Global Policy Forum

Excerpt from Millennium+5 Summit Outcome Document


September 15, 2005

Secretariat and Management Reform




Millennium+5 Summit Outcome Document (September 15, 2005)

Secretariat and Management Reform

161. We recognize that in order to effectively comply with the principles and objectives of the Charter, we need an efficient, effective and accountable Secretariat. Its staff shall act in accordance with Article 100 of the Charter, in a culture of organizational accountability, transparency and integrity. Consequently we:

(a) Recognize the ongoing reform measures carried out by the Secretary- General to strengthen accountability and oversight, improve management performance and transparency and reinforce ethical conduct, and invite him to report to the General Assembly on the progress made in their implementation;

(b) Emphasize the importance of establishing effective and efficient mechanisms for responsibility and accountability of the Secretariat;

(c) Urge the Secretary-General to ensure that the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity shall be the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff, with due regard to the principle of equitable geographical distribution, in accordance with Article 101 of the Charter;

(d) Welcome the Secretary-General's efforts to ensure ethical conduct, more extensive financial disclosure for United Nations officials and enhanced protection for those who reveal wrongdoing within the Organization. We urge the Secretary-General to scrupulously apply the existing standards of conduct and develop a system-wide code of ethics for all United Nations personnel. In this regard, we request the Secretary-General to submit details on an ethics office with independent status, which he intends to create, to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session;

(e) Pledge to provide the United Nations with adequate resources, on a timely basis, to enable the Organization to implement its mandates and achieve its objectives, having regard to the priorities agreed by the General Assembly and the need to respect budget discipline. We stress that all Member States should meet their obligations with regard to the expenses of the Organization;

(f) Strongly urge the Secretary-General to make the best and most efficient use of resources in accordance with clear rules and procedures agreed by the General Assembly, in the interest of all Member States, by adopting the best management practices, including effective use of information and communication technologies, with a view to increasing efficiency and enhancing organizational capacity, concentrating on those tasks that reflect the agreed priorities of the Organization.

162. We reaffirm the role of the Secretary-General as the chief administrative officer of the Organization, in accordance with Article 97 of the Charter. We request the Secretary-General to make proposals to the General Assembly for its consideration on the conditions and measures necessary for him to carry out his managerial responsibilities effectively.

163. We commend the Secretary-General's previous and ongoing efforts to enhance the effective management of the United Nations and his commitment to update the Organization. Bearing in mind our responsibility as Member States, we emphasize the need to decide on additional reforms in order to make more efficient use of the financial and human resources available to the Organization and thus better comply with its principles, objectives and mandates. We call upon the Secretary-General to submit proposals for implementing management reforms to the General Assembly for consideration and decision in the first quarter of 2006, and we resolve:

(a) To ensure that the United Nations budgetary, financial, and human resource policies, regulations and rules respond to the current needs of the Organization and enable the efficient and effective conduct of its work and request the Secretary-General to provide an assessment and recommendations to the General Assembly. The assessment and recommendations of the Secretary-General should take account of the measures already under way for the reform of human resources management and the budget process;

(b) To strengthen and update the programme of work of the United Nations so as to respond to the contemporary requirements of Member States. To this end, the General Assembly and other relevant organs will review all mandates older than five years originating from resolutions of the General Assembly and other organs, which would be complementary to the existing periodic reviews of activities. The Assembly and the other organs should complete and take the necessary decisions arising from this review during 2006. We request the Secretary-General to facilitate this review with analysis and recommendations, including on the opportunities for programmatic shifts, that could be considered for early consideration by the Assembly;

(c) To consider a detailed proposal on the framework for a one-time staff buyout to improve personnel structure and quality, including an indication of costs involved and mechanisms to ensure that it achieves its intended purpose.

164. We recognize the urgent need to substantially improve the United Nations oversight and management processes. We emphasize the importance of ensuring the operational independence of the Office of Internal Oversight Services. Therefore:

(a) The expertise, capacity and resources of the Office of Internal Oversight Services in respect of audit and investigations will be significantly strengthened as a matter of urgency;

(b) We request the Secretary-General to submit an independent external evaluation of the United Nations, including the specialized agencies', auditing and oversight system, including the roles and responsibilities of management, with due regard to the nature of the auditing and oversight bodies in question. This evaluation will take place within the context of the comprehensive review of the governance arrangements. We ask the General Assembly to adopt measures during its sixtieth session at the earliest possible stage, based on the consideration of recommendations of the evaluation and those made by the Secretary-General;

(c) We recognize that additional measures are needed to enhance the independence of the oversight structures. We therefore request the Secretary-General to submit detailed proposals to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session for its early consideration of the creation of an independent oversight advisory committee, including its mandate, composition, selection process and qualification of experts;

(d) We authorize the Office of Internal Oversight Services to examine the feasibility of expanding its services to provide internal oversight to United Nations agencies that request such services in such a way as to ensure that the provision of internal oversight services to the Secretariat will not be compromised.

165. We insist on the highest standards of behaviour from all United Nations personnel and support the considerable efforts under way with respect to the implementation of the Secretary-General's policy of zero tolerance regarding sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel, both at Headquarters and in the field. We encourage the Secretary-General to submit proposals to the General Assembly leading to a comprehensive approach to victims' assistance by 31 December 2005.

166. We encourage the Secretary-General and all decision-making bodies to take further steps in mainstreaming a gender perspective in the policies and decisions of the Organization.

167. We strongly condemn all attacks against the safety and security of personnel engaged in United Nations activities. We call upon States to consider becoming parties to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel and stress the need to conclude negotiations on a protocol expanding the scope of legal protection during the sixtieth session of the General Assembly.

System-wide coherence

168. We recognize that the United Nations brings together a unique wealth of expertise and resources on global issues. We commend the extensive experience and expertise of the various development-related organizations, agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system in their diverse and complementary fields of activity and their important contributions to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the other development objectives established by various United Nations conferences.

169. We support stronger system-wide coherence by implementing the following measures:



• Strengthening linkages between the normative work of the United Nations system and its operational activities • Coordinating our representation on the governing boards of the various development and humanitarian agencies so as to ensure that they pursue a coherent policy in assigning mandates and allocating resources throughout the system • Ensuring that the main horizontal policy themes, such as sustainable development, human rights and gender, are taken into account in decisionmaking throughout the United Nations

Operational activities

• Implementing current reforms aimed at a more effective, efficient, coherent, coordinated and better-performing United Nations country presence with a strengthened role for the senior resident official, whether special representative, resident coordinator or humanitarian coordinator, including appropriate authority, resources and accountability, and a common management, programming and monitoring framework • Inviting the Secretary-General to launch work to further strengthen the management and coordination of United Nations operational activities so that they can make an even more effective contribution to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, including proposals for consideration of Member States for more tightly managed entities in the field of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment

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