United Nations Development Group Delivering Together for Development
System–wide Coherence

A More Effective, Efficient, Coherent, Coordinated and Better-Performing UN System

The Secretary-General launched the United Nations system's current effort to become more coherent, effective and relevant in February 2006 with the establishment of a High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence. In response to the intergovernmental agreements in paragraph 169 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, the panel explored ways to further strengthen the management and coordination of UN operational activities to improve the effectiveness of their contribution to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. The principal challenge for this work was identified as being in the fields of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment, while taking into account the cross-cutting areas of gender equality, sustainable development and human rights.

The Panel, co-chaired by the Prime Ministers of Pakistan, Mozambique and Norway submitted its report, “Delivering as One” (A/61/583) to Secretary-General Kofi Annan in November 2006. The report included extensive recommendations to consolidate and improve the effectiveness of United Nations operations.

In April 2007, the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, issued his response to the Panel’s findings. The General Assembly held consultations on the recommendations contained in the Report of the High-level Panel and the Secretary-General's report.

General Assembly Mandates on System-wide Coherence

The primary mandates for reforming the UN development system and increasing its coherence are found in the General Assembly's Comprehensive Policy Review resolutions.

On 15 September 2008, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on System-wide Coherence (A/RES/62/277) following a series of informal consultations held in 2007 and 2008 on the recommendations of the High-level Panel on the report of the Secretary-General led by the Permanent Representatives of Ireland and Tanzania appointed by the President of the 62nd session of the General Assembly as Co-Chairs.

On 2 October 2009, the General Assembly adopted a second resolution on System-wide Coherence (A/RES/63/311) which took up five key areas of concern: strengthening the institutional arrangements for support of gender equality and women’s empowerment; strengthening governance of operational activities for development of the UN system; improving the funding system of operational activities for development of the United Nations system; Delivering as One; and harmonization of business practices.

On 25 November 2009, the President of the General Assembly appointed Her Excellency Mrs. Tiina Intelmann, Permanent Representative of Estonia, and His Excellency Mr. Ghazi Jomaa, Permanent Representative of Tunisia, as Co-Facilitators to continue the consultative process on the System-wide Coherence in the course of the 64th session. The Secretary-General released his report on follow-up to resolution 63/311 in December 2009. The report provides options for: (1) improving the governance of operational activities for development, (2) possible modalities for submission and approval of common country programmes on a voluntary basis, (3) key principles for establishing an independent system-wide evaluation mechanism, (4) strengthening financial reporting on operational activities for development, (5) creating a central repository on operational activities for development, (6) independent evaluation of lessons learned from Delivering as one programme country pilots, and (7) reporting on harmonization of business practices.

General Assembly Sessions on System-wide Coherence

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General Assembly Resolution - Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR)
December 2012
Follow-up to General Assembly resolution 63/311 on system-wide coherence related to operational activities for development
by: Report of the Secretary-General
22 December 2009
General Assembly resolution on System-wide Coherence (A/RES/63/311)
October 2009
Resolution to continue the intergovernmental work of the General Assembly on system-wide coherence.
Progress in the implementation of General Assembly resolution 62/208 on the triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system
by: ECOSOC
22 July 2009
Draft resolution (E/2009/L.18) submitted by the Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council. Adopted by consensus 22 July 2009.
General Assembly resolution on System-wide coherence (A/RES/62/277)
by: President of the General Assembly
7 October 2008
Draft resolution A/62/L.51 submitted by the President of the General Assembly 12 September, and adopted as A/RES/62/277 on 15 Sept. 2008 without a vote.
System-wide Coherence: Report of the Co-Chairs of the 62nd General Assembly consultations
by: Ambassador Paul Kavanagh and Ambassador Augustine Mahiga
21 July 2008
Report of the co-chairs of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly's consultations on system-wide coherence. Assesses progress in Delivering as One and greater UN system coherence at the country level, global and country-level funding for coherence and governance. The report concludes with recommendations and includes the Maputo Declaration of pilot and other countries that are making efforts to Deliver as One.
Recommendations contained in the Report of the High-Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence: Report of the Secretary-General (A/61/836)
3 April 2007
Recommendations contained in the report of the High-level Panel on United Nations System-wide Coherence in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment: Report of the Secretary-General
Report of the High-level Panel on System-wide Coherence
9 November 2006
Statements and press releases from the Secretary-General and High-level Panel Co-Chairs
9 November 2006
Website of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence
Summary of the Recommendations of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on system-wide Coherence
November 2006
Report of the Secretary-General's High Level Panel on UN system-wide Coherence in the areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment
November 2006
Report of the Secretary-General on the recommendations contained in the HLP Report
April 2007
Letter of Secretary-General to President of General Assembly on HLP Report
April 2007
Meetings and Statements on System-wide Coherence

