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Secretary-General gives priority to streamlining UN with greater cohesion

Secretary-General gives priority to streamlining UN with greater cohesion

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today pledged to better harmonize the United Nations diverse development, humanitarian and environmental activities to produce a more efficient and responsive organization.

“It is a priority for me for the United Nations to bring its many disparate strengths together to address the world’s pressing development needs,” Mr. Ban said in message delivered by Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Jose Antonio Ocampo to a Regional High-level Consultation on UN System-Wide Coherence in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“This summer will mark the midpoint between the year 2000, when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were first articulated and adopted, and the year by which they are meant to be achieved, 2015,” he added, referring to targets set by the UN Millennium Summit seeking to slash a host of social ills, such as extreme hunger and poverty, maternal and infant mortality, and lack of access to health care and education.

“At a time when donor countries are discussing increases in official development assistance, it is also essential that the United Nations demonstrates its ability to use those resources effectively,” he stressed.

Mr. Ban noted that the recommendations put forward late last year in the report of the High-level Panel on UN System-Wide Coherence presented an ambitious yet achievable vision of a harmonized and accountable UN system.

The report, entitled Delivering as One, recommended a country-level consolidation of UN agencies, the strengthening of leadership on humanitarian and environmental activities, and the creation of both a new funding system and a new women’s organization.

“Our intention is to keep implementing those proposals that build on existing inter-governmental processes and reform initiatives,” Mr. Ban said, citing the ongoing consultative process in the General Assembly on UN environmental activities, reform UN business practices in the areas of human resources, common services and evaluation procedures, and the voluntary “One UN” pilot programmes recently launched by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to unify UN operations in 8 countries.

“I agree with the Panel’s proposals to strengthen the UN’s gender architecture, and I encourage Member States to study the possibility of replacing several current structures with a dynamic, consolidated UN entity,” he added.