A similar structural challenge faces the UN
system, which has already begun the process of regionalization, but
has yet to orient its agencies and programmes to the needs of SIDS.
To accomplish this, the Programme of Action calls for a special
SIDS unit within the UN Department of Policy Coordination and
Sustainable Development (DPCSD) to coordinate UN follow-up to the
Conference. Certain donor countries, including the US, did not feel
such a unit was necessary and supported, instead, a focal point
within the DPCSD that would have no additional budgetary
implications. The agreed text in the Programme of Action, which is
the product of a vague consensus, states that "a clearly
identifiable, qualified and competent entity within the DPCSD of
the UN should be put in place to provide Secretariat support for
both intergovernmental and inter-agency coordination mechanisms."
The Secretariat interpreted this in its programme budget
implications (PBI) statement (A/CONF.167/L.1.Add.1) as the
inclusion of one professional and one general service post in New
York and one professional post in each of the three regional
economic commissions that deal with SIDS. Judging from the way the
PBI was introduced and the reaction to it on the floor of the final
Plenary meeting, there are still widely differering opinions on
what this "entity" entails. This issue will be the subject of
additional consultations over the summer before being resolved by
the General Assembly this fall.