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Friday, June 29, 2012

The Statement of the Deputy Minister in Albania

STATEMENT BY HON. MAHADHI JUMA MAALIM (MP), DEPUTY MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE FIFTH HIGH-LEVEL INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE ON DELIVERING AS ONE, TIRANA, ALBANIA, 27-29 JUNE 2012
 
Honourable Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albenia;
Ms. Helen Clark, UN Development Group Chair;
Your Excellency Mr. Dera Percaya, Vice-President of ECOSOC;
Mr. Diego Canepa, Deputy-Secretary of the President of Uruguay and President of the Steering Committee of the Uruguayan Agency of International Cooperation (AUCI);
Heads of Delegation from Pilot and Non-pilot Countries;
Heads of UN Agencies;
Representatives of Development Partners;
Co-chairs of the UN System-wide Coherence;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
 
At the outset, allow me to join others in thanking and congratulating the Government of Albania for taking the initiative and assuming the responsibility of hosting the Fifth High Level Conference on Delivering as One. I am sure that I speak on behalf of all the other delegates when I say that we are grateful for the brotherly reception and excellent facilities the Government and People of Albania have put at our disposable. We earnestly appreciate this Albanian generosity.
 
It is my honour and privilege to address this Conference on behalf of Honourable Bernard Kamillius Membe, Member of Parliament and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania. He extends his deepest regret that he could not make it to this Conference because of other engagements. He therefore conveys his best wishes for the success of the conference.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The presence of so many high-level dignitaries at this occasion illustrates the commitment and great importance that the Member States attach to the reform.  The inter-governmental fora that have been held prior to this one have provided a critical opportunity to exchange experiences and lessons learned on Delivering as One. I believe this meeting will build upon that foundation.
 
Drawing from our experience as one of the LDC Pilot Countries for the One, I want to acknowledge and appreciate that project has provided real opportunities to address our development needs in one roof and in its entirety as well as in a participatory manner. Through the previous Joint Programmes and now the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP), we have witnessed initiatives that are much more responsive to the needs of Tanzanians; from policy support to social services delivery and promotion of good governance.
 
All these are paramount in improving the wellbeing of our people. The initiative also helps to move forward in the implementation of our National Development Strategies and Plans, in achieving the Millennium Development Goals as well as other internationally agreed development goals. We in Tanzania, are proud that Delivering as One has further strengthened the cooperation among the Government, the UN and the Development Partners.
 
Excellencies, Distinguished Participants,
When Tanzania first volunteered to become a pilot country way back in 2007, we did not quite know what we were embarking upon and indeed, it has been quite a journey. This journey began with the establishment of the Joint Government and UN Steering Committee (JSC) for management of the One Fund. Under the co-Chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and the UN Resident Coordinator, the JSC has enhanced ties between the Government and the UN at the highest level. It has provided a vehicle for discussion not only on One Fund matters, but additional issues of common concern such as the finalisation of the second generation of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSPs), the response to the Country-led Evaluation of Delivering as One in 2010 and of course the Independent Evaluation.
The primary role of the JSC, however, still is to guide UN programming, ensuring it remains fully aligned to our National Development Strategies and plans as well as priorities. We are proud to have pioneered an innovative approach to programming – the UNDAP– which brings all resident and non-resident agencies under a single coherent results-based Plan. The Government of Tanzania played a central role in the development of the UNDAP and indeed continues to enjoy an active partnership with the UN for its implementation and through the biannual review process of the Annual Work Plans.
 
Through the application of performance based allocations under the One Fund – which now accounts for 28 percent of the entire Programme of Cooperation for all UN agencies operating in the country - we incentivise UN agencies to be accountable for their interventions, to demonstrate clear results which serve best the people of Tanzania.
 
Excellencies, Distinguished Participants,
Under the reform, we have welcomed the realignment of the UN planning cycle at the country level to our own budgetary calendar year, running from July to June of the following year. This has helped to increase UN use of our national systems at the same time building the capacity therein under the One Office pillar of the reform – for which we are grateful. It has also helped to increase aid predictability and it enabled the incorporation of UN assistance into our budgeting process through the use of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.  
 
Harmonisation of Business Practices has the potential to yield real results in terms of increased efficiencies including a reduction in our transaction costs. We note the findings of the Independent Evaluation in this regard, and add our voice to the recommendations that this should be further pursued by UN Headquarters and Inter-Governmental bodies as a critical component of the reform.
 
Excellencies, Distinguished Participants,
In Tanzania, we place great value on the One UN Office. It has a critical function to reach prompt agreements and take action in all affairs of mutual interest between the Government and the UN System.  The One UN Office under the Resident Coordinator brings an important value addition by his support to the overall dialogue structure with all our Development Partners through his Permanent Chairmanship of the Development Partners Group. Important UN values, such as impartiality, transparency, participatory and people-centred economic growth greatly assist Tanzania Government – and I presume my fellow Government representatives from countries with sizeable Overseas Development Assistance would agree – to effectively lead and channel development cooperation in line with our National Development Strategies and Plans.  
 
We also attach importance to the concept of One Leader under Delivering as One in that it fosters a cohesive and forceful UN Country Team.  Effectively exercised, this concept brings to the front only UN Agencies with the requisite capacity and comparative advantage to support the issue at hand.
 
For these reasons, Tanzania recognizes that the authority of the Resident Coordinator is strongly linked to national ownership of the development process. Therefore, we support the move to strengthen accountability at the country level within the UN system. This should enhance the authority of the Resident Coordinator and enforce decisions of the Joint Steering Committee to the benefit of national ownership and leadership of the development path.
 
Excellencies, Distinguished Participants,
Tanzania Government has observed that a more coordinated UN Country Management Team can increase coherence among agencies and strengthen collaboration with our Government and other partners. The findings of the Independent Evaluation only confirm this. The One Voice principle has been instrumental in building capacity across the UN Country Management Team to engage with the media and other stake holders. Additionally, the principle plays the role of enhancing attention to the norms and standards of peace and security, human rights, social well being and equity developed under the leadership of UN bodies to which we remain fully committed.  It has also encouraged positive changes in patterns of communication within the country team, with people talking as much across agencies as within themselves.
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Delivering as One has already yielded a more streamlined and effective collaboration for development results between our Government and the UN in Tanzania. This, in my view, signals success. The reform has illustrated a common commitment, shared vision, relevant strategies and adequate resources amongst the tripartite relationship of government, donors and the UN.
 
Excellencies, Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen;
In conclusion, let me underscore that more support from the governing bodies and from Member States during the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) is required to realise the considerable benefits of Delivering as One and to address the development challenges before our countries. Real political will is required. The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania therefore strongly appeals to all UN bodies and Member States to fully support the Delivering as One reform for the betterment of the peoples of the United Nations.  
 
I thank you very much for your kind attention.
 
 

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