Remarks on Executive Board Working Methods of UN Women, UN International Children’s Emergency Fund, World Food Program, UN Development Program,

Hector Brown
U.S. Mission to the United Nations

January 24, 2019


Thank you, Madam President. Working methods has long been an issue of concern for this and the other UN executive boards. The United States welcomes greater efficiencies that ensure each member state serving on its board can adequately perform its oversight function, and ensures each organization remains responsive to evolving needs.

We thank the Presidents of the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UNICEF, UN Women and WFP for implementing the executive boards’ decisions by identifying a “Core Group” of members of the respective boards to move the discussion forward in examination of the efficiency and quality of current sessions.

We further recognize the Core Group’s work will build off thoughtful reflection: of past bureaus such as the presidents’ non-paper, the joint response prepared by the secretariats, and indeed, the reflections shared by different agency heads in past oral statements. While the United States will continue to engage in the draft decision currently under negotiation, we take this opportunity to convey expectations of the Core Group and reiterate important principles.

First and foremost, we expect the Core Group to keep a keen eye on the distinct rules of procedure for each executive board. Individual agencies’ intergovernmental executive boards represent the membership of each respective agency and are the authoritative decision-making bodies for those agencies, whose management is accountable to its board. We stated this in our national statement at the UNDP Board, but this position bears repeating cross all executive boards. It has also been our position that the joint meeting of the boards – UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and WFP, as it is currently configured – is a coordination forum; it is not, and should not be, a decision-making body.

Further, we expect the Core Group to be as consultative as possible with the boards’ membership, so that when the time comes for this and other boards to make separate decisions with respect to working methods, there are no surprises. We understand the Core Group aims to present at the joint meeting of the boards during the annual session, and we thank them for their leadership in taking on this ambitious timeline.

Thank you, Madam President.