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Strategy and legal framework

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ECLAC uses a biennial system of strategic planning, which is based fundamentally on the strategic framework. In this document, the member States determine the programme structure and set priorities for each biennium, as well as establishing the legislative basis that underpins the institution's mandate, particularly the body of intergovernmental decisions and resolutions that are periodically issued by the United Nations General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (to which ECLAC is directly accountable) and the member States at the session of the Commission.

As well as providing ECLAC with its main policy guideline, the strategic framework is the first step in the programme planning cycle and is used as the basis for the planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation of the biennial programmes. The strategic framework sets out the vision of the United Nations and of ECLAC within the United Nations system, and states the objectives and the desired outcomes for each biennium.

To ensure a results-oriented approach, the document sets out what the Organization expects and proposes to achieve, describing clear objectives, expected accomplishments and indicators of achievement ahead of implementation. A biennial strategy, intended to facilitate the fulfilment of objectives, is also presented for each subprogramme. Lastly, a list of the most important resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Committee of the Whole of ECLAC is also included.

The draft strategic framework is submitted for consultation prior to the session of ECLAC, which serves as the Commission's governing body. It is then reviewed by the specialized intergovernmental bodies of the General Assembly, including the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) and the Fifth Committee, before adoption by the General Assembly.

Using the logical framework methodology designed to facilitate results-based management within the Organization, the preparation of the strategic framework begins almost two years ahead of the corresponding biennium. To diminish the impact of this time lag when it comes to implementation, ECLAC typically holds six-monthly strategic planning rounds attended by the Office of the Executive Secretary and the senior technical staff of the ECLAC bodies responsible for each subprogramme. The Commission thus aims to regularly update agreed priorities, adjust the programme commitments, and forge agreements in relation to specific methods of programme implementation.

The Commission’s strategic framework for 2014-2015 contains 14 subprogrammes; one more than in the previous biennium. Subprogramme 14, Support for regional and subregional integration and cooperation processes and organizations, was established to provide support to regional and subregional organizations, to promote coordination, cooperation, complementarity and synergy and to contribute to convergence processes in the region. It will also make technical and substantive contributions to facilitate debate and the construction of intraregional agreements, as well as to strengthen the interests and the positioning of Latin America and the Caribbean for participation in interregional and global political dialogues.