Remarks to the UN Fifth Committee on Agenda Item 136: Status of Implementation of the Information Communications Technology Strategy for the United Na

Remarks to the UN Fifth Committee on Agenda Item 136: Status of Implementation of the Information Communications Technology Strategy for the United Nation

Carolyn Strainic
Advisor for UN Management and Reform
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
March 11, 2019


Thank you, Madam Chair. I would like to thank Ms. Atefeh Riazi, Assistant Secretary-General, Office of Information and Communications Technology, Mr. Peter Korn, Director of External Audit and Chair of the Audit Operations Committee, Board of Auditors, and Mr. Cihan Terzi, Chair of the ACABQ for introducing their respective reports.

Madam Chair, as we enter the fifth and final year of the Information and Communications Technology strategy, my delegation welcomes the progress made including: improved centralized monitoring, drastic reduction in legacy applications, and critical support for the deployment of Umoja. These achievements facilitate optimization of resources, as well as increased transparency and accountability for how resources are utilized. We are concerned, however, by the remaining obstacles to full implementation of the ICT strategy, in particular the continued fragmentation of information security, data centers, and application management. This fragmentation prevents mainstreaming of innovative practices, but also heightens the risk from cyber-attacks: a key issue identified by the Secretary-General in his report. We encourage the Secretary-General, in line with the recommendations of the ACABQ, to include in his final progress report planned milestones, completed activities, costs incurred, and benefits realized; as well as recommendations on outstanding issues to allow the Committee to take appropriate decisions following completion of the 5 year strategy.

Madam Chair, this Committee recently approved the proposal of the Secretary-General to establish a single Office of Information and Communications Technology, consolidating the ICT offices from the former Departments of Management and Field Support. Although this restructuring is in its early stages, my delegation looks forward to a constructive dialogue with the Secretariat and other delegations on the progress made, and how this consolidation has impacted service delivery to clients in the field and the Secretariat.

Madam Chair, following approval of the Secretary-General’s management reform proposals in 2018, my delegation views this year as a year of implementation and results. We will continue to strongly support to the Secretary-General in mainstreaming his reforms and achieving a cultural shift within the UN system. In the context of the ICT strategy, this translates to greater business intelligence and innovation guiding decision-making, and leveraging ICT as a strategic enabler to allow the Organization to better deliver on its mandates worldwide.

We stand ready to engage on this important agenda item and look forward to the committee’s productive discussions in the coming days. Thank you, Madam Chair.