The UN in the Philippines

Overview of the UN in the Philippines

The United Nations (UN) System in the Philippines began in 1945 when the Philippines joined 49 other nations in signing the United Nations Charter in San Francisco, USA. Since the Charter came into force on October 24, 1945 the partnership between the Government of the Philippines and the United Nations has been growing steadily. The Philippines has important historic links with the United Nations including through Dr. Carlos Peña Romulo, the former Foreign Secretary and Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations (from 1946 to 1954) who distinguished himself as the first Asian to become president of the UN General Assembly.

The Philippines is a signatory to the 2000 Millennium Declaration which led to the development of the time-bound Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a global agenda for development by 2015. The United Nations System supports the realization of the MDGs through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2012-2018, which is based on the national priorities reflected in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016. The accelerated implementation of the MDGs, including its localization, forms an important thrust of the UN System work in the Philippines.

In consultation with partners and stakeholders, the unique blend of assets which distinguish the UN System from other multilateral and bilateral development players include its strengths as: (i) an advocate for the poor and vulnerable, working for the realization of human rights, MDGs, global norms and standards; (ii) an honest broker towards inter-sectoral and multi-level consensus and partnerships on sensitive issues and for humanitarian responses; (iii) an innovator and repository of global best practices and knowledge on complex development issues; and (iv) an enabler, supporting capacity development of duty bearers and claimholders.

UN Development Assistance Framework (2012-2018)

Under the leadership of the Government and in close consultation with civil society and development partners, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) has to put in place an inclusive and participatory process to manage the formulation of a new UNDAF, which is the rallying point of a coordinated UN System in the Philippines. The UNDAF’s seven-year cycle represents the first time the UN will practically align itself with the national planning cycle and synchronize delivery of its support with the implementation of the PDP 2011-2016.

UN System-wide Coherence

In response to the Government’s Request for greater UN Coherence and Reform, the UNCT in the Philippines has signed off on a Code of Conduct on “Delivering as One” at the country level. The overarching framework for its actions will be the achievement of the Millennium Development Declaration/MDGs and other internationally agreed treaty obligations and development goals, the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review (TCPR) decisions, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the principles of UN reform and “Delivering as One.”

In addition to individual agency programmes’ contribution to the UNDAF outcomes, the UNCT has intensified efforts to align its work around the implementation and upscaling of joint programs and advocacy on key common critical issues. In line with the Paris Declaration, the UN is working towards expansion of joint and common services to simplify services and reduce transaction costs.