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Statement of Outcomes and Way Forward - Intergovernmental Meeting of the Programme Country Pilots on Delivering as One
21 October 2009
Representatives of the governments of the eight “Delivering as One” (DaO) programme pilot countries (Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay and Vietnam) as well as representatives of governments of countries that have indicated voluntary adoption of the DaO approach (Benin, Bhutan, Comores, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Malawi) met in Kigali, Rwanda, from 19 to 21 October 2009.
Remarks of Helen Clark, UNDG Chair, 12 Oct. 2009 UNDG Meeting
12 October 2009
Helen Clark spoke about decisions on the guidance note on mainstreaming environmental sustainability in country analyses and UNDAFs, and on common country procurement. The UNDG Chair also discussed UNDG’s role in meeting development challenges, specifically the Millennium Development Goals, exploring opportunities to strengthen UNDG coordination, further strengthening of the resident coordinator system and responding to the system-wide coherence solution.
Statement of Helen Clark, UNDG Chair, 2009 Annual Cluster Meeting of Resident Coordinators from Asia and the Pacific
8 October 2009
Statement of Helen Clark, UNDG Chair, Meeting of UNDG Asia-Pacific Team and Resident Representatives/Resident Coordinators
7 October 2009
Helen Clark met with the UNDG Asia Pacific group and spoke about better coordination of the UN development system being pursued at all levels of the UNDG.
General Assembly passes resolution on System-wide Coherence at final meeting of 63rd session
14 September 2009
Challenges for the Resident Coordinator System Going Forward
by: Helen Clark
16 July 2009
Statement of Helen Clark, Chair of the United Nations Development Group, Dialogue session at the Operational Activities Segment, Economic and Social Council
Statement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the General Assembly on System-wide Coherence
22 June 2009
Statement by UNDG Chair Helen Clark at 8 June inter-governmental consultations on System-wide Coherence
8 June 2009
General Assembly informal consultations on System-wide Coherence (10th Meeting)
8 September 2008
Deputy Secretary-General's statement to the operational activities segment of the 2008 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council
by: DSG Asha-Rose Migiro
10 July 2008
Maputo Seminar - Statement of Summary of Outcomes and Way Forward
23 May 2008
Statement of Summary of Outcomes and Way Forward - Seminar of the "Programme Pilot Countries" on Delivering as One: Exchange of Experience and Lessons Learned. Maputo, Mozambique, 21-23 May 2008.
General Assembly informal consultations on System-wide Coherence: Delivering as One Pilots
28 March 2008
The Co-Chairs of the General Assembly discussions on UN System-wide Coherence convened a day-long informal meeting to discuss progress in the eight Delivering as One pilot countries.
United Nations System-wide Coherence: The Next Steps
5 March 2008
Delivering as One UN Pilots: Aligning UN Capabilities in Support of National Development
by: Stanley Foundation
March 2008
To support the 2007 stocktaking of Delivering as One pilots, the Stanley Foundation, an NGO, focused its 39th United Nations Issues Conference on the subject. The conference was held March 14-16, 2008, in Tarrytown, New York, and gathered permanent representatives and senior officials from many UN member states. This policy dialogue brief outlines the Stanley Foundation's independent interpretation of the conference’s findings and recommendations.
General Assembly Debate on High-Level Panel report
25 May 2007
Summary of the individual statements at the General Assembly debate on the recommendations of the High-level Panel report
25 May 2007
Remarks by the UN Secretary-General to an Informal Meeting of the General Assembly on the Report of the High-Level Panel on System-Wide Coherence
November 2006
Meeting Record: Secretary-General urges General Assembly to Consider High-Level Panel's proposals to make organization more coherent, efficient, accountable
16 April 2007
Sixty-first General Assembly Plenary 94th Meeting (PM)
Meeting Record: speakers in Second Committee call for streamlined United Nations development operations, while stressing importance of south-south cooperation
17 October 2007
Sixty-second General Assembly Second Committee 9th Meeting (PM)
Meeting Record: Proposals to improve United Nations ability to 'Deliver as One' receive wide support, as General Assembly considers High-Level report
17 April 2007
Sixty-first General Assembly Plenary 95th Meeting (AM)
Meeting Record: Country ownership of development process improves chances of meeting national priorities, say speakers in Second Committee round table
19 October 2007
Sixty-second General Assembly Second Committee Round-Table Discussion (AM)
Meeting Record: Reforms will make UN more responsive, accountable, Deputy Secretary-General says in Bonn meeting with European Union development ministers
13 March 2007
DSG/SM/306 DEV/2621
Meeting Record: Regional approaches strengthen capacity to address global challenges, says Deputy Secretary-General in remarks to Inter-Agency Coordination Meeting
5 December 2007
Meeting Record: General Assembly debates strengthening coordination of UN emergency, humanitarian, disaster relief
19 November 2007
Sixty-second General Assembly Plenary 53rd & 54th Meetings (AM & PM)
Meeting Record: More coherent UN system, capable of better delivery 'matter of life and death for millions', Secretary-General tells General Assembly
16 April 2007
SG/SM/10946 GA/10587 ORG/1485
Meeting Record: Economic and Social Council discusses follow-up to policy recommendations
12 July 2007
Meeting Record: Secretary-General, in message to regional consultation on System-wide Coherence, stresses need to show effective use of resources
29 March 2007
Informal Meeiting of the Plenary on System-Wide Coherence
7 February 2008
Publications on System-wide Coherence

