Assessing the roll-out of the UN regional reform

“Mandated by the UN General Assembly in response to the vision and proposals of the Secretary-General, the reform of the United Nations Development System involves a set of far-reaching changes in the way this global architecture works. Its ultimate objective is to yield a UNDS that is more integrated, more focused on delivery on the ground, with clearer internal and external accountability for contributions to national needs, and with capacities, skill sets and resources better aligned to the 2030 Agenda”.

Javier Surasky

September 3, 2021

In 2021, Cepei, with support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, undertook to assess the United Nations Development System’s (UNDS) regional reform roll-out. In addition to analyzing UN documents and reports, Cepei conducted three (virtual) experts meetings, consulted the regional Agencies Funds and Programs (AFPs) offices and Regional Commissions (RCs), and interviewed UN Staff, member states, civil society, academia, and think tanks in the five regions.

This document presents the findings on three aspects of the inquiry:

I. How each of the regions interpreted the Secretary-General’s mandate;

II. What each region has implemented thus far in terms of the Regional Collaborative Platforms, Issue Based Coalitions, and Knowledge Management Hubs;

III. The outputs that have resulted from the reform roll-out thus far.

Due to the disruptions of COVID-19, documentation of the regional reform roll-out is limited. However, by aggregating the available information in this document, the hope is to enable the UN system and its external stakeholders to take inventory of the progress made thus far and identify opportunities going forward.

Main findings

ECLAC describes that countries in the LATAM region are working to strengthen institutional frameworks for the implementation of the Agenda, and positions this within the broader UNDS reform process and its aim to increase collaboration between agencies, funds and programs to be more effective and agile in responding to countries’ needs.

UNESCAP describes the regional contribution of Asia Pacific as mainly comprising research and analysis, policy advisory services, capacity building, and technical assistance. Efforts to deepen regional cooperation and integration aim to advance: connectivity, financial cooperation, market integration.

UNECE frames the regional level as a platform for multi-stakeholder collaboration. There is a long list of UN and external entities they work with but little mention of how they support them or include them in the conversation.

About the author

Javier Surasky

Ph.D. in International Relations (La Plata National University, Argentina) Master in International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action (International University of Andalucia). He has taught international cooperation courses at different postgraduate careers in Latin America and European universities.