In a joint effort to advance global and country-level change in business operations by expanding mutual recognition of policies, procedures and system contracts, HLCM and the Business Innovations Group of UNSDG worked together in 2018 to develop a Mutual Recognition Statement.

As of July 2019, the mutual recognition statement has been signed by the Secretary-General and 16 other executive heads, namely the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The signing of the “Mutual Recognition” Statement is in direct response to GA resolution 71/243, which calls for entities within the UN development system to “operate according to the principle of mutual recognition of best practices in terms of policies and procedures, with the aim of facilitating active collaboration across agencies and reducing transaction costs for Governments and collaborating agencies.” In his report on Repositioning the UN Development System, the Secretary-General had also requested all entities to accelerate their efforts to operate according to the principle of mutual recognition.

The “Mutual Recognition” Statement is a fundamental enabler of management reform, removing barriers to greater consolidation of shared services. The Statement formalizes the joint commitment to apply the principle of mutual recognition allowing an entity to use or rely on another entity’s policies, procedures, system contracts and related operational mechanism for the implementation of activities without further evaluation checks or approvals being required, to the greatest extent practicable.

We encourage all organizations that have not yet signed the Statement, to consider doing so as soon as possible. For any questions, please contact the CEB Secretariat at monica.abalos@un.org.