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Second Committee of the 53rd General Assembly

CZECH HISTORY for further information visit: • BASIC HISTORICAL OUTLINE • End of the 5th and beginning of the 6th century - arrival of Slavs in present-day Moravia and Slovakia • Second half of the 9th century - arrival of Christian

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Representative of the Czech Republic in the Second Committee of the 53rd UNGA, Report of the Economic and Social Council
    New York, November 10, 1998

  • Statement by Ms. Jana Simonova, Representative to UN Pledging Conference, United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities New York, November 4 - 5, 1998

  • Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Representative of the Czech Republic in the Second Committee of the 53rd UNGA, Operational Activities for Development Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review
    New York, October 16, 1998

Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Representative of the Czech Republic in the Second Committee of the 53rd UNGA, Report of the Economic and Social Council

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation would like to extend its thanks to the Secretariat for the preparation of the reports under this agenda item, namely the Report of the ECOSOC for the year 1998 and the Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 50/225 entitled "Public administration and development". We also welcomed with a deep appreciation the statement provided by President of ECOSOC, Ambassador Juan Somavia, for the Second Committee on 2nd November.

My delegation is pleased to note that a remarkable progress in functioning of the ECOSOC system as a whole has been made in the course of 1998. Under the leadership of Ambassador Somavia and active engagement of the entire bureau we have experienced a real move towards interactions among individual UN bodies. ECOSOC has made major steps towards articulating and carrying out its guidance and management functions vis-a-vis its subsidiary bodies. However, obviously even greater effort is needed in order to overcome relative isolation from each other.

In this connection, we welcome that the humanitarian affairs segment was on agenda of ECOSOC this year. We believe that it will contribute to closer coordination of humanitarian and development activities within UN avoiding at the same time provision of humanitarian assistance at the expense of development assistance. We also have positive expectations on impact of several reform measures that have been undertaken in order to simplify structure of the ECOSOC system and streamline its performance.

What we particularly attach great importance to are those initiatives which dealt with integrated, multifaceted and systematic problems, thereby underlying the ECOSOC's comparative advantage in a view to achieving greater complementarity and interaction. The latest development in the world economy reconfirmed again that a global forum for addressing core multi-disciplinary problems is currently needed even more urgently than in the past. From this point of view, the "value added" of such events as the High-level special meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton-Woods Institutions in April this year and the High-level Segment of the ECOSOC Substantive Session on Market Access, followed by the High-level Dialog of the Second Committee on Globalization was exceptional. Therefore, the Czech Republic supports the growing role of ECOSOC in providing a global forum for multi-sectoral dialog enabling that new ideas, new proposals and new initiatives for policy makers in economic and social fields can be disseminated on a systematic and continuous bases.

Mr. Chairman,

One of the most crucial features of the 90's is a changing perception of the role of the State and public sector in development. There has been a growing consensus over the recent years that governments should strengthen their public administrative and financial management capacities in order to combat bribery and corruption, international terrorism, drug-related crime, environmental degradation, etc. As stated in GA Resolution 50/225, the critical need for improved efficiency of public institutions, administrative procedures and sound financial management resulted from the rapid pace of globalization and interdependence of individual countries in their developments. Many recent analyses provided further support for the notion that a strong, efficient, transparent and accountable administration is a key factor in economic development.

The Czech Republic ranks among those countries that have been reforming their legal frameworks as a part of the process of rehabilitation of democracy and transition to the market-driven economy. Since 1990, the Czech Government has been reducing its involvement in the production of goods and services enormously while attempting to minimize the size of public administration. In the meantime, the Czech Government has been gradually introducing elements compatible with international standards conducive to civil participation and good governance. It has set an ambitious but achievable goal to harmonize its national legal frameworks with those of European Union in few years. In the course of all these reforms it has become more and more obvious that the role of government is extremely important. That is why my government is now primarily focused on the need to establish appropriate regulatory frameworks and control mechanisms, to fully enforce law, to develop and formulate economic and social policies.

Having my country's experience in mind, my delegation welcomes increasing attention of UN as well as BWI on issues that affect public-sector performance. We have particularly appreciated activities and programmes of:

* Department of Economic a Social Affairs that together with the Greek Government organized Regional Workshop on Public Administration for Central and Eastern Europe in Thessaloniki in 1997,

* United Nations Development Programme that assists in the field of governance, civil participation and formulation of development policies, among others also through National Human Development Reports, and

* Economic Commission for Europe for its analytical and expertise role. Therefore, my delegation would like to encourage the UN to continue in the exchange of information on policies, successful practices and innovative experience in the field of public administration.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Statement by Ms. Jana Simonová, Representative to UN Pledging Conference, United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities

Mr. President,

First of all, let me congratulate you on your having been elected to the chair of our conference.

