Remarks at the UN Secretary-General’s Briefing to the General Assembly on the Implementation of UN Reform

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 27, 2018



Thank you, Madam President and Mr. Secretary-General.

The United States applauds you for your leadership and sustained engagement on the UN Reform agenda and we thank your senior leadership team, the Deputy Secretary-General, the CDC, and their team’s efforts in this regard.

Mr. Secretary-General, since your briefing to Member States last July, the General Assembly has adopted, by consensus, five separate resolutions in support of UN reform. These actions demonstrate that there is unequivocal support from Member States for your reform agenda, that this is not business as usual, and that now is the time to institute long-overdue comprehensive change at the United Nations to make the institution more fit for purpose to address the myriad of challenges around the world. The resolution also demonstrates Member State confidence and trust in you and the organization’s ability to comprehensively implement these reforms according to the timeline you have communicated.

We are pleased to see that that you and your team are focused on swift implementation, and that you have appointed a Senior Advisor on UN Reform – with key leads for each strand to ensure a cohesive change management strategy across all three reform strands. UN reform must lead to more effective, efficient, and accountable mandate delivery and organizational performance with reduced waste and duplication – 2019 will be a pivotal year in demonstrating whether the organization is committed to change and begins its shift to better performance and delivery of mandates, and is right-sized for the future.

On reform of the UN’s peace and security pillar, we expect to see an improved executive-level analysis and planning function that coordinates peace and security efforts, ensuring that good offices, mediation, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, development, human rights and peacebuilding are all part of the same equation and lead to sustainable political solutions. As you have outlined this approach should, in turn, improve mandate delivery on the ground by enabling more rapid, agile and field-oriented support mechanisms.

On development reform and repositioning of the UN Development System, as the new Resident Coordinator system takes shape under the agreed financial arrangement, we expect to see a more effective, accountable, responsive, and efficient UN country platform that works collaboratively to achieve results – improved development prospects, swift humanitarian relief efforts, and the advancement of human rights. We also look forward to considering reforms of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Regional Economic Commissions to see how they might be restructured to reduce duplication and provide value to the UN system.

Successful implementation of management reform, the strand that undergirds the peace and security and development pillars, is essential to a reformed UN based on the principles of simplification, decentralization, accountability and transparency. We trust that you will continue to communicate with and empower staff at all levels to be part of this paradigm shift with a view towards a change in organizational culture, and one that is results-driven.

In closing, Member States continue to have an important role to play in advancing these and other reforms. The United States pledges to work with all member states to remain engaged in support of your reform agenda in 2019 and beyond.

Thank you, very much.