The idea of the UN Country Team (UNCT) originated in 1977 when the General Assembly (GA) established the concept of a single official (i.e. the Resident Coordinator) to coordinate operational activities within the UN system (GA Resolution 32/197). Over the years it has evolved, and the key role of the UNCT for the effective and efficient functioning of the UN system at the country level has been noted in all GA Resolutions on the Comprehensive Policy Review since 1992 (GA Resolutions 47/199, 50/120, 56/201, 59/201 and 62/208).
The UNCT ensures inter-agency coordination and decision-making at the country level. The main purpose of the Country Team is for individual agencies to plan and work together, as part of the Resident Coordinator system, to ensure the delivery of tangible results in support of the development agenda of the Government.
Currently, the UN Country Team in Azerbaijan embraces the following UN agencies: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Department of Global Communications (UNDGC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO).
The UNCT is led by the UN Resident Coordinator (RC), who is the designated representative of the UN Secretary-General. The RC reports to the UN Secretary-General through the Chair of the UN Development Group.
The GA’s 2004 and 2007 Comprehensive Policy Reviews set out further measures to strengthen the UNCT, including greater accountability towards host governments and the inter-governmental process as well as within the UN system. They also mandated the UN system to become more coherent, effective and relevant, and to simplify and harmonize business practices. In addition, they endorsed the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) as the common planning tool for all the funds and programmes as a framework for the full UN system. The General Assembly also urged the UN system to use all opportunities to increase aid effectiveness.
The use of common instruments and tools has played an important role in UNCT efforts to improve country-level coherence. There are three major instruments in use: a) the common country assessment; b) the UN Development Assistance Framework and its results framework; and, c) joint programming and joint programmes.