First Multi-Stakeholder Discussion Forum on UN Pooled Funds

22 Jan 2019
First Multi-Stakeholder Discussion Forum on UN Pooled Funds

Representatives from governments and UN Agencies met in New York to discuss the role of pooled funds in achieving SDGs during the first Multi-Stakeholder Discussion Forum on pooled financing organized by the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTFO). The event took place at the margins of the January 2019 UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board.

The establishment of this periodic discussion forum, conceived as a platform of dialogue and engagement of UN pooled funds stakeholders, comes per decision of UNDP Executive Board following the recommendation of an independent evaluation of interagency pooled funds released in September 2018. These discussions are particularly relevant in the context of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for doubling of pooled finance as part of the UN development system reform to repositioning the UN Development System to achieve the 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Pooled funds at the service of the UN Reform 

In this first forum there was general agreement among all participating stakeholders of the relevance of interagency pooled funds, with particular emphasis on those administered by the MPTF Office, to promote UN coherence and empower UN Resident Coordinators.

Stakeholders from governments highlighted, for example, that additional efforts are required to  reach the target set by UN Secretary General of doubling allocations to UN pooled funds. High standards of transparency, accountability and reporting of results pooled mechanisms are crucial. UN entities underscored that a key factor of success is a neutral and professionally dedicated trustee function, as provided by the MPTF Office, which is firewalled from all UN implementing entities and the need to follow standard legal agreements for collaboration.

The discussion also touched upon the current development finance landscape, the role of pooled funds in the context of the UN Reform for empowering Resident Coordinators, the use of pooled funds in bridging the nexus humanitarian-development-peace and future incarnations of these discussion forums, with potential themes and focus. The next forum is expected to take place in June 2019 and the MPTF Office will invite stakeholders to help shape the agenda.

Expertise on UN pooled funding

The MPTF Office is the UN hub on pooled financing. Hosted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), it provides fund design, fund administration, and other professional services to UN entities, national governments and non-governmental partners. For 15 years and with a cumulative portfolio of over US$10.8 billion, the MPTF Office has supported the joint action of UN entities, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector in 113 countries. The MPTF Office provides integrated services throughout the life cycle of its pooled funds, from their inception to their closure. The MPTF Office has accumulated experience performing these core functions to expand the pooled fund-related services it offers and to become the UN center of expertise on pooled funding instruments.

As development contexts have substantially changed and countries’ priorities have evolved, the MPTF Office has evolved with them and it is expected that these discussion forums will become an instance to learn about partners’ needs and challenges to trigger innovation for a better provision of pooled funding services.

Click here to download the visuals and video used during the discussion forum.

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