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POSITION PAPER: China's Position on UN System-wide Coherence in the Areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment
2007-09-07

2007/09/07

China's Position on United Nations System-wide Coherence in the Areas of
Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment

The United Nations plays an irreplaceably important role in world affairs. To strengthen such a role in the fields of economic and social development by conducting necessary and appropriate reform is conducive to building a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity, and serves the common interests of the international community. The Secretary-General's high-level panel has recommended, in the report entitled Delivering as one, a series of reform measures in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and environment. China supports UN reform in the economic and social fields and the establishment of a more coherent and effective UN system as a result of comprehensive and democratic consultations.

Development is the key to various global challenges and a priority for UN reform. It has been affirmed by the 2005 World Summit that the development itself is a central goal. UN's reform efforts for system-wide coherence thus should aim to make promotion of common development its principal mission, increase UN input for development, ensure development resources, strengthen development agencies, and at the same time improve the efficiency and coherence of the UN system. In so doing, the United Nations will be able to better play its key role in economic and social development and bring about realizations of the MDGs.

The Chinese side believes that the following principles should be followed in the above-mentioned process:

-- Reform should be aimed at strengthening UN function and role in development areas with higher efficiency and better coherence.

-- Reform should bring benefits to developing countries and help enhance North-South and South-South cooperation and exchange of development experience.

-- Reform should abide by the relevant spirit and principles set forth by the United Nations previously on reforms in economic and social fields, reinforce intergovernmental consultations and implement reform measures on the basis of consensus.

-- Reform should give full consideration to the specific national conditions of all Member States, and respect their rational requests and proposals.

-- Reform should ensure the sustainability of resources for UN development system, and achieve maximum effectiveness of resources.

-- Reform should be conducted in an incremental manner without artificial timetable.

1. Development

-- Reform of development activities should adhere to the principles of grant nature, universality and neutrality, and ensure at the same time recipient countries' ownership of the program and independence in program formulation and implementation.

-- Reform at headquarters level should focus on improving efficiency and coherence. The role of the agencies with obvious professional advantages should not be weakened. Those agencies' rich experience and comparative advantages should be brought into full play.

-- Reform at the country level should treat each individual country according to its different national conditions, and respect the will of recipient countries' governments. These reforms should not be carried out based on one unified standard and there should be no artificial timetable. We should first sum up the experience gained from pilot countries, and carry out intergovernmental evaluation and review. China at this point does not consider participating in the pilot program of "four ones".

2. Humanitarian assistance

-- Reform should strengthen the function of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to enable it to continue to coordinate activities of all relevant stakeholders and make relevant activities more timely and focused.

-- Humanitarian assistance should give priority to poverty eradication, infrastructure development, education and personnel training, so as to enhance sustainable economic and social development in the countries concerned.

-- Humanitarian assistance should adopt advanced measures of science, technology and information, set up early warning mechanism, enhance capacity building in material reserve, speedy deployment and implementation.

-- The developed countries should continue to increase their contributions to ensure humanitarian assistance funding especially the core funding in a long-term, stable and predicable manner.

3. Environment

-- Environmental reform should be conducted within the framework of global sustainable development. The reform and design of environmental agencies should be linked with the existing mechanisms such as the Commission on Sustainable Development.

-- The reform in this field should focus on how to fulfill developed countries' commitments on financial and technical transfer, and strengthen developing countries' capacity building.

-- China supports proposals for strengthening UNEP's mandate and funding, enhancing coordination among the secretariats of environmental conventions, and further strengthening of GEF. GEF should be used in key areas, and the scope should not be too extensive, and at the same time, priority should be given to capacity building of developing countries.

4. Gender equality and human rights

-- The United Nations should adhere to the nature of service in enhancing gender equality.

-- Reform of the three major agencies of women and gender equality should help improve agencies' function and efficiency, increase input and raise the status of gender equality in the work of the United Nations.

-- Efforts should be made to clarify the specific funding methods in gender agencies such as policy advisory and programming division to ensure funding for their activities at national level.

-- UN development assistance should avoid being politicized.

5. Governance, funding and management

-- China supports strengthening of ECOSOC's role.

-- China supports reinforced cooperation and coordination among the United Nations, the World Bank and the IMF. China encourages the United Nations to increase guidance for the World Bank on the basis of respect for its principle of depoliticization.

-- Reform of funding mechanism should be based on full consultation without undue haste.

-- Reform of human resources should focus on how to attract, keep and make good use of outstanding personnel suitable to the work within the framework of common system. The existing resources should be brought into full play to improve efficiency and avoid adding financial burden to Member States.

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