Background

At its 24th session in September 2012 the HLCM decided to launch a process for the development of a Strategic Plan for the next three to five years, centered on a set of priority and strategic issues around which to focus the work of the Committee in the medium term, reflecting the vision and ownership of the entire HLCM membership, and aimed to reinforce the Committee's relevance and value for member organizations and for the CEB.

Following the extensive discussion started right after the September session, through the round of consultations led by Mr. David Waller and, subsequently, the Retreat of 14-15 January 2013 at the UNSSC, the Committee was now called to review and approve the draft Strategic Plan, inclusive of revised working modalities, and of a Results Framework outlining the expected deliverables under each strategic priority.

The Chair recalled three key principles informing the Strategic Plan:

a.    The priorities included in the Plan should reflect the consensus of all HLCM members. Their implementation, by means of the concrete deliverables outlined in the Results Framework, would take due account of the differences between organizations and leverage on the commonalities and shared operational requirements of the different actors of the UN System.

b.    While all priorities would be pursued with full participation by all members, the Committee agreed to the principle that some activities can be conducted with an opt-in/opt-out approach.

c.    The full set of priorities outlined in the Strategic Plan was framed against a paramount principle: that the UN System of organizations will preserve and foster the safety and security of their staff.

Discussion

The ensuing discussion sought to confirm that the draft Strategic Plan reflected the collective vision of HLCM members; that it put forward ambitious but realistic, far-reaching, game-changing proposals that could make a quantum difference; and, that it identified the system-wide priorities concerning which there was value in collective discussion and coordinated action through the HLCM. As the Chair underlined, the ultimate aim was the modernization of the administration and management function of the UN System, to make it more adaptive and agile in delivering programmatic mandates.

The subsequent discussion confirmed the consensus already emerged at the Retreat on the new working modalities, i.e. on the changes to the format and structure of HLCM meetings and on the relationships among the Committee’s working mechanisms. In this respect the representatives of FICSA and CCISUA noted that the more inclusive formula for dialogue between the HLCM and staff representatives would include participation in discussions on substantive items. They reiterated their interest in being consulted in future steps related to the development of the Strategic Plan.

Finally, the Committee conducted a review of the draft Results Framework, with the understanding that this was a living document that would have to be updated regularly on the basis of emerging priorities and new mandates. The Framework represented a high-level reference work-plan synthetizing the commitment of organizations to engage in the hard work that implementing the priorities would require

Action

Approved the Strategic Plan 2013-2016, inclusive of revised working modalities, as presented in document CEB/2013/HLCM/2 (annexed to the present report) for submission to CEB at its first regular session of 2013.

Endorsed the structure and contents of the draft Results Framework as presented in document CEB/2013/HLCM/2/Add.1, and agreed that a revised version of the Framework, including responsibilities and timelines, and incorporating comments and suggestions put forward during the discussion, would be finalized and approved electronically by end of April 2013. The Committee further agreed that the Results Framework would be updated regularly on the basis of emerging priorities and new mandates.

In response to the request formulated in the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) of Operational Activities for Development of the UN System, agreed that the Chair of the ICT Network would lead the development and carrying out of a study to examine the feasibility of establishing interoperability among the ERP systems of the UN organizations. The Committee further emphasized that the study should address objectives related to "information interoperability" as opposed to "technical interoperability”. The Committee also agreed to form a project steering group under the leadership of the ICT Network Chair, including managers of agencies, funds and programmes, as well as member States and industries. Financial support from interested member States, industries and organizations would be sought following the development of the project terms of reference.