Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to UN at the ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment (26 February 2014)

Mr. President,

We thank you for the able stewardship of the Operational Activities Segment of the ECOSOC.

We also thank the Secretary General for the report on the Implementation of Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) of the Operational Activities for Development.

We align with the statement made by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Bolivia on behalf of G-77 and China.

Mr. President,

Developing countries have made progress in achieving the MDGs agenda. They, however, continue to face significant development challenges. Many MDGs will remain unmet by the deadline of 2015.

According to the Secretary Generalís Report, the UN system is the largest multilateral partner of the developing countries, providing 17% of the total Official Development Assistance. It, therefore, has a special role in helping developing countries overcome the challenge of a comprehensive and inclusive socio-economic development. This requires a more efficient and effective UN Development System that delivers results together, and at a reduced cost.

The Resolution 67/226 on the QCPR provides good guidance on how to make the working of the UN Development System more efficient and effective. UN Funds and Programmes and several specialized agencies have made efforts to align their strategic plans with QCPR priorities; and taken steps to use common indicators to measure them.

We appreciate their work and look forward to the full implementation of all mandates identified in the QCPR.

Mr. President,

The discussions on the post-2015 development agenda provide us a historic opportunity to deliberate on making the UN more relevant and responsive to the evolving development landscape.

We will like to contribute the following four points to the discussions on further improving the UN operational activities for development:

One, over the last two decades, developing countries' experiences have not only helped them understand their needs but enhanced national capacities to pursue their development objectives. The UN operational activities, therefore, should support nationally identified priorities; and strategically leverage the existing national capacities. This will assist developing countries further strengthen their capacities and make them more efficient, effective and sustainable.

Two, the UN operational activities cannot take place without adequate and predictable financing. Official Development Assistance is one of the main pillars of global development partnership. Commitments in this regard must be fulfilled. It is essential for donors to address the continuing imbalance between core and non-core funding to enable the UN Development System to deliver on its inter-governmentally agreed mandates.

Three, considering the enormity of development task, no amount of public funds will be sufficient. The UN Development System must benefit from finances available in the private sector. It needs to develop appropriate modalities and frameworks to partner with diverse actors that are willing to invest in development.

Four, the UN Development System must continue its efforts to simplify rules and procedures, harmonize business practices and develop efficient support services. At the same time, its different entities must focus their work in accordance with their comparative advantages in an integrated manner and in line with programme countries priorities.

Mr. President,

In Pakistan, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have provided us with concrete socio-economic targets as we work towards good governance, social justice and poverty alleviation amid sustained economic growth. We have aleady drastically reduced the poverty from 34.5% in 2001/02 to 12.4% in 2010/11. We have reduced child mortality and improved maternal health but we have yet to cover considerable ground. We have made impressive strides in womenís empowerment, particularly by enhancing their representation in national and provincial assemblies.

Our efforts in other areas have been affected by the allocation of resources to fight terrorism and deal with frequent and massive natural disasters. Our government has accelerated the pace for other MDGs. Education and health spending has been increased for 2 to 4%, and 1 to 2% of GDP, respectively. We are especially focusing on young people to give them high-quality education, life skills and vocational training. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has started a credit programme for young entrepreneurs to enable them to start small businesses.

Pakistan considers the United Nations as a strong partner for its own development objectives and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Together, Pakistan and the United Nations collaborate to craft solutions that improve the lives of the people of Pakistan, eliminate poverty and strengthen institutional capacity. Our partnerships in the past have been successful in the areas of poverty reduction, empowerment of women, disaster management, environment, and climate change finance and adaptation. We particularly value our association with the United Nations to improve data collection and collation. The United Nations also provides a good conduit to our economic policy-makers and managers, at the federal, provincial and local levels, to link up with innovative global solutions.

The UN Operational Activities for Development have made an important contribution in helping countries make progress. While we deliberate on further improving it, the UN Development System must continue to assist countries in achieving MDGs in the remaining period till 2015.

I thank you.