the framework of the development assistance provided by the United Nations system.

    Also, he added, he could not agree with recommendation 17 if it was to have the effect of subordinating the development role of the United Nations to the requirements of conflict prevention and peace-building.

    ANDREI POPKOV (Belarus) said the improvement of operational activities was a key way to address the problems of developing countries, including overcoming abject poverty, post-conflict peace-building and reducing infant mortality. It was also important to define strategies for future cooperation for development. In terms of the problems of implementation, there was a need to harmonize United Nations activities for development with national strategies. The financial difficulties of development bodies were also a crucial issue. The international community must be encouraged to rectify those funding shortages in order to improve the effectiveness of development bodies and allow those bodies to plan future projects.

    He called upon the United Nations system, together with Member States, to ensure adequate funding for development bodies. Only through the regular delivery of adequate resources could the mandates of those United Nations development bodies be fulfilled. Of particular importance for his country was the work of UNICEF and UNDP. Those two organizations had helped greatly in the development of Belarus. Among other activities, UNDP had mobilized resources for the cleanup of the Chernobyl disaster.

    KAZUYA SHIMMURA (Japan) said operational activities must achieve good results with respect to development; it was not enough merely to carry out activities according to plan. In that regard, it was necessary that a report be prepared on the concrete results of each activity as well as on its implementation status. Such a report should include a financial statement on which the effectiveness of the activity could be fully evaluated.

    In addition, he said, operational activities should not be pressed upon recipient countries. National ownership must be fully respected by the United Nations system and by donor countries. There was also a need to promote decentralization and to strengthen the role of the resident coordinator, so that coordination of activities at the field level could be made more efficient. Such methods of aid coordination must serve the objective of promoting the effectiveness and efficiency of operational activities. Also, administrative costs must not exceed the good that they do.

    He added that it was important, therefore, to continue the process of aid coordination, taking into account both costs and benefits. It was also important to have a variety of policy tools so that each developing country could choose the best policy mix to meet its needs.

    ILEANA NUÑEZ MORDOCHE (Cuba) said that many initiatives had been launched since the last triennial policy review of operational activities for development. Among them were UNDAF and the system of resident coordinators, which were intended to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the funds and programmes and make them more attractive to donors. The fundamental problem of the funds and programmes remained the scarcity of resources available to them to carry out their functions. She emphasized that conditionalities could not be imposed on governments. The setting of priorities was the sole prerogative of recipient countries.

    She expressed concern over the continued decline in core resources for operational activities despite the various reforms undertaken. There was a risk of growing bilateralization of assistance to funds and programmes, as well as an increase in conditionalities on recipient countries. She was against any conditionalities and stressed that the universality of the funds and programmes must be preserved.

    On TCDC, she said that the process of globalization had heightened the disparities between developed and developing countries. There was no doubt that the South needed the South to deal with the risks inherent in globalization. Never before had cooperation between developing countries been more important. Cuba had attached great importance to TCDC and had a policy of solidarity with its brothers in the South. Despite the blockade imposed on it, Cuba had been able to provide experts to assist in areas such as health and agriculture. Also, during the Assembly’s special session on HIV/AIDS, Cuba had offered 4,000 health professionals to assist developing countries.

    MOHAMMAD HASSAN (Pakistan) said that while there were a number of challenges facing the United Nations in the area of development cooperation, the key issue was inadequate resources. To ensure that United Nations operational activities better responded to the increasing development needs of developing countries, sufficient resources should be provided on a secure and predictable basis. There was an urgent need for recognition by the donor community of its differentiated responsibilities in realizing the goal of universal development and providing the necessary resources for operational activities.

    He said the donor countries had asserted that funding could not be increased unless there was a marked improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of operational activities. He believed that over the last three years, there had been a tremendous improvement in the efficient functioning of the Funds and Programmes, particularly the UNDP. However, that had not resulted in enhancement of voluntary contributions to those bodies.

    Three years ago, the MYFF was launched with the hope that it would ensure the provision of funds for operational activities on a more predictable, assured and continuous basis, he said. Moreover, it was expected that the MYFF would encourage donors to progressively increase their pledges. Unfortunately, that had not happened and resources were constantly declining.

    SHEN GUOFANG (China) said the purpose of United Nations operational activities was to help developing countries step up their socio-economic development. Therefore they must stick to the country-driven principle and conform to country-specific needs and development policy priorities, so as to give recipient countries a stronger sense of ownership. The coordination and cooperation among United Nations agencies at the national level should effectively strengthen capacity-building of recipients, and serve to enhance the whole system’s flexibility and responsiveness to the latters’ needs.

    He said that, especially in recent years, the core resources of all funds and programmes under the United Nations development system had either decreased by the year or failed to increase, leading to a serious lack of financial resources. That situation directly undermined the progress and results of aid projects. In the past few years, operational activities had gradually weakened rather than strengthened. That was incompatible with the increasing needs of recipient countries. He hoped the United Nations development system would continue to work hard to reverse that worrying trend as soon as possible. Otherwise, it would be difficult to meet the poverty eradication goals set by the Millennium Declaration.

    MARITZA CAMPOS (Venezuela) said that developed countries, and especially those countries that had the capacity to donate greater funds, should increase their resources for United Nations operational activities for development. A half-century ago, the international community decided that it was the responsibility of the richer countries to help countries without resources to develop. Despite that, many countries had never met the goal of dedicating 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product to development. Resources for United Nations operational activities were essential for meeting the development needs of recipient countries.

    She said that South-South cooperation was also key to ensuring development, and operational activities should focus on increasing and supporting that cooperation. Her country had worked with the countries of the Caribbean on many development projects, including technology sharing and examining ways to prevent and prepare for natural disasters. However South-South cooperation was a complement to North-South cooperation, and the United Nations should encourage those efforts as well.

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