Representatives of Vietnamese Government, the United Nations in Vietnam and the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam on December 9 agreed to the 2013 update on the UN - EU guidelines for financing of local costs in development cooperation with the country, better known as UN - EU Cost Norms.

The single set of standardized rates in the UN - EU Cost Norms continues to be used by all national implementing partners and other counterparts in Vietnam for the local costs of ODA programmes and projects funded by UN agencies and EU member states’ missions in the country, according to a press release on December 9.

Since its launch in 2009, the UN-EU Cost Norms have been recognized for the many positive results that have been achieved in terms of harmonizing and reducing transaction costs for implementing partners.

The guidelines represent a tangible contribution to aid effectiveness agenda in line with Hanoi Core Statement and Vietnam Partnership Document on Aid Effectiveness and it is rightfully considered as an important tool to promote greater transparency and creating a basis for stronger alignment and harmonization between Government, UN and development partners.

It is expected that this updated version, with immediate effect, will bring the benchmark for alignment of donor and government cost norms closer to current market rates and conditions.-VNA