About United Nations Country Team (UNCT)

 

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) exists in 136 countries, covering all of the 180 countries where there are United Nations programmes. The UNCT encompasses all the entities of the UN system that carry out operational activities for development, emergency, recovery and transition in programme countries.

 

The UNCT ensures inter-agency coordination and decision-making at the country level. The main purpose of the Country Team is for individual agencies to plan and work together, as part of the Resident Coordinator system, to ensure the delivery of tangible results in support of the development agenda of the Government.

 

The UNCT is led by the UN Resident Coordinator (RC), who is the designated representative of the UN Secretary-General. The RC reports to the UN Secretary-General through the Chair of the UN Development Group.

 

The RC under the leadership of Governments, plays a central role in leading the UNCT in coordination of all UN System operational activities for development, to ensure alignment of UN assistance with national development priorities.

According to the ACC guidelines on the functioning of the RC system, “the UNCT is composed of representatives of the UN funds and programmes, specialized agencies and other UN entities accredited to a given country. It could also include representatives of the Bretton Woods institutions (see GA resolution 53/192, preamble 6).”

 

The UN Country Team in Serbia is represented by the UN Resident Coordinator and is comprised of 13 agencies with in-country presence (OHCHR, UNDSS, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, FAO, ILO, IOM, UNFPA, UNODC, UNOPS, UN WOMEN), 9 agencies without inc-country presence (IAEA, OCHA, UNCTAD, UNECE, UNESCO, UNEP, UN HABITAT, UNIDO, UNWTO), observers to the UNCT with in-country-presence (ICTY, UNOB) and 4 international financial institutions (EBRD, IFC, IMF, WB). 

 

Background on UNCT Coordination

The concept of the UNCT originated in 1977, when the General Assembly (GA) established the concept of a single official (i.e. the Resident Coordinator) to coordinate operational activities within the UN system (GA Resolution 32/197). Over the years the concept has evolved, and the key role of the UNCT for the effective and efficient functioning of the UN system at the country level has been noted in all GA Resolutions on the Comprehensive Policy Review since 1992 (GA Resolutions 47/199, 50/120, 56/201, 59/201 and 62/208).

 

Efforts to strengthen the UNCT were emphasized by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his 1997 reform agenda. The 2005 World Summit also called for a strengthened UNCT in implementing the reforms at the country level.

 

The GA’s 2004 and 2007 Comprehensive Policy Reviews set out further measures to strengthen the UNCT, including greater accountability towards host governments and the inter-governmental process as well as within the UN system. They also mandated the UN system to become more coherent, effective and relevant, and to simplify and harmonize business practices. In addition, they endorsed the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) as the common planning tool for all the funds and programmes as a framework for the full UN system. The General Assembly also urged the UN system to use all opportunities to increase aid effectiveness.