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Department for General Assembly and Conference Management

Office of the Under-Secretary-General

The Department for General Assembly and Conference Management is headed by Under-Secretary-General Ms. Catherine Pollard. The Under-Secretary-General is responsible for all activities of the Department, as well as its administration, and represents the Secretary-General in meetings related to the functions of the Department and in intergovernmental and expert bodies as required. She is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all United Nations conference services involving Headquarters and the United Nations Offices at Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi. Under that massive managerial umbrella are included the establishment and implementation of conference management policies and practices, the formulation of standards and guidelines, and the allocation and overall management of the Department’s conference-servicing resources – both human and financial.

The Office of the Under-Secretary-General takes the lead in providing guidance in the development of management strategies and policies, and it coordinates the Department’s efficiency measures, including its activities under the “Greening the United Nations” initiative. It is responsible for the preparation of the programme of work of the Department, and for monitoring the implementation and coordinating the evaluation of programme outputs. It also provides overall coordination in the preparation and revision of departmental inputs to the strategic framework of the United Nations and the programme budget of the Secretariat. The Executive office and the Information and Communications Technology Section are organizationally part of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General.

In the performance of her functions, the Under-Secretary-General is assisted by Assistant Secretary-General Mr. Movses Abelian, who is responsible for all operational functions of the Department and acts as Officer-in-Charge in the absence of the Head of the Department.

At the core of the work of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General is the integrated global management of conference services, since the timely and efficient delivery of those services (the key function of the Department) depends both on global planning and on global prioritization as well as on effective collaboration between the four duty stations – New York, Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi.  As early as 2000, the General Assembly embraced that concept and instructed that the Department be made the executive authority to oversee, implement, coordinate, and enhance integrated global management. The implementation of that directive has been at the forefront of the Department’s concerted efforts since that time. Projects are currently under way in three inter-related management areas: (a) human and financial resources, (b) documentation forecasting and capacity planning, and (c) meetings planning and coordination, including conferences held in other locations. The combined goal of those projects is to realize gains in timeliness of execution, efficiency of operation and cost-effectiveness.


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