The United Nations (UN) are a central actor in multilateral development cooperation and policy. The UN plays a crucial role when it comes to negotiating, implementing, and monitoring international agreements like the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. This new development agenda aims at eradicating poverty and achieving economic and social progress on the basis of ecological sustainability – and this no longer just for developing states, but for all countries. The UN provides around 34 billion USD annually for development cooperation. For many states but also private actors the UN are an indispensable partner because of its neutrality, experience, and global reach.
What will be the contribution of the UN to the implementation of the 2030 agenda? And how do the organisations of the UN system need to be positioned to get the job done effectively, efficiently, and in an integrated manner? It is increasingly clear that a fundamental adjustment of structures and capabilities is needed. Norm-setting and operations need to be integrated at the local level, individual agencies interlocked. Mandates and structures need to be reviewed so that forms follow new functions and are “fit for purpose”.
The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) works on the role of the UN in development and its future positioning. This special provides some of the outcomes of this work.