Management Reform

Ensuring a better future for all

Secretary-General António Guterres has proposed a new management paradigm for the Secretariat. To confront global challenges and to remain relevant in a fast-changing world, he envisions a United Nations that empowers managers and staff, simplifies processes, increases accountability and transparency and improves on the delivery of our mandates.

Secretary-General António Guterres and Mark Lowcock
Secretary-General António Guterres and Catherine Pollard

Secretary-General António Guterres delegates authority to Mark Lowcock and Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), as part of the revised framework for delegation of management authority effective 1 January 2019.

The delegation of authority is intended for the purposes of decentralizing decision-making, aligning authorities with responsibilities, strengthening accountability, and delegating to managers the necessary managerial authority over human, financial and physical resources to allow for effective mandate delivery.

Why two new Departments?

The proposed reorganization of the existing Department of Field Support and the Department of Management into two new departments — the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance and the Department of Operational Support — aims to ensure that United Nations management structures better support all senior managers to achieve effective programme and mandate delivery.

Priority areas for improvement

After reaching out to all Secretariat entities and Member States, the SG identified six priority areas to focus on through management reform:

  • 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 the trust between Member States and the Secretariat.

Resources

Official documents

  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations (A/RES/72/266B) 5 July 2018

  • Report of the Secretary-General on shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations: comparative assessment of human resources structures (A/73/366)
  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations (A/RES/72/266)
  • Report of the Secretary-General: progress report on the accountability system in the United Nations Secretariat (A/72/773)
  • Report of the Secretary-General on shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations: Ensuring a better future for all (A/72/492)
  • Report of the Secretary-General on shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations: improving and streamlining the programme planning and budgeting process (A/72/492/Add.1)
  • Report of the Secretary-General on shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations: implementing a new management architecture for improved effectiveness and strengthened accountability (A/72/492/Add.2)

More reform proposals (Ask Dag)

SG introduction of reforms to the Fifth Committee (4 December 2017)
Townhall meetings (videos)