The UN is such a huge player in the development world, and today spans such a vast spectrum of development activity, from advocacy to targeted interventions, from the global to the local .... it is almost mind-boggling to try and fathom the actual scope and impact that this development behemoth really has.
Development discourse, trends and buzz-words are cultivated in the meeting rooms and corridors of UN offices world-wide, and then harvested and sold to governments, NGO's and the public worldwide.
But is the UN a SALTy organisation? Does it appreciate strengths and connect local responses....?
As I pose these questions I feel the need to go back to the UN's original mandate and reflect. Article 55 of the UN Charter states the following:
With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations shall promote:
- higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development;
- solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; and international cultural and educational cooperation; and
- universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.
It only says it once.. but it is key... that the UN commits to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being, with respect to "Self determination of peoples" .
So what role should we play in helping the UN to achieve its mandate? Do we need to remind them of their commitment to self-determination?
A number of UN agencies, mostly at country office level, have integrated ACP or CLCP in their programmes, many working through local NGO's and CBO's to do so.
The journey, however, tends to be not without its challenges - gaining support from senior leaders and staff, developing systems that make CLCP compatible with the UN's reporting and M&E systems, and changing the overall mindset....
If we truly believe that this process can be integrated in UN programming, then we must plan for how we can overcome these challenges.
Which brings me to the next question... does CLCP fit within UN Programming????
What have some of the UN agencies already done? Maybe you have worked within the UN system and can share your experience ....