Publicado en Mayo 21, 2024

Member States call for transformative policies and quality funding, crucial for the UN’s boost for people and planet

The world stands at a pivotal moment. With less than six years for 2030 to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the path ahead is fraught with intertwined and increasingly complex challenges. With record-breaking climate phenomena, economic instability, debt distress, geopolitical tensions, and conflicts, all eyes are on world leaders to keep up their promise to advance the SDGs and leave no one behind.

This includes countries’ requests for the United Nations to deliver support through these turbulent times and steer us toward a sustainable future.

From 14-16 May 2024, the United Nations headquarters in New York was a buzz with discussions as representatives of Member States, UN entities, and Resident Coordinators from various countries gathered for the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Segment on Operational Activities for Development.

This session provided a platform to review the achievements made so far and to strategize on the additional momentum required for the UN development system in these challenging times. The forum offered deep insights into how the significant development gains, achieved through UN reforms over the past five years, can be consolidated and scaled up to ensure sustained progress. Attendees focused on strengthening collaborative efforts and enhancing the effectiveness of development initiatives, aiming to address the evolving global challenges more robustly.

Resident Coordinators and UN country teams are serving as a cornerstone for sustainable development. They deliver the UN’s integrated offer through various aspects of development, through transformative policy and programming support, that bring sustainable solutions for the diverse challenges and needs of countries and communities around the world.

“[The UN’s] work across the system and with Governments is becoming more joined-up and coordinated every year,” Secretary-General António Guterres said, referring to his report on the UN’s promise to Member States on its work on sustainable development, the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review of UN Operational Activities for Development. Making his intentions of securing sustainable and predictable funding for the UN development system very clear, he added, "Above all, we need solidarity — with countries more able to provide support helping those less able to do so.”


Photo: © UN DCO
Photo: © UN DCO


To make the most of the UN’s offer at the country, regional and global levels, development coordination plays a vital role. The 2024 Report of the Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group on the Resident Coordinator system (UNSDG) showcases how Resident Coordinators (RCs) are instrumental in fostering effective collaboration among UN entities, the Government and partners, resulting in impactful and unified support for countries' sustainable development efforts.

“The Resident Coordinator system has consolidated as the bedrock of a development system that is being called upon to deliver with renewed pace and scale – addressing unparalleled and unforeseen global challenges,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, who serves as the Chair of the UNSDG. Calling attention to the concerning state of funding for the work of the UN development system, she said, “The RC system is constrained by the inadequate financial resources available. Last year’s shortfall of $68m continued to hamper and scale back the [UN] system’s ability to deliver.”


Photo: © UN Caption: UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed in her capacity as the Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group addresses the gathering.


Echoing this and drawing attention to the need to revitalize the Funding Compact , which aims to improve the quantity and quality of funding for the UN to be responsive and impactful for the SDGs, Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said that, “without a fundamental change to the modalities of funding the UN development system, efforts to reform would only ever go so far.” He added, “Funding itself serves as a driver – or potentially a barrier – for a more effective, more coherent, more efficient development offer by UN entities”.

SDGs: From global commitment to local action

Around the world, RCs are harnessing innovation and partnerships to support countries in addressing multifaceted challenges more efficiently. Speaking virtually from Chile, RC Maria Jose Torres Macho shared how the UN team works closely with the Government, civil society, and private sector on localizing the SDGs, boosting livelihoods, responding to environmental disasters, and tackling informality and migration. RC Jose Miguel Barreto from Guatemala outlined efforts toward gender, disability and indigenous people’s inclusion.  Bhutan is making strides in embracing digital technology and innovation for sustainable development, as RC Karla Hershey shared. Whether it is monitoring water quality or facilitating digital trade or providing life-saving healthcare to women in remote mountainous areas, the UN Country team is helping ensure digital technology can affect positive change in vital ways.

At the heart of the UN development system’s response is the need to boost access to innovative financing for people and the planet. In Tunisia, RC Arnaud Peral highlighted that SDG financing in middle-income countries remains a major challenge, however, the UN country team in Tunisia, with UNDP in the lead, has utilized pooled funds such as the Joint SDG Fund to put into motion the integrated national financing framework (INFF), which provides a guideline for financing national sustainable development priorities and the SDGs and engages the public and private sectors. RC Ingrid Macdonald from Bosnia and Herzegovina highlighted the impact of the Peacebuilding Fund in furthering strategic programming on reconciliation and the need for peacebuilding and development work to go hand-in-hand.

In Sudan and Somalia, RCs Clementine Aku-Nkweta-Salami and George Conway, respectively, showcased the importance of building strong synergies between humanitarian interventions, development support and peacebuilding to ensure sustainable impact, helping countries in complex setting set as trajectory towards a better future.

Ahead of the Summit of the Future and a new review of UN Operational Activities for Development in the fall, which will guide the UN development system for the next four years before the 2030 Agenda deadline expires, these deliberations provide a firm foundation for both Member States and the UN family alike to reinforce and accelerate efforts and collective momentum needed to fast-track the world to a, fairer, greener and more resilient world for all.

To read the 2024 Report of the Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group launched at ECOSOC OAS 2024, click here.

To browse through the UN development system's contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, click here.


Originally published by UN DCO




All joint programs of the Joint SDG Fund are led by UN Resident Coordinators and implemented by the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations development system. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.