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UN SYSTEM:

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.