Statement by H.E. Mr. KIMURA Tetsuya, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, On agenda item 139: Review of efficiency, Management reform -Implementation: Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations, at the Main Part of the 75th Session of the Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly
(Check against delivery)Mr. Chair,
At the outset, I would like to extend my appreciation to Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet, for her introduction of the report.
Japan has been continuously supporting the purpose and direction of the management reform, which aims to enable the Organization to be more decentralized, nimble, responsive, transparent and accountable. We welcome the Secretary-General’s initiatives to empower senior managers in the field through the delegation of authority, increase the Organization’s resilience to risk, clearly link resources and results, and delineate roles and responsibilities.
In such a large, geographically dispersed and multidimensional organization as the UN, changing the management culture is a continuous process which does not happen overnight. However, after almost two years since the process began, we are eager to see some tangible results. We take this agenda item as a great opportunity for Member States and the Secretariat to ascertain the results to date and to provide guidance to move forward.
In terms of the results of the reform, we are glad to be able to confirm one of the most visible achievements to date in the UN’s response to COVID-19. The delegation of authority has given the managers greater leeway to make timely decisions without waiting for approval from headquarters. It has enabled flexible working arrangements and the reassignment of resources to adjust the focus of their work in an agile and responsive manner to the volatile situation of the pandemic. In addition, the past investments in the area of information and communications technology have ensured business continuity within the Organization by enabling remote work and facilitating collaboration within duty stations.
We commend the Secretary-General for the progress so far and appreciate the benefits we see today. On the other hand, my delegation is of the view that there is still room for visible progress by identifying duplicative structures and implementing efficiency measures in some areas, such as, but not limited to, human resources strategy, supply chain management and support structure. We are looking forward to observing these improvements in due time.
Management reform is not only for the benefit of the Organization and its staff but also for the Member States and our people. The ultimate goal of the reform is not to change the UN’s internal working culture for change’s sake, but to improve the way of implementing its mandates and to effectively deliver benefits to people. In this regard, we acknowledge the Secretariat’s initiative with the Benefits Management Framework established in June 2019 and supplemented by the “Benefits Tracker” which is intended to allow Member States to measure whether the reform is delivering improvements through a combination of qualitative and quantitative indicators, and thereby secure accountability.
Japan encourages the Secretary-General to further his efforts to demonstrate the results of the reform in both quantitative and qualitative terms, especially in the context of the implementation of mandates, in order to provide assurance of the responsible and efficient use of resources through improved performance assessment and greater transparency.
We have supported the reform, and will continue to do so long as it brings positive results to the people.
Finally, my delegation is committed to engaging positively and constructively in the upcoming discussion on this agenda item. You can count on my delegation’s full cooperation in this regard.