Remarks at a UN Fifth Committee Meeting on Agenda Item 136: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Strategy

Brian Conroy
Counselor for UN Management and Reform
New York City
June 20, 2018


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to thank Mr. Salem Avan, Director, Global Services Division and Officer-in-Charge, Office of Information and Communications Technology, Mr. Anand Bajaj, Director of External Audit and Chair of the Audit Operations Committee, Board of Auditors, and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the ACABQ for introducing the respective reports.

Mr. Chairman, the Information and Communications Technology, ICT, strategy was designed to modernize this important function across the Secretariat, optimize resources and enhance innovation. Two and a half years into the implementation of the Secretary-General’s five-year plan, my delegation remains supportive of his efforts to reach these goals. We note that the organization, under the leadership of the Chief Information Technology Officer, has made impressive headway on implementing this multi-year plan. While we welcome the progress made by OICT and several Secretariat offices in integrating and implementing the ICT strategy, we share the concerns expressed by the ACABQ and the Board of Auditors that Secretariat-wide compliance on implementing the ICT strategy remains a challenge. We believe that Secretariat-wide, or perhaps even UN system-wide, increased level of coordination and cooperation is essential for achieving maximum effectiveness and efficiency. We look forward to detailed updates for all Secretariat entities on their progress on implementation. We also further encourage the Secretary-General to continually refine cost projections as the implementation phase continues and planning assumptions are adjusted.

Mr. Chairman, we would also note the important proposal on management reform currently before this committee for consideration. The Secretary-General has proposed to establish a single Office of Information and Communications Technology through the consolidation of the existing OICT in DM and ICTD in DFS. Given that ICT is a cross-cutting function that underpins the organization’s core mandates and activities, a single entity with a holistic approach would enhance the delivery of ICT services to its client base. The unified ICT structure would allow the organization to leverage the gains already made and expedite implementation of the remaining elements of the ICT strategy. The proposed structure would also better place technology and innovation to enable the core work of the organization.

Mr. Chairman, my delegation remains dedicated to fully bringing the UN into the 21st century and achieving transformational reform and cost containment. We stand ready to engage on this important agenda item and look forward to the committee’s productive dialogue in the coming days. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.