UN Launches Website on Three Areas of Ongoing Reform
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The ‘United to Reform’ website provides information, news and resources on the ongoing UN reform processes related to development, management and peace and security.

The development reform section of the website also comprises FAQs, as well as a backgrounder and key messages on the UN development system repositioning.

November 2018: The UN launched a website providing information, news and resources on the ongoing UN reform processes related to development, management and peace and security. The landing page of the website also outlines job openings in the three areas of reform.

The UN Secretary-General’s reform agenda aims to enhance the UN’s contribution to sustainable development, ensure more effective capacities to tackle conflict and sustain peace, and improve the UN’s internal management and ability to deliver. As noted in the SDG Knowledge Hub’s Annotated Guide to the UN Secretary-General’s Reform Proposals, the three reform tracks address the fragmentation and bureaucratization of the UN system, which cause gaps, duplication of work, and resource drainage.

On development reform, the ‘United to Reform’ website notes that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will require bold changes to the UN development system for the emergence of a new generation of country teams, centered on a strategic UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and led by an impartial, independent and empowered resident coordinator (RC). The website includes information on the RC’s role, and on the transition team that has been created to provide strategic leadership and oversight to all aspects of the repositioning of the UN development system. The site also features frequently asked questions (FAQs), as well as a backgrounder and key messages on UN development system repositioning.

On management, the website says the reform process seeks to empower managers and staff in the UN and its Secretariat, simplify processes, increase transparency and accountability, and improve on the delivery of UN mandates. It explains that the reorganization of the existing UN Department of Field Support and the UN Department of Management into two new departments (the UN Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance and the UN Department of Operational Support) seeks to ensure that UN management structures better support all senior managers to achieve effective programme and mandate delivery.

The ‘Management reform’ section of the website also outlines priority areas for improvement, including: improving the speed and responsiveness of service delivery; establishing greater coherence in management structures; strengthening performance management culture; ensuring effective management of resources for mandate implementation; enhancing transparency and accountability; and increasing trust between UN Member States and the UN Secretariat.

Per the website, the peace and security reform process comprises five elements: 1) creating a UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and a UN Department of Peace Operations; 2) creating a single political-operational structure with regional responsibilities under the UN Assistant Secretaries-General; 3) establishing a Standing Principals’ Group of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Under-Secretaries-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and for Peace Operations; 4) enhancing certain priority areas to ensure coherence and coordination across the peace and security pillar; and 5) introducing several non-structural changes “in the way the peace and security pillar works.”

The website also notes that the peace and security reform aims at, inter alia, prioritizing prevention and sustaining peace, enhancing the effectiveness and coherence of peacekeeping operations and special political missions, and ensuring a closer alignment between peace and security, UN development and human rights pillars.

An SDG Knowledge Hub update from September 2018 outlines the latest concrete steps in each reform area, and expected developments. [United to Reform]

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