“Accelerate reform for more effective programme delivery,” says UNESCO Director-General
During the information meeting held today with the Members of the Executive Board, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, reiterated her firm determination to pursuing UNESCO’s reform.
“I am determined to forge onwards, to continue to sharpen the delivery of this Organization in every way, at every level,” she declared.
In the last two years, many of the administrative reform initiatives focused on cost effective measures and administration efficiency gains. The Organization has been reviewed and structures have been adjusted to reflect programme priorities decided by Member States. A thorough, all-encompassing redeployment review has taken place for the staff of the Organization at all levels and this will be completed by 31 August, 2014. In this, a total of 113 staff members were affected by the abolition of their posts and reviewed by the Redeployment Group -- 91 at Headquarters and 22 in the field. Five occupied Director posts were also abolished. Overall, a total of 472 posts (vacant and occupied) have been abolished since January 2012 – while 153 posts have been redefined and established.
Highlighting the next steps in the reform of the Organization, the Director-General said “Our next phase must be devoted to bolstering programme implementation and monitoring capacity.” She then presented an action plan based on 3 elements: strengthening programme monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, to enhance the quality of delivery; further operationalizing the move from control to accountability and the delegation of authority to Heads of Field Offices; and completing the reform of Administrative and Executive Offices.
In moving forward, the Director-General underlined the need for the Organization to shift out of crisis mode, “all our energies must be focused on implementing our programme, on servicing the Member States, on innovating and breaking new ground in education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.”
Looking ahead, Irina Bokova reassured Member States that she will pursue further efficiency gains and continue to sharpen tools and delivery. “At the same time, we need to give the Organization every means to do so – to implement its programme, to respond to demands of Member States, to craft a central place in the post-2015 agenda, to open new horizons in education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.”
In the context of discussions on the budget for the next biennium, the Director-General appealed to Member States to look beyond the zero nominal growth budgets of the past 6 years: “I appeal for the full support of all Member States, to shape a framework where UNESCO’s action is enhanced and our delivery bolstered.”
The information meeting also reviewed UNESCO’s contribution to the post-2015 agenda, and the reform of the United Nations. In depth discussion occurred also on UNESCO action in global priorities and other key areas.
In preparation of the celebrations of UNESCO’s 70th anniversary, the Director-General called for greater focus on the Organization’s work with Member States and all its partners – “to affirm the values and mandate of UNESCO, which have never been more relevant and that we must adapt to meet today's challenges.”
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