I. Strengthening the Organization
Over the past year, the General Assembly has taken steps to further strengthen the work of the Organization, for example by strengthening the Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Environment Programme. The question of the equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council remains of central importance to the wider membership. The intergovernmental negociations thereon resumed during part of the sixty-eighth session.
My management reform efforts aim to strengthen the Organization and enable it to deliver its mandates more effectively while ensuring the proper stewardship of resources, by improving administrative support, resource management, accountability and transparency. The Organization’s enterprise resource planning solution has become a reality with the implementation of Umoja Foundation in peacekeeping operations and political missions and is improving administrative services and related decision-making. Full implementation throughout the Organization is expected by the middle of 2015. Delivering the mandates entrusted to the United Nations around the world requires a workforce that is dynamic, adaptable and mobile. The approval by the General Assembly of a managed mobility and career development framework will help to ensure that the right people are in the right position at the right time, while also enabling a fairer sharing of the burden of service in hardship duty stations. To enhance transparency and improve the management of financial resources, we are fully implementing the International Public Sector Accounting Standards in the financial year 2014, which will allow stakeholders to have a more comprehensive view of the Organization’s financial position, performance and cash flows, and a better assessment of how well the United Nations has used its resources.
Improving our delivery of mandates also requires proactive risk management. To this end, we have conducted a comprehensive, Secretariat-wide risk assessment and identified the top strategic risks to the Organization. In addition, the Administration is working in close cooperation with the oversight bodies, maintaining quarterly meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern, implementing their findings and recommendations and ensuring that they are effectively fed into the management process.
The Secretariat has continued to modernize delivery of the conference services provided to Member States, implementing efficiencies to significantly reduce resources while minimizing the impact on the serving staff. Changes have included the integration of conference services in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi into a single global operation, the use of new technology to improve the timeliness and quality of the services and the reduction of their environmental impact. In late 2014, I will present a revised information and communications technology strategy for the United Nations, which will focus on continued reform and modernization through innovation and automation. In the face of growing cybersecurity threats and need for resiliency, priority has been assigned to, and significant progress made in, strengthening information security and operational resilience.
The Organization remains determined to deliver its mandates in challenging global security environments. In 2013, the United Nations continued to strengthen its security management system, including in areas with heightened security risks. This entailed efforts to enhance situational awareness, collaboration with host Governments and non-governmental organizations, security incident reporting, security risk management and the security of premises. The aim is to balance critical programmes with the duty of care towards United Nations personnel.
Strengthening the capacity of the Organization to partner at scale, while ensuring accountability, integrity and transparency, remains a priority. More than 1,000 partners are engaging on key issues through United Nations platforms such as the Every Woman, Every Child initiative, the Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business, the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, the Caring for Climate initiative, the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the Zero Hunger Challenge initiative, the CEO Water Mandate and the Global Pulse initiative. The United Nations Global Compact remains our main avenue for engaging businesses, with over 8,000 participants in more than 140 countries. In September 2013, I launched a post-2015 business engagement architecture that provides a framework for scaling up business engagement and action, in addition to promising initiatives such as the Business for Peace platform, the Food and Agriculture Business Principles and Business for the Rule of Law. As partnerships continue to expand throughout the Organization, we must use the partnership tool more, in a more effective and accountable manner, with the full range of actors, including philanthropists, civil society and academic institutions. The General Assembly has taken a positive step in welcoming my intention to strengthen the collaboration of the Organization with all relevant partners, while noting the importance of continued consultations with Member States in this area. In this regard, my proposed partnership facility, which is being considered by the Assembly, aims to provide a more supportive enabling environment for United Nations partnership activity, together with greater accountability, coherence, efficiency and scale, to ensure that we deliver our goals.