Director, UNESCO Venice Office interviewed in Delivering as One UN in Albania Newsletter Issue No. 4
DELIVERING AS ONE UN IN ALBANIA NEWSLETTER ISSUE NO. 4, April 2008 VOICES FROM THE UNITED NATIONS : Engelbert Ruoss, Director, UNESCO BRESCE-Venice Office
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Question: What does it mean for UNESCO to be part of the One UN Programme?
Answer: For a non-resident agency, involvement in the One UN process is a challenging issue, since we are involved as a specialized agency in national development strategies. UNESCO has been asked to contribute to joint programmes in the fields of our key competencies not just to implement patchwork actions. It requires new leadership and teamwork skills, which were for a long time neglected by most organizations. It’s a new approach to cooperation among UN agencies which is the request to “deliver as one” from most UNESCO member states. For UNESCO, this concerns time, funds, and engagement in order to be present without being a resi- dent agency and also managing the changes and new management structures within our office.
Question: What do you expect to gain from working together?
Answer: We expect more impact through joint action, more efficient implementation of the UN mandate, transparency and visibility. Together, we can better respond to the requests from national partners and achieve value added for the local population. The process of transition and EU accession for Albania is accelerating. With this in mind, we can contribute more effectively with these joint programmes. Certainly we will contribute to enhanced support of the Resident Coordinator and other agencies. Another important effect is the better involvement of donors, becoming less competitive for funding, and to better respond to their requests.
Question: What are the achievements of the One UN Programme you feel most proud of?
Answer: A major achievement is the establishment of a neutral Resident Coordinator where his/ her office fully supports all agencies and in particular, the One UN Programme Team spirit. The coherent strategies such as the UN National Authorities Coherence Budget will allow more activities within the MDG joint programmes. This will result as a first experience of cooperation among agencies. Being visible on a national level with activities and creating a corporate image of Albania as a model for UN Reform process is an effective contribution towards new approaches.