Development must be nationally-driven, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro stressed today, rejecting the “one size fits all” approach to eradicate poverty and foster economic growth.

The so-called “Delivering as One” scheme was launched in 2007 to respond to global challenges and test how the world body can provide more coordinate development assistance in the nations which volunteered to become pilot cases: Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay, and Viet Nam.

Together with the world body, these nations are experimenting with ways to increase the UN's impact through more coherent programmes and speed up the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.

The creation of the pilot project was suggested in a report by the UN High-Level Panel on System-wide Coherence that was released in November 2006.

The vision, Ms. Migiro said today, was built on the concept of “four ones: One leader. One programme. One budget framework. And, where appropriate, one office.”

But, she stressed, there cannot be a “fifth one,” ruling out a homogenous take on achieving development targets.

“On the contrary, we stressed national ownership and leadership by the government,” as well as alignment with national development plans and strategies, the Deputy Secretary-General said.

She was speaking at the opening today of a conference in Hanoi, Viet Nam, to review lessons learned so far under the “Delivering as One” initiative.

“We have come a long way in the past three years,” Ms. Migiro noted, but cautioned that much work remains to be done in the pilot programme.

“Our challenge is to ensure that 'Delivering as One' truly helps countries meet their national development needs and priorities, including their commitments” to the MDGs,” she said.

In her closing remarks to the gathering – which brought together representatives from the UN system, the eight pilot countries and donors – the Deputy Secretary-General pointed out that already, “the foundations of a more coherent, more effective, and more efficient United Nations system at the country level have been laid.”

Accra / Ghana/ Africa /