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EU Statement – United Nations 5th Committee: Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations

New York, 28/10/2020 - 16:46, UNIQUE ID: 201027_36
Statements on behalf of the EU

28 October 2020, New York - Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Thibault Camelli, Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 75th Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee Main Session on Item 139. A.) Review of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 72/266 B Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EFTA country and member of the European Economic Area, Liechtenstein, as well as Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine, align themselves with this statement.

I would first like to thank Ms. Maria Luiza Viotti, Chef de Cabinet to the UN Secretary-General, as well as Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for presenting the reports on this agenda item.

Three years ago, the Secretary-General called for a new management paradigm of the United Nations, in order to enable the Organization to confront global challenges and remain relevant in a fast-changing world. The Fifth Committee responded to this call by endorsing the Secretary-General’s vision. Today, the Member States of the European Union welcome the progress made toward the realisation of this vision: the decentralisation of decision-making, the alignment of responsibility with authority, and the simplification of policies and procedures are corner stones of a cultural change towards a more modern, effective and transparent management in the United Nations.

Mr. Chair,

The new delegation of authority framework successfully empowered managers across the Secretariat, eliminated unnecessary layers of bureaucracy, and allowed for decisions to be made closer to the field. Heads of Missions now have more authority and responsibility in decisions related to the management and utilization of resources in implementing their mandates. This not only improves efficiency in the use of resources, it also increases accountability for achieved results and provides operational responsiveness and flexibility on the ground.

The creation of two new departments - the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC) and the Department of Operational Support (DOS) - addressed fragmentation in management structures, eliminated duplicative functions, established a clearer division of roles and responsibilities, segregation of duties and ensured appropriate checks and balances. These changes, combined with the introduction of the supply chain management, and integrated ICT, among other elements of management reform, have played a crucial role in allowing the Secretariat to continue to deliver on its mandates uninterruptedly.

Let us also not forget about the improvements made in the planning and budgeting process, including the decision to move to an annual budget, aiming at a more nimble and flexible budget process, which allows a more adequate update of resources to mandates evolutions and addresses results-based management.

These improvements prove critically needed in the global pandemic, which put the Organization through the test, and served as a proof of concept of the Secretary-General’s vision and his ambition for a new management paradigm.

Mr. Chair,

The Member States of the European Union welcome the progress made in the implementation of the management reform and express their thanks to all Secretariat staff involved for their tremendous efforts and engagement in this process. At the same time, we consider reform implementation and modernization as ongoing processes and would like to point out a couple of areas that we believe need our continuous attention.

We invite the Secretariat to continue its efforts to improve efficiency, accountability and transparency, including through better visibility of data, notably so building on the opportunities provided by Umoja. Furthermore, we continue to call for further developments on the most crucial outstanding element of the Secretary-General's reform – namely, Human Resources Management, including initiatives to improve mobility within the Organisation and continued work on frameworks to reward achievements and address underperformance. We look forward to addressing these issues and agreeing on the corresponding orientations during our next resumed session.

The Organisation deserves a management system that corresponds to the needs of its full range of activities and operations and the modern context it operates in. In that regard, we are very pleased to see progress made on nearly all aspects of the management reform initiative, and we wish to reiterate our strong and continued support to the Secretary-General's reform agenda.

I thank you Mr. Chair.

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