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Latest News in UN Governance & Accountability

View our Accountability Mechanisms of the United Nations infographic

Week of
June 24, 2024

The WFP Executive Board

holds its annual session from 24-28 June 2024.

What is at issue?

Key agenda items include the annual performance report, the annual reports of the Ethics Office and Ombudsman and Mediation Support Services and the annual evaluation report (which is preceded by the evaluation roundtable).

Week of
June 17, 2024

UNWomen's Executive Board

holds its annual session from 18-20 June 2024.

What is at issue?

Key agenda items include the presentation of the annual report of the Executive Director, the annual reports on evaluation, ethics and internal audit and investigations.

Week of
June 10, 2024

The UNICEF Executive Board

holds its annual session from 11-14 June.

What is at issue?

Key agenda items include the midterm review of the UNICEF Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 and the annual report for 2023 of the Executive Director, the annual report on UNICEF humanitarian action, the annual report on the implementation of UNICEF's Gender Action Plan and the update on organizational culture and diversity (see our overview of key lessons learnt: https://www.reformworks.org/post/organizational-culture-change-at-the-un-what-actually-works).

Week of
June 3, 2024

The UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board

holds its annual session from 3-7 June.

What is at issue?

Key agenda items are the presentation of the annual reports of heads of UNFPA and UNV and the midterm review of UNDP's Strategic Plan for 2022-2025. Annual reports on evaluation, ethics, internal audit and investigation are also being considered.

Week of
May 13, 2024

UNWomen's Executive Board

holds an informal briefing on the Ethics function on 16 May 2024.

What is at issue?

All UN Executive Boards have regular discussions with their respective Ethics offices and other governance and oversight related functions. This briefing is followed by an informal briefing of the Board by the Audit and Investigation function on 21 May 2024.

Week of
May 13, 2024

The UNGA's Fifth Committee

continues consideration of the programmes and budgets of peacekeeping operations this week. On Friday, 17 May, the Committee holds a closed briefing with the Controller on the management of the liquidity situation, which is followed by a general discussion on improving the financial situation of the United Nations on 20 May.

What is at issue?

In addition to the normal review of peacekeeping budgets, the Committee is also considering a new delivery model for UNMAS which is supposed to increase accountability without reducing the flexible delivery and operational approach of the organization. (See A/77/747 from the SG, and A/77/816 from the ACABQ). The roots of the financial challenges facing the UN and the liquidity crisis, which the Committee is discussing, relate to overall patterns of voluntary and assessed funding, which have undermined the spirit of multilateralism in recent decades. We summarize the issues and the latest research here: https://bit.ly/UNFinancing.

Week of
May 6, 2024

The Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UNICEF and UNWomen

receive a joint briefing on the JIU review of their oversight and governance functions on 8 May 2024.

What is at issue?

The Boards commissioned JIU to undertake the review which was completed in January of this year. The review provides a series of recommendations, based largely on governance best practices of the private sector. We've highlighted the risks of this approach in our previous spotlight (https://www.reformworks.org/post/why-corporate-governance-reforms-don-t-translate-to-un-boards). The review also recommends clarifying the roles and functions of various governance mechanisms, such as the ACABQ and General Assembly, in relation to the Executive Boards.

Week of
May 6, 2024

The WFP Executive Board

receives its second briefing on internal audit and investigation this year on 6 May. On 10 May, the Chief Financial Officer holds a seminar on the items to be presented to the Board at the annual session scheduled for the last week of June.

What is at issue?

WFP is the only UN organization with a separate Management Plan, which highlights the complexity of managing such a large humanitarian organization. Board members have struggled to understand the Management Plan and the seminar is intended to assist the Board members in understanding key issues and improve decision-making on financial and management issues at the annual session.

Week of
May 6, 2024

The UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board

receives its monthly update on UNOPS reforms (7 May), is briefed on the UNFPA Strategic Investment Facility (8 May) and by the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office (9 May).

What is at issue?

The monthly briefing on UNOPs reforms was instituted following the S3i scandal (see our summary of the issues at: https://bit.ly/41dLJE9). The UNFPA Strategic Investment Fund was initiated as part of the current Strategic Plan to help mobilize domestic and international funding for strategic investments to deliver transformative results envisaged in the Strategic Plan. The evaluation briefing will cover not only evaluation priorities for this year, but also the planned update to the UNDP Evaluation Policy. We highlighted the latest research on what makes a good evaluation policy last year, as UNFPA and UNICEF were updating their policies (see https://bit.ly/45lO699).

Week of
May 6, 2024

The UNGA's Fifth Committee

starts its second resumed session on 6 May with the adoption of its programme of work.

What is at issue?

This session focuses primarily on the budgets of UN peacekeeping operations. It also considers the Secretary-General's report on the financial situation of the organization and includes briefings by the Controller on the liquidity challenges facing the UN Secretariat (starting on 10 May). This session also includes the consideration of the independent evaluation of the delivery model of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) which proposes a hybrid model going forward (see the afternoon of 6 May).

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