The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) appreciates the importance of the United Nations (UN) operational activities for development and believes that strengthening development cooperation is instrumental to consolidating and enhancing the mutually reinforcing pillars of the work of the UN.

Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, made the remark on behalf of ASEAN at a discussion on operational activities for development within the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the US, on October 29.

She said ASEAN welcomes the UN’s continuous commitment and invite the UN system to work even more closely with ASEAN to implement the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between the two organisations.

ASEAN shared the concern of many countries about declining financial resources for development plans and called on developed countries to meet their ODA commitments and the UN system to focus on capacity building, which is crucial for the long-term ability to address development challenges by developing countries, she added.

The bloc strongly supports actions and initiatives to strengthen UN system-wide coherence at all levels, particularly the “Delivering as One” approach, which underlines the importance of strong national ownership and alignment of UN programming with national plans and priorities.

The diplomat further said ASEAN encourages UN member states to promote South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation.

During the discussion, representatives from UN member states voiced their concern over the stagnation in funding for UN operational activities, which poses difficulties for the implementation of development programmes and projects.

They called on donor countries to honour their commitment to provide financing for the UN’s budget and the UN Development Programme in order to ensure their effective operation.

On October 28, Ambassador Nga also gave a speech at another discussion on agriculture development, food security and nutrition.

She shared Vietnam’s experience in ensuring food security and agricultural development, especially its strong political commitment to overall poverty eradication and policies facilitating production to contribute to regional and international food security.-VNA