Ban signs performance pacts with UN chiefs, boosting transparency, accountability

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (fifth from left, seated) with members of the UN Senior Management Group

12 February 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted efforts to spread transparency and accountability throughout the United Nations system, signing compacts with his senior managers for performance goals and results that will be published on the Organization’s intranet site, iSeek.

Unlike previous occasions, television cameras and the international press were invited to witness the ceremony.

“Today we are taking a step back to see how we can better address the challenges within our departments and among each other,” Mr. Ban told the assembled agency heads. “Today is also unusual in that we are gathered in front of television cameras, and we have invited the press. As you know, the compacts you have signed will all be published on our intranet site, iSeek. This means we are not only talking about transparency; we are practicing it.”

He said the goals of each body will be especially critical this year, as the UN grapples with many interlinked challenges, from boosting the economic and social development of poor countries to combating climate change to improving staff security.

“We confront problems that no senior manager or single department can solve alone. We have to work together as a team,” he added, stressing that making the process as public as possible plays a key role.

Both the compacts and end-of-year results will be put online. In April, iSeek will publish the results for last year’s compacts and action plans.

“This transparency and accountability are critical to our credibility,” Mr. Ban declared. “They demonstrate the progress we are making toward becoming a more performance-driven Organization that sets clear goals, establishes specific timeframes, communicates them widely and then reports the results openly.

“We must also outline clear roles, responsibility and authority for all levels of staff. This is not a glamorous exercise, but it is critical. When colleagues understand their duties and how they will be evaluated, they can produce better results,” he said, stressing that the next crucial step is to look closely at what works, and fix what does not.

Nineteen senior managers were present at the ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York while five others participated via video-conference. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, who leads the Management Performance Board.


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