The United Nations Development Programme is a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly of the United Nations. It was established, in accordance with Article 22 of the UN Charter, by Resolution 2029 of 22 November 1965 (on the consolidation of the Special Fund and the Programme of Technical Assistance) and Resolution 2688 of 11 December 1970 (on the organisation of the UNDP).
The UNDP’s work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is carried out pursuant to the Standard Basic Assistance Agreement (SBAA), or Headquarters Agreement, concluded with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 27 May 1976.
The SBAA sets out the types of assistance to be provided to the Government and also the conditions in which and means by which the UNDP and other responsible organisations are to support the Government in the successful implementation of its development programmes, projects and priorities.
In addition to the SBAA, the United Nations Programme also determines priorities and areas for support in a document called a CPAP (Country Programme Action Plan) which it agrees with the Government.
The document is signed by both parties and establishes a programme cycle which generally lasts for five years. To assist in the practical implementation of the agreed projects and programmes, the UNDP and the national entity sign an Annual Work Plan (AWP) and/or a Project Document.
Aside from these bilateral agreements, UNDP DRC is also a co-signatory, along with the other United Nations agencies operating in the DRC, of another legal document: the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo 2013 - 2017.
The document, to which the Government of the DRC is also a party, identifies the Government’s priorities and the fields or areas in which the United Nations wishes to provide support or to intervene. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophone Affairs acts as the interface between the Government and the UNDP.
Legal Services Office
Since 2007 a Legal Services Office (or Legal Unit), operating under administrative supervision from the UNDP’s Country Office in the DRC and technical supervision from the UNDP’s Legal Support Office in New York, has been supporting the organisation’s development. The Head of the Unit holds a Warrant of Authority from the Global Director of the UNDP’s Legal Support Office, notably for the purposes of ensuring the conformity of all of the UNDP’s institutional agreements (with the Government and its various divisions) and commercial agreements (with its suppliers and other partners).
The Warrant carries the authority or capacity in particular to support the Country Office, its branches and its projects in connection with all legal issues, to introduce or approve deviations from institutional and commercial agreements, to advise on all legal issues, to prevent, manage and settle legal disputes, claims and other complaints, to interpret legal clauses and provisions relating thereto, to ensure that the contracting process is carried out in accordance with the organisation’s rules and procedures and to advise on all legal issues affecting the organisation, among other things.