Deputy Secretary-General discusses “Delivering as One” at regional level in Bangkok

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, paid a two-day visit to the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok on 18 -19 February during which how to 'deliver as one UN" at the regional level was the main theme of her discussions.

The main purpose of the visit -- the first by Ms. Migiro since she took the second most senior office in the UN a year ago -- was to chair the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) meeting which brings together more than 30 regional UN offices and development partners.

Ms. Migiro said the need to strengthen the regional dimension of the UN development pillar for Asia-Pacific is critically important. "Given the sheer magnitude and scale of development issues in Asia-Pacific, what happens in the ESCAP region will determine the future success or failure of the international community's efforts to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," said Ms. Migiro. The MDGs are eight sets of broad development goals - such as reducing poverty and improving child and maternal health - agreed by all governments at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000.

She noted that the cost of the UN system failing to "deliver as one" is borne by all of us, most importantly by the member states of the UN themselves. "Delivering as One" is a reform measure recommended by a high level international panel. It is aimed at making the UN system's diverse development activities on the ground more coherent.

The meeting reviewed the progress made in this area and the main findings from a recent study of regional programmes in Asia and the Pacific.

The meeting also discussed regional partnerships in support of the MDGs and South-South cooperation, and agreed on a number of actions to further enhance system-wide coherence at the regional level.

"Delivering as One" was also a key topic when Ms. Migiro addressed about 200 Bangkok-based UN staff members on Monday.

During her visit, Ms. Migiro also met with Thailand's new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Noppadon Pattama.

ESCAP is the third of the five UN Regional Commissions Ms. Migiro visited. She had been to Addis Ababa and Santiago to chair RCM meetings in Africa and in Latin American and the Caribbean.

A former law lecturer, Ms. Migiro was Foreign Minister of Tanzania before her appointment to the UN.