UN Headquarters

18 March 2016

Remarks at Signing Ceremony for Compacts with Senior Managers

Ban Ki-moon

Thank you to my Chef de Cabinet, Mr. Mulet.

These Compacts are entrusted to you and the Management Performance Board for monitoring and follow-up. I know they are in good hands.

Dear Colleagues,

This signing ceremony is always important – and this year has special meaning.

We are in year one of our 15-year Agenda for Sustainable Development. There is a saying that if you get off to a good beginning, you are already halfway to success. Let us make the most of this year so we can give the best possible start to the Sustainable Development Goals.

This is also a critical year for climate change. The Signature Ceremony next month will be historic.

At the same time, we continue to face severe security threats. And we are helping record numbers of people to cope with worsening humanitarian conditions in many regions.

The World Humanitarian Summit in May is a crucial opportunity.

I count on all of you to help us rise to these challenges.

Together, we are modernizing the United Nations. We have made significant progress on the transformational initiatives – IPSAS, Umoja, ICT, Enterprise Risk Management and Mobility. Now we are consolidating this progress.

Staff mobility has begun, with the successful launch of the political network earlier this year.

We will continue to carry out the recommendations from the High-Level Panel on Peace Operations.

We will also continue engaging with young people – a priority of my administration.

And I need you to help the Human Rights Up Front initiative to succeed. Let me repeat what I told heads of all United Nations entities last year: this initiative offers us a once-in-a generation opportunity to help ensure that the United Nations fulfils our Charter.

I look to you to ensure that your staff apply Human Rights Up Front in a spirit that goes beyond the interests of individual units and departments to embrace the interests of the United Nations as a whole.

Dear Colleagues,

This year has special meaning for another obvious reason – it is the final one of my tenure.

This will be the last set of Management Compacts I sign as Secretary-General.

Over the years, I have tried to make them meaningful documents – not just pro forma documents.

I have wanted them to serve as a practical tool. As we have seen with the SDGs and MDGs, setting goals works. Understanding what is expected of us – by your staff, by the global public, by me – focuses the mind, and helps us to determine what is important and what is not, what is possible and what is not.

These have also been an important tool for accountability, transparency and results. Between me and you, between you and your staff, and between all of us and the Member States and people we serve.

These Compacts are works in progress. But I hope you have derived some benefit from them. I know I have, both in working with you and in explaining our work to the global public. I thank you all for owning and contributing to this process.

Thank you all for your commitment to the United Nations.