ASEAN attaches great importance to development cooperation which constitutes as one of the main pillars of work of the UN today, the group’s representative said at a debate on Agenda item 25 on October 15 of the 67th UN General Assembly.

Speaking on behalf of the Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Ambassador Le Hoai Trung, Vietnam’s Permanent Representative the UN, said as developing countries that have gone through different stages of development, ASEAN members have benefited greatly and highly appreciate the assistance provided by the UN through its operational activities for development.

He added that in particular, ASEAN wishes to express its appreciation to UN-ESCAP for the constructive role in supporting ASEAN Community building through promoting regional connectivity, building resilience and bridging development gaps among countries in the region.

“We look forward to continued support and cooperation of the UN with ASEAN countries in various fields in the time ahead,” Trung said.

However, Trung said ASEAN shares the common concern of the developing countries that resources for development activities are in serious decline and in this regard calls donor countries to honour their commitment of financial assistance for UN operational activities.

The ambassador reiterated ASEAN’s strong support for efforts to reform the UN development system with a view to enhancing greater coherence, effectiveness and efficiency at all levels and improving the UN’s mandate of operational activities for development.

He cited the Delivering as One initiative as an example of such efforts, while stressing that the principle of “no one size fits all” approach should be reiterated and the implementation of Delivering as One and/or other modalities, if necessary, has to accommodate the specific characteristics and requirements of each particular country.

Regarding South-South cooperation, Ambassador Trung said the growing role of this cooperation underscores the fact that it is an important modality to realise internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

“It is however, not to be considered as substitute but rather a complement to North-South co-operation. To this end, the UN with its central role for development should make greater effort to mobilise Comprehensive Partnership, ASEAN invites the UN development system to engage closely with ASEAN with a view to implementing the Comprehensive Partnership as a matter of priority,” said the diplomat.

The ASEAN representative noted that in reality, development cooperation and operational activities have expanded remarkably and brought about tangible and significant results to the socio-economic development process in many countries.

At the same time, he stressed that the fundamental characteristics and principles for UN operational activities for development must be ensured and should remain, inter alia, their universal, voluntary and grant nature, their neutrality and their multilateralism, as well as their ability to respond to the development needs of programme countries in a flexible manner.

“Looking forward to the future, ASEAN believes that the priorities for the UN development system should focus on continuing the implementation of action plans, outcomes and goals agreed by member states in international conferences on development, including the MDGs, as well as those set out beyond the 2015 timeframe and in accordance with the UN sustainable development agenda and addressing the new emerging challenges posed to the development process,” Ambassador Trung concluded.

Source: VNA