Part Three explores a number of key areas where practical steps are being taken to make progress on the United Nations’ reform agenda.


Financing climate action and energy transition during the Covid-19 crisis

In the first contribution, Ambassador Omar Hilale explores the challenges currently confronting the climate agenda. Specifically, he focuses on the interactions between the COVID-19 pandemic, the global financial crisis and climate change. He argues the world must make the transition towards sustainable modes of production and consumption, and that financing must be made available for the restructuring necessary to make this leap.

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Ambassador Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations in New York

“Amid this period of crisis, the world must seize the chance to make the transition towards sustainable modes of production and consumption, making financing available for the restructuring necessary to make this leap.”
Epidemic outbreaks are linked
– directly and indirectly –
to climate disruption

A coming-of-age story: UN pooled funds

In the second contribution to Part Three, the UN’s Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office writes a coming-of-age story on the UN pooled fund mechanism. It traces the evolution of the concept of pooled funding from its inception in 2004 to a mechanism which has a central role to play in making the current UN reform a success. While aggregate trends are positive, funding to pooled mechanisms is largely restricted to a handful of contributors. The paper makes the case that, in order for a quantum leap in funding to take place, a corresponding leap in quality is needed.

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Amount invested in UN inter-agency pooled funds in 2018 US$ 2.46 billion
(+19% since 2017)

UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office

“When properly designed, resourced and managed, pooled funds have the potential to bring UN entities together, strengthen coherence, reduce fragmentation, broaden the UN donor base, spread risk across partners, and tackle multi-dimensional challenges with comprehensive and innovative solutions.”

The UN Joint SDG Fund: Turning transformational potential into reality

In the third contribution, John Hendra and Silke Weinlich ask if the transformational potential of the UN Joint SDG Fund can be turned into reality. They explain that the significance of the Joint SDG Fund lies in the fact that it provides a unique financial instrument to the newly empowered resident coordinators, in turn one of the outstanding features of the Secretary-General’s reforms in the development system.

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John Hendra (consultant to the UN) and Silke Weinlich (German Development Institute)

“The Joint SDG Fund has the potential not only to catalyse UN reform by fostering collaboration, it can also help enable the UNDS to provide better support at scale, including through partnering with external actors.”
Amount pledged to the Joint SDG Fund by 11 European states and the EU over a four-year period
US$ 276 million

A European perspective on the global recovery and the way forward

Félix Fernández-Shaw presents a European perspective on the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and asks questions on the way forward. He also touches on the increasing importance of the partnership between the EU, its member states, and the UN, stressing the need for effective multilateralism. In this regard, he singles out the need for an effective UN and for strong EU support for the Secretary-General’s development system reforms.

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Félix Fernández-Shaw
Director of International Cooperation and Development Policy, European Commission/DG DEVCO

“As the largest contributors to the functioning and activities of the UN, Team Europe and its members have a strong interest in the UN system receiving the sustainable financing it needs to deliver effectively.”
As a response towards the COVID-19 crisis, Team Europe channeled
36 € billion

Bringing data to the centre of decision-making: the UN Data Strategy

Henriette Keijzers touches on the important work being done to strengthen the timeliness and quality of UN data and its use in decision-making. She emphasizes the fact that the UN has taken a major leap forward by developing a system-wide data strategy. This strategy focuses on the importance of making change happen through data use cases. She concludes that the UN’s success in realising its ambitious vision on data will depend on the grit and leadership of the entire UN family.

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Henriette Keijzers,
Deputy Director, UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office

“The ultimate ambition of the UN’s data strategy is to ensure the organisation fully values one of its most important assets: its data.”

Staying the Course: Funding effective UN responses to COVID-19 while protecting the 2030 Agenda

Part Three’s final article presents a summary of a recent report produced by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation on funding effective UN responses to the COVID-19 crisis while safeguarding progress already made towards the 2030 Agenda. The article argues that responses to the pandemic must be flexible, and considers how at a country level the leadership role of the UN resident coordinator system provides a platform for effective UN cooperation with Member States and their partners. It also emphasises how the 2019 Funding Compact can provide a solid basis for scaling up the response to the pandemic in an effective and transparent manner.

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The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation

“Funding is a central issue when it comes to tackling the pandemic. Given this, the Funding Compact – welcomed by UN entities and UN Member States in 2019 – offers a solid foundation for how to respond to the pandemic in an effective and transparent manner.”