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UN Coherence progress overview brochure
January 2009
The UN Development Group: Promoting UN coherence,effectiveness and relevance: an overview of progress since 1997.
High-Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence - Implications for UN operational activities at Country Level: What’s new and what has already been mandated?
27 August 2007
Matrix comparing 2004 TCPR mandates and the High-Level Panel's recommendations.
Managing Change at the United Nations
by: Center for UN Reform Education
April 2008
This Center for UN Reform Education publication covers some of the reform proposals that can be found in Section V of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document under the heading "Strengthening the United Nations." Below is Chapter 3, which deals with System-wide Coherence. The full document is available on the NGO's website, also listed below.
In Quest for UN System-wide Coherence: the Conundrum of Multilateral Development Cooperation
by: Victor-Yves Ghebali
The views are those of the author, not the UNDG.
Strengthening governance of operational activities for development of the United Nations system for enhanced system-wide coherence
by: UN Secretariat
15 April 2009
Discussion note for the General Assembly consulations on System-wide Coherence
Strengthening system-wide funding architecture of operational activities of the United Nations for development
3 May 2009
This paper examines the overall trends and challenges in financing UN operational activities for development. Based on the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of existing funding mechanisms, the paper raises a set of recommendations to enhance the effectiveness and coherence of the present funding system.
Presentations on System-wide Coherence

UN Coherence, Effectiveness and Relevance Presentations
April 2010
PowerPoint Presentations explaining UN Coherence, Effectiveness and Relevance (UN Reform). Presentations should be customized for your audience and context and adjusted depending on how much time you have. We recommend printing the "Notes Pages" format of the presentation to use as talking points during the presentation. They can also be used as a detailed handout for the audience to take away with them.