30 April 2003

United Nations and European Commission Sign Framework Partnership Agreement

NEW YORK, 29 April (UN Headquarters) -- At a ceremony held this morning at United Nations Headquarters, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette and Poul Nielson, European Union Commissioner for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, signed an agreement that will simplify and enhance United Nations-European Commission programme financing, particularly in the development and humanitarian fields, reducing paperwork and costs in the process.

At the signing of the updated Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA), Deputy Secretary-General Fréchette said: "Over the last few years, there has been a growing recognition of the need to streamline and simplify aid delivery, putting programmes to work faster and more effectively. Today's agreement is another step in that direction, one that should pay dividends in the fight against global poverty."

By harmonizing and simplifying the acceptance, management and reporting procedures governing United Nations-European Commission collaboration, the parties will be better able to deliver much-needed development and humanitarian assistance to beneficiary countries. The Agreement will also bring about enhanced transparency, strengthened accountability and a greater focus on the impact of operations on the ground, according to United Nations officials. The Agreement will also facilitate Commission participation in multi-donor operations, projects and programmes.

First concluded in 1999, the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement sets forth the policies and procedures to be applied to the management of Commission funds by the United Nations. This updated Agreement also emphasizes the move from project funding to long-term programme funding and a shift from a focus on inputs to one based on outputs and results.

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