Joint statement by the UN Inter-Agency Cluster at the General Assembly debate

18 October 2012

The United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity has delivered a statement providing the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) with examples of best practice, and with its views on United Nations system-wide coherence.

In its 2012 session, the General Assembly will give new policy directions to improve the support provided by the United Nations system to developing countries. The QCPR is the mechanism through which the General Assembly assesses the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact of United Nations operational activities for development, and establishes system-wide policy orientations for the development cooperation and country-level modalities of the United Nations system in response to the evolving international development cooperation environment.

The United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity, which is now in its fifth year, is recognized as one of the most dynamic thematic clusters in the United Nations system.

The clustering approach is mentioned as an example of best practice in the Report of the Secretary-General on the QCPR, which notes that it provides new opportunities for cooperation on economic development (recommendation 2) as well as "greater access to the range of development expertise and resources in the United Nations system" (lesson 3).

In light of the above, UNCTAD, in its role as lead agency of the United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity, was asked to make a contribution to the General Assembly debate. The statement, delivered to the General Assembly by UNIDO on behalf of the 15 agencies of the Cluster, emphasizes that:

A thematic inter-agency mechanism such as the Cluster is a strategic instrument in the effective operationalization of system-wide coherence;

By acting together when formulating, delivering, and monitoring the impact of their assistance, United Nations entities can be better aligned with national development strategies;

The post-2015 development agenda should be the road map and the driving force for further progress in the delivery of United Nations joint programmes of development assistance;

Donors' support for joint programmes, such as those of the Cluster, and in particular via the multi-donor trust funds, is critical to ensuring sustainable, predictable and timely assistance from United Nations agencies, in order to lead to higher levels of efficiency and coherence in the delivery of trade-related assistance.