Financing the UN Funds and Programmes: is Sweden being taken for a ride?

30 november, 15:00-16:30, Slottsbacken 6, Flygelsalen

Donors’ core funding to multilateral organisations goes straight into the overall budget and allows management of these organisations to allocate resources according to the agreed strategic frameworks. Earmarked funding from donors come with certain restrictions on use and may not be provided for purposes agreed by the full membership.

Codified in the Swedish Strategy for Multilateral Development Cooperation in 2007, but practiced even before then, Sweden is a strong supporter of core funding, rather than earmarked funding for multilateral organisations. Nevertheless, OECD figures show that many donors’ practice is different. Whereas 58% of the global funding of UN Funds and Programmes was earmarked in 2007, the figure is now close to 80%.

Not even Sweden is fully practicing what it preaches. In Sida’s written communication of September 29 this year on its engagement in multilateral development cooperation 2015-16 it is reported that 35-40% of its disbursements are channelled as earmarked resources though multilateral organisations, so called multi-bi support. This figure almost doubled between 2005 and 2010 but has since levelled off at around 40%.

To understand the practical implications of this shift in funding patterns, the EBA engaged two well-known experts on the UN, Thomas G. Weiss and Stephen Browne to inquire further into the quality of earmarked funding and the implications the new funding patterns has had on the ability of the organisations to live up to their mandates. We particularly wanted to understand better what conclusions Sweden, as a supporter of core resources, should draw for its future financing of the UN Funds and Programmes.

Please join us in the presentation of the report, and the ensuing discussion on its implications for Sweden and UN reform, with the authors as well as State Secretary Ulrika Modéer, Mr. Lennart Båge, and Ms. Katell Le Goulven of Unicef. The OECD will provide an introduction to the multilateral financing landscape of today. Moderator will be Torgny Holmgren, member of the EBA.



15.00 Welcome and introduction

15.05 Presentation of the multilateral financing landscape
Piera Tortora, Advisor, Development Finance, OECD

15.15 Presentation of the report
Stephen Browne, Senior Fellow of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Graduate Center, City University of New York, and visiting lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.
Thomas G. Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York

15.45 Panel discussion 
Stephen Browne
Thomas G. Weiss
Piera Tortora
Ulrika Modéer, State Secretary for Development Cooperation
Lennart Båge, former head of the UN organisation IFAD, and up to recently acting Director General of Sida
Katell Le Goulven, Chief Policy Planning, Unicef

Moderated by Torgny Holmgren, EBA

16.25 Concluding remarks

16.30 Seminar ends
A chance to continue the discussion for another half an hour over a cup of coffee