UN Country Team

Peter de ClercqAs the Resident Coordinator, Peter de Clercq leads the UN Country Team Somalia. Credit: UN/Ryan Brown

Country Teams exist in 136 countries and are made up of all UN agencies, funds, programmes and organizations that carry out operations for development, emergency, recovery and transition in a respective country. Country Teams ensure inter-agency coordination and decision-making at the country level. This is so important because coordinating development operations promotes more strategic support for national plans and priorities, makes operations more efficient and reduces transaction costs for governments. This helps to improve the impact of our operations and makes us a more relevant and reliable partner for governments.

  

The concept of the UNCT originated in 1977, when the General Assembly established the concept of a single official, namely the Resident Coordinator, to coordinate operational activities within the UN system. Efforts to strengthen the UNCT were emphasized by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his 1997 reform agenda. The 2005 World Summit also called for a strengthened UNCT in implementing the reforms at the country level. In 2004 and 2007, the General Assembly set out further measures to strengthen the UNCT, including greater accountability towards host governments and the inter-governmental process as well as within the UN system. They also mandated the UN system to become more coherent, effective and relevant and to simplify and harmonize business practices. The General Assembly also urged the UN system to use all opportunities to increase aid effectiveness.

Country Teams are led by the UN Resident Coordinator (RC) who is the designated representative of the UN Secretary-General.

 

The United Nations Country Team Somalia

Daily life in MogadishuA glimpse at daily life in Mogadishu. Credit: UN/S. Price.

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) Somalia consists of the 21 UN agencies, funds, programmes and organizations operating in Somalia and come together under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator (link) for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini.

 

We, the UNCT Somalia, work together to tighten inter-agency coordination and ensure a One-UN-approach towards development, emergency and recovery efforts, and partnerships with Somali citizens and authorities among others. At the beginning of each year, we develop a joint annual plan to ensure that we use each agency’s comparative advantages to address the different dimensions of support we provide to Somalia.

 

We meet twice a month to deliberate on crucial decisions related to our work and constantly evolving challenges and opportunities in Somalia. We also hold special meetings to deliver timely, efficient responses in the event of emergencies.

 

Since the beginning of the year 2014, we have been working towards the integration of the UN in Somalia, a strategy to move from recovery and quick-fix interventions to longer-term peacebuilding and nation building. Together with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Somalia (UNSOM) we will reinforce our efforts to work with one vision and strengthen our humanitarian and development support to Somalia’s people and administrations, in line with the country’s priorities and the New Deal.

 

In order to better coordinate our work in these areas, we have established a Gender Theme Group and the UN Information Group consisting of the communications and public information officers of all agencies, funds, programmes and organizations. We have also created the post of Advisor on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) to strengthen our efforts in this regard.