(Please check against delivery)
Statement by Mr. Sho Ono,
Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda Item 134:
Proposed programme budget: biennium 2014-2015 on Umoja/ERP
Main Part of the Sixty-eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly
December 2, 2013
At the outset, my delegation would like to thank, H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu, Under-Secretary-General for Management, Mr. Hugh O'Farrell, Director of External Audit (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and Chair of the Audit Operations Committee of the Board of Auditors, and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their respective reports on Umoja/ERP. I wish to briefly outline my delegation’s views on this issue.
Recognizing that Umoja is now at the center of management reform for the United Nations, my delegation welcomes the progress achieved over the past year including the successful launch of Umoja at UNIFIL and UNSCOL pilot sites and their supporting offices at Headquarters on July 1, 2013, and later at 14 peacekeeping missions and the RSC on November 1, 2013. My delegation notes with appreciation the endeavors of the Umoja Project Owner, Steering Committee and project team as well as the implementing offices and field missions and all involved departments and offices for the implementation of Umoja. My delegation looks forward to receiving updated information on the roll-out of Umoja in PKO missions as well as on the status of preparatory activities for its implementation at the special political missions to be rolled-out on February 1, 2014.
Japan reiterates that the full scope of the Umoja project should be delivered in the interest of the Organization and expects that, with strict management of the timetable and costs for the project, each phase of the project will be completed in accordance with the proposed timeline.
In order to achieve the success of a business transformation project of this magnitude, organizational readiness across the entire Secretariat is imperative. Japan believes that the Secretary-General’s strong leadership in this regard is vital for the success of Umoja. Furthermore, my delegation shares the observation of the ACABQ that close attention should be paid to coordinating organizational readiness activities related to the implementation of Umoja at each location so as to ensure a smooth deployment of systems, limit the burden on end-users and avoid disrupting operational activities.
With regard to the benefits of the project, while Japan welcomes that the Secretary-General remains committed to realizing the qualitative and quantitative benefits from the project through active engagement by process owners, Japan reiterates its views that the Secretariat should explore ways to expeditiously reflect expected savings from the implementation of Umoja in the budget and report on them in the relevant Secretary-General’s reports as soon as possible.
Finally, with respect to the cost of this project, the projections of the overall requirements by 2015 have increased by approximately $12.7 million dollars since the last Secretary-General’s report, mainly due to the increase in contractual services and furniture and equipment. Our delegation shares the view of the ACABQ that a detailed integrated plan is needed, which serves to determine what work remains and how much it will cost to complete it. With such a fundamental tool, the risks of incremental increases and unpredictability of overall costs could be resolved. In this context, Japan is of the view that details of the timeline and total costs incurred for the completion of the design of the Umoja Foundation, Extensions 1 and 2, as well as an assessment of the impact of the delays in the finalization of the Umoja design on the overall project timeline and budget should be reported in next report of the Secretary-General.
I would like to assure you that my delegation will participate actively in the consultations on this agenda item under your able guidance.