Chapter III: Strengthening the Organization

The flags of UN Member States Guatemala, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau flying outside UN Headquarters in New York. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Our efforts to implement the Organization’s ambitious reform agenda rest on ensuring that we simplify procedures, decentralize decision-making and move towards even greater transparency and accountability. The Organization requires systems, policies and procedures that bring decision-making closer to the point of delivery and empower senior management to deliver on their programmes. To bring about this paradigm shift, I have launched a set of action-based processes to strengthen the management of the Organization.

In April 2017, I established an internal review team on management reform under the overall guidance of the Chef de Cabinet. The team was requested:

  • To identify internal measures that the Secretariat could take to streamline procedures, reduce delays and improve the implementation of mandates, some of which are already under way;
  • To identify proposals that would support and advance the broader agenda to reform the Organization.

Consultations have been central to this reform track. During May and June, we held a series of informal brainstorming sessions with Member States and received feedback from departments, funds and programmes. In July, I held a retreat with Member States to present the initial ideas of the internal review team on management reform. The Secretariat will prepare my report on management reform for the consideration of the General Assembly at its seventy-second session.

The Umoja planning and operational system has been implemented to modernize the way in which the Secretariat globally manages the administration of business and information technology processes. Umoja has been slow to take root and it has been a challenge to remove its kinks, but Secretariat entities are increasingly leveraging the system’s capabilities to improve the efficiency of their operations. On environmental responsibility, the Secretariat is leading by example in helping the United Nations system “green” its operations by implementing environmental management systems.

The Organization requires systems, policies and procedures that bring decision-making closer to the point of delivery and empower senior management to deliver on their programmes