On 19 and 20 March, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, chaired the 29th session of the High Level Committee on Management (HLCM) that was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
“This is a turning point year. The United Nations stands at the front of change, and we must be shaped and equipped to lead it forward,” declared the Director-General, highlighting that “we are all called upon to lead system-wide action to adapt the United Nations to provide efficient and coordinated support to Member States on the transition to the post-2015 development agenda. This means also strengthening the strategic focus of the HLCM in support of the United Nations Chief Executives Board.”
“We have to build on our synergies and head all in the same direction since demands from Member States are high,” stated Irina Bokova. “We must rise to meet them – this is not a burden weighing down on us, it is a wind that must inspire us,” she continued.
“This spirit guides the reform I am leading at UNESCO, both on management and administrative issues, to strengthen the Organization’s efficiency and transparency.”
This meeting discussed a range of important topics, including the HLCM Strategic Plan 2013-2016, follow-up to the post-2015 “Fit for Purpose” discussion and the UN System programme of work for a Data Revolution.
The Committee devoted special attention to the need for reconciling the ‘duty of care’ for UN System personnel with the need to ‘stay and deliver’ in high risk environments, encompassing the need to clarify roles and responsibilities in emergency and high-risk situations among the different UN actors involved, to look at security and healthcare related issues for staff and other personnel.
On this occasion, the Committee also considered and supported the UN System Occupational Health and Safety Framework as presented by the UN Medical Director’s Working Group.
In a significant step towards enhancing UN climate neutrality by 2020, a priority set by the Secretary-General, the Committee members discussed their organizations' commitments to reach Climate Neutrality by 2020, acting through a combination of emission reduction initiatives and purchase of offsets, and to adopt the UN Roadmap towards Climate Neutrality by 2020.
At the meeting of the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB) held in Washington in November 2014, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, announced that the Director-General of UNESCO will be taking over the chairmanship of the High-Level Committee on Management (HLCM) for 2015-2016.
Together with the Committee on Programmes (HLCP) and the UN Development Group (UNDG), the HLCM is one of the three pillars of the CEB. Its main function is to promote UN system-wide cooperation, coordination and knowledge sharing in management issues with the aim of improving efficiency and simplifying business practices. The Committee is composed of the senior management representatives from all the United Nations Specialized Agencies, Funds and Programmes who come together twice a year to meet in regular session.