Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York


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

New York, 31/05/2018 - 18:19, UNIQUE ID: 180531_25
Statements on behalf of the EU

31 May 2018, New York - Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by H.E. Ambassador Joanne Adamson, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 72nd Second Resumed Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee on Item 134. Review of efficiency – Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations

- As delivered -

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the 28 Member States of the European Union.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this statement.

I would first like to thank the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, for her presentation of the Secretary-General's comprehensive report on shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations. I would also like to thank the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, for his presentation of the report of that committee.


Mr. Chair,

We share the views of the Secretary-General as presented in his last report and we support his proposals for the restructuring of the current Department of Management and Department of Field Support of the Secretariat, with the understanding that the management reform is not only about restructuring, but about better enabling the organization, through the proposed changes, to fulfill its mandates. The management processes of the United Nations have grown too complex to be able to respond to today`s challenges in a flexible and agile manner. It is time for the organization to evolve and become more fit for purpose. Reform should lead to a transformation of the organization to ensure better delivery of programmes, through stronger support structures and smarter decentralization, together with a strengthening of leadership and organizational culture. This continuous improvement should give greater responsibility to managers and ensure stronger accountability.

The separation of policy and strategy from the operational support functions has the potential to allow staff to focus on their core responsibilities and bring more effectiveness and efficiency in the Secretariat activities. We commend the Secretary-General for presenting proposals that outline in a very clear way the future roles and responsibilities of the two departments. These constitute the necessary foundation for clearer reporting lines, better accountability, transparency and performance – core principles that guide the reform process.

We would like to also thank Secretary-General Guterres for briefing the General Assembly last week on his management reform proposals and for addressing the many questions and concerns raised on this occasion. As always, he continued to show his strong engagement and commitment for the reform process. We commend the Secretary-General on the steps already taken to improve the management of the organization and encourage him to continue to take forward improvements under his purview. We understand important progress is being made on the delegation of authority issue and streamlining of the bureaucratic rules that govern the Secretariat. We trust the Secretary-General and his team to ensure that the recalibration of delegation of authority will reflect international best practice.


Mr. Chair,

We will study carefully the observations and recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions and will seek assurances regarding its main remaining questions and concerns. We are convinced that the Secretary-General is in a position to address those and we stand ready to engage in the upcoming discussions to ensure that we all have a clear understanding of the reform proposals in front of us. With a view to change management, we are confident that the Secretary-General is taking measures to ensure that senior management is ready and able to implement the reforms.

We will not lose sight, however, of the overarching goal of this proposal: a more effective UN that is able to better tackle the world's problems. We now have 3 General Assembly resolutions agreed that guide us on reform: UN development system, peace and security and management reform, which have all been agreed by consensus. Furthermore, we believe it is everyone's view that management reform is a key enabler for the reform of the peace and security, as well as of the development pillars of this organization. Therefore, it is time to take action and proceed with the implementation of the reform without delay – in this regard, we look forward to starting the consultations in the Fifth Committee and we stand ready to engage constructively, through a spirit of compromise and collective thinking in order to deliver on the Secretary-General's vision.

Moving ahead holistically and maintaining momentum with the package of reforms means that we need to agree on the implementation of the peace and security architecture and the management reform initiatives, including the Global Service Delivery Model, before the end of June 2018 and bring actual improvements to the organisation as quickly as possible. By being presented the Secretary-General's proposals here today, this committee has been entrusted with very important responsibilities.


Mr. Chair,

With all this in mind, we call upon you, but also the Chef de Cabinet and other high-level Secretariat representatives, to continue to schedule meeting time for the Fifth Committee. We want the Secretary-General's reform to be successful and therefore we need meeting rooms and conference time. We count on your leadership and we are ready to support you in this effort, and we will actively contribute to negotiations, in a spirit of action-oriented outcomes, compromise and consensus.

Thank you.

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.