Mr. President,

the Czech Republic associated itself with the statement that European Union presented yesterday. Today, I am taking the floor to underscore that the Czech Republic attaches great importance to UN operational activities as they help many countries around the world develop their own capacities for development. Let me also express our growing concern about the continuing decline in funding for development. Even though the Czech Republic is still facing some of transitional challenges, we are devoted to the notion of international multilateral development cooperation. The Czech Republic is ready to take part in sharing our common burden. That is why, we increase our financial support to UN development activities by almost 30 % this year.

Mr. President,

I have the honor to announce the voluntary pledges of the Czech Republic to the following funds and programmes for 1999:

UN Development Programme -------------------UNDP----------------6,750 000 CZK

UN Volunteers-----------------------------------UNV-----------------2,500 000 CZK

UN Children´s Fund------------------------------UNICEF-------------5,000 000 CZK

UN Drug Control Programme---------------------UNDCP-------------2,000 000 CZK

UN Population Fund------------------------------UNFPA--------------2,000 000 CZK

UN Commission on Human Settlements-----------HABITAT------------2,000 000 CZK

UN Environment Programme----------------------UNEP----------------5,000 000 CZK

UNRWA-----------------------------------------------------------------1,000 000 CZK

Thank you, Mr. President.

Statement by Dr. Jana Simonova, Representative of the Czech Republic in the Second Committee of the 53rd UNGA, Operational Activities for Development Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review

Mr. Chairman,

As this is the first time, the Czech delegation is taking the floor, let me congratulate you on having been elected to the Chair of the Second Committee and wish you, other members of the Bureau, as well as all of us productive negotiations.

The Czech Republic associates itself with the EU statement on this item as presented yesterday by the Austrian Presidency. We share the opinions expressed in the EU statement on various aspects of UN operational activities. In addition, let me address in more detail one issue to which we attach great importance - capacity building for development in the globalized world economy.

The Report of the Secretary General on Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review provides a lot of evidence about substantial changes that are gradually shaping a new pattern of multilateral development assistance. The numerous efforts are being made to achieve better coordination of international assistance in the field through UNDAFs and Resident Coordinators System as well as a new funding strategy is currently being developed in UNDP and UNFPA with the aim to reach more predictability and more result-oriented approach in funding and evaluation.

On the other hand, unfavorable state of the current world economy puts new questions before us: Are these and other anticipated changes in UN operational activities adequate to the changing world and needs of developing countries and countries in transition? Will they address incoming challenges? Is the multilateral development assistance well focused?

The Czech Republic went through its transition period quite quickly and relatively successfully. It does not mean without difficulties and missed opportunities. Despite the enormous movements in favor of private ownership and deregulation, the fundamental macro-economic reforms have been only partly followed by desirable technology transfer, structural adjustment in private sector and economic growth. Privatization, liberalization and development of a financial sector proved to be insufficient to secure effective performance on the global markets. We learnt that the role of the government, good governance, enforcement of law and also development of reasonable sustainable industrial and pro-export policies must not be underestimated.

The experience of the Czech Republic confirms that without internal capacity building, e.g., without development of its own human, institutional and technological potential capable to meet challenges of globalization, a country cannot get on the track of sustainable development.

Our delegation understands very well that developing countries as well as most countries in transition need UN system's support and assistance to enhance their own capacities for integration into a globalizing world economy. There are not many other options. UN system, in the cooperation with BWI, should pay more attention to such issues as a new role of government in globalization, setting standards for and building up good governance, enabling environment for domestic private sector and foreign direct investments, long-term development policies etc. In doing so, UN should fully employ all dimensions of TCDC, the triangular modalities in particular, in which, by the way, the Czech Republic would very much like to participate.

In our view, UN has best prerequisites for focusing the multilateral development assistance on capacity building as a cross-cutting goal overarching all operational activities. For example, the United Nations Development Programme, with its focus on sharing knowledge, experience and good practices, provides a unique resource for capacity building in many areas of sustainable development, good governance including. We believe that UNDP has a potential to do a lot also in helping countries build their own capacities for managing globalization.

Therefore, the Czech delegation fully supports the recommendation made in the Report of the Secretary General that capacity building should be explicitly articulated as a goal of all technical assistance provided by the United Nations. We agree that capacity building should be aimed not only at human resources but also at development of institutions and improvement of environment in which they operate. We believe that a bigger focus on capacity building within UN operational activities will bring about substantial benefit to countries facing the most important challenge - to succeed in globalization.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.