The 2023 Economic and Social Council operational activities for development segment “has fulfilled its role”, a senior United Nations official observed as the organ concluded its three-day annual meeting, with delegates underscoring the importance of regional approaches and spotlighting the pivotal role of resident coordinators and country teams in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Member States also discussed innovative and tailored regional support methods, among other topics, while also debating means to ensure that regional United Nations assets can better respond to cross-border shocks and crises.
Albert Ranganai Chimbindi (Zimbabwe), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, closing the segment, said that it fulfilled its expected role as a platform for accountability.
Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, observed that the meeting convened at a most critical juncture. Welcoming Member States’ perspectives, she stressed: “Your feedback is so important — and one of the reasons why this segment matters tremendously.”
Throughout the day, the Council held four interactive panel discussions, one of which addressed the ways United Nations offices and agencies — along with resident coordinators and country teams — can help Member States respond to challenges and featured participation by the executive heads of such entities.
Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, said that, although her office has little or no presence at the country level, the reformed resident coordinator system had enhanced its cooperation with country teams.
Similarly, Catherine Russell, Executive Director of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), noted that her work is also implemented through country programmes that are aligned with respective national priorities.
On this point, Jorge Moreira da Silva, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), spotlighted resident coordinators’ key role in establishing best approaches through joint programmes that enhance knowledge and capacity. UNOPS — as a non-programmatic agency — benefits from joint programming, he noted.
In the ensuing interactive debate, Member States discussed the advantages of joint engagement, while also asking about the ways to incentivize joint funding at the country level to avoid any competition or duplication.
The day’s other three panel discussions related to deploying regional assets to address cross-border issues; supporting just transitions towards the Sustainable Development Goals at the country level; and strengthening accountability on system-wide performance and results.