Remarks by Stephen Lieberman, Minister Counselor for United Nations Management & Reform On Agenda Items 135: Program Planning Main Session of the 68th General Assembly October 9, 2013

Stephen Liberman, Minister Counselor for UN Management & Reform
New York, NY
October 9, 2013


Thank you Mr. Chairman.

We were pleased to join the Committee for Programme and Coordination once again, and while we did not participate in this past session, we look forward to working with our distinguished colleagues this fall in examining how to enhance the CPC’s important role in improving the effectiveness and strategic focus of the organization while also holding the Secretariat more accountable for results. The CPC has a very important role in shaping the UN’s strategic framework and assessing the results which the Organization achieves with the resources that Member States have provided.

The CPC also provides an opportunity that we should not miss to improve the UN’s strategic planning process. The United States has expressed our concerns repeatedly in General Assembly resolutions about shortcomings in the UN budget and program process, with special reference to the need for more effective implementation of results-based management. The CPC has a critical role to play toward this end.

There are a number of substantive and structural options that could be considered for enhancing CPC’s role as the entity responsible for ensuring the viability and effectiveness of the program and budget process in the UN.

In terms of substance, a reformed and strengthened CPC could transform the current RBM process by serving as the organization’s expert body that challenges the internal logic of the so-called logical frameworks and ensures that the goals outlined in the program fascicles are indeed SMART goals, meaning they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. The CPC should be issuing recommendations that deal with the technical weaknesses of the current process, so member states are better equipped to hold the secretariat accountable.

We would also like to see the CPC fulfill its mandate by identifying which programs, subprograms, and program elements are obsolete or are of marginal usefulness. The CPC has the benefit of a panoramic view of the entire strategic framework and is in an excellent position to seek these types of efficiencies as well as identify areas of overlap or duplication across the system.

At a time of budgetary constraints, it is imperative that we optimize the use of resources, but the benefits of eliminating duplicative mandates extends beyond financial savings. Identifying areas of overlap allows the organization to promote programmatic and organizational synergies, ultimately ensuring better coordinated service delivery to the people who benefit the most from the UN activities in their countries.

Again we look forward to having a robust dialogue amongst our Fifth Committee colleagues on reforming the work of the CPC and joining our CPC colleagues this spring in realizing the CPC’s important role in improving the effectiveness and strategic focus of the Organization.


PRN: 2013/175