It is my pleasure to open the 2021 Chief and Directors of Missions Support Conference.
United Nations peace operations are one of the most effective tools we have to maintain international peace and security, and to create the conditions for sustainable development.
Providing the right operational support for our field missions is essential for the people we serve, and to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
I thank you all for your work, particularly during the past difficult 18 months.
But we can always do better. I believe there are four areas for focus.
First, closer collaboration between our missions and newly-empowered Resident Coordinator Offices and Country Teams is vital.
We need to work across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus to ensure that the collective efforts of the UN family come together and contribute to sustainable and inclusive development.
Let us also take full advantage of the Secretary-General’s reforms, which put decision-making responsibility and the management of resources at the point of mandate delivery – that is, often in your hands.
These changes should lead to more agile and decentralized decision-making that delivers better results.
Second, let’s recruit, train, and contract to build capacities for United Nations 2.0.
We need a workforce with skills for today and tomorrow: data, digital, innovation, behavioural science, and foresight capacities.
Third, let’s make sure that our own operations exemplify the sustainable approaches that we encourage in others: responsible supply chains, renewable energy, low impact infrastructure, local procurement, gender-sensitive and environmentally friendly.
You are role models, at the forefront of our efforts to support the 2030 Agenda. Your decisions shape our legacy in host communities.
Fourth, and this is close to my heart: I expect you to be leaders in facilitating ‘integrated’ United Nations family approaches in logistics, facilities, technology, finance and human resources.
Common approaches with United Nations agencies, funds, and programmes are not optional for the Secretariat. They are literally vital.
The more you facilitate the joint work of the United Nations family, the greater our impact.
Finally, I urge you to work closely together with the Department of Operational Support, the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and our services centres, to share ideas and push for positive change.
Headquarters exists to support you. Not the other way around.
I wish you productive deliberations this week.
Again, I thank you for everything you do.