Rogel Nuguid: Presentation on the UN and Public-Private Partnership in accomplishing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

On 2 March 2017, Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations hosted Rogel Nuguid, Senior Vice President on Global CEO Alliance. Mr. Nuguid talked about the ways the UN collaborates with other organizations through public-private partnership (PPP) in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Rogel Nuguid: I joined the UN system in 1996 and was a part of it up until last November when I took an early retirement. I got an offer from the Consortium of CEOs, which plays an active role in regards to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is a group of CEOs ranging from small-medium size organizations that want to have an equal access to the UN system. (Disclaimer) I am a former staff member of the UN system, I have insider’s views of what the UN system is all about: global, regional and national levels. I would like to share my experience in the three major areas: policy, program and operations within the UN landscape.

Background

Rogel Nuguid: I was an orphan at the age of 5 by both parents. As being the second to the youngest, I had to build diplomacy skills early [you need to negotiate]. My personal background led me to a career that was not related to the UN directly (at first). My college degree was in Psychology, then finished my first Mater’s in Counseling Psychology, did some clinical work. Then I had a job in private sector as an HR manager. Then, in 1996, I was able to penetrate the UN “galaxy”. My second MA was in Leadership and Administration. My third MA was in Organizational Management. Recently, I am working on my Ph.D. in Executive Management.

Journey to the UN

Rogel Nuguid: I started my UN career in the Operations, I worked as an Executive Officer. I had to handle the operations: HR, IT, budget, logistics, etc. From that position, I moved to be a Program and Operations Specialist (technical post, professional level). Then, I became a Chief of Staff, I worked for the Envoy for the UN Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation. I was fortunate to meet heads of states from all over the world. Eight years before I took my retirement, I took the role of an Inter-Agency Coordinator. I coordinated with 15+ specialized agencies and 20+ program funds. I was exposed to the international protocol: South-South cooperation, North-South cooperation, Triangular cooperation, as well as resource mobilization and partnership. I have also been exposed to relationship management (SDG17: Global Partnership).

The UN Landscape

Mr. Nuguid spoke about six major UN Organs: The General Assembly, the Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Secretariat, International Court of Justice and the Trusteeship Committee and the authority in charge of each organ. He used the United Nations System Chart to further discuss the UN structure.

Rogel Nuguid: The young people, especially here in the US only think about the UN Headquarters as an opportunity to explore the career. I would urge you to go to the three reginal Headquarters: the UN Office of Vienna (UNOV), the UN Office in Nairobi (UNON), the UN Office of Geneva (UNOG). All of them house different Specialized Agencies, Programmes and Funds. But you have to be strategic about it. For example, if you want to know how the UN Women, the Global Health work or Social Protection, you explore Geneva. If you want to explore the Environment side, you go to Nairobi. If you are interested in atomic energy, the innovation etc., you explore those through Vienna.

RN: You have to understand the UN structure in order to see which organization has the lead in every SDG in making sure that each goal is accomplished. We have 169 indicators and 17 SDGs. All of the UN agencies participate in SDGs in order to reach 100% accomplishment by the end of 2030. You need to understand the meaning of “delivering as one”: at the national and the regional levels.

Rogel Nuguid talked about the ways the UN “delivers as one” at the national and the regional levels, but often “perceived abuse the resources” through duplication of work by various agencies in attending to similar tasks and problems.

Rogel Nuguid: UN Women will hire their consultant to design their program, ILO (International Labor Organization) will hire their own consultant to design their own program in social protection, etc. In the country office, you will have UNCT (UN Country Team) doing several things of the same focus. That’s how the perceived abuse of the resources happens. “Delivering as one” was first introduced by Kofi Annan, meaning “let’s optimize the resources”. We need to be responsible about how to manage all of this in order to support the National Development of each country. When you understand, in what way every single agency contributing to something, then you will be clear in terms of how the resources are being utilized. In the UN system, we have Resource Based Management, which is a platform to measure the impact of every UN agency. The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) is comprised of several key UN agencies participating in programmatic activities. The UNDG enforces the need to apply the resource management approach to everything. All the human, technical resources should be managed. It directly contributes to the overarching goal of the UN system. Each agency has executive board members who determine the policy direction based on priorities of member states.

You also need to understand that permanent missions, observers and multilateral organizations are critical elements of the UN system. If you are interested in a specific region, there are many multilateral organizations that you might want to join.

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

Rogel Nuguid: The SDGs emphasize three pillars- environment, social and economic development. The international cooperation is very critical in achieving these goals. The five Ps of 2030 Agenda: People (Social), Planet (Environment), Prosperity (Economic), Peace and Partnership. We are transforming the World, based on 5 Ps through working together as a community at the national, regional and local levels.

The Global CEO Alliance

Rogel Nuguid shared that the UN Global Compact is the agency that promotes what the private sector is doing in regards to development. Small, medium and even large-sized organizations that want to have access to the UN and contribute to achieving the SDGs have the opportunity to do so through the Global CEO Alliance.

Rogel Nuguid: There are so many development solutions across the globe. But these solutions are not captured. People, especially in poor and developing countries have difficulty in accessing these development solutions. We partner with CEOs to access all the solutions that are available. Among development-solutions seekers who we also work with are member states, institutions, and individuals.

The Private-Public Partnership (PPP) and the SDGs

Mr. Nuguid spoke about how PPP could contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Rogel Nuguid: Because of the challenge of funding in the poor and developing countries, PPP is an opportunity to support their prospective development. However, most often in poor and developing countries, PPP is abused by politicians. The financial structure is critical because if there is no investment or there’s no transparency, the project will fail. PPP has different contest in different parts of the world. Understanding the PPP as a part of a contributing element to the SDG17, we need to understand the peripheral as well as the core elements. Sadly, often we see a government as a peripheral and not as a core element, and a financial institution as a core, as opposed to a peripheral element of the PPP process. Often, PPP fails because of the inability of the public sector to monitor the progress and the political will to assert what really should be given to the public.

-Vera Dimoplon

This guest post was written by Vera Dimoplon. Vera is a graduate student at the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Her specializations are International Organizations, Global Negotiations and Conflict Management. Vera’s interests are the operation of international organizations in multilateral community, negotiations among multinational actors, and conflict management.

You can see pictures from this presentation here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/shuDiplomacy/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10154154355835836