Disaster risk reduction

The Board reviewed the progress made towards mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in the policies and strategies in the United Nations system. Given the growing frequency and severity of natural disasters in recent years, CEB agreed on the need to consider disaster risk reduction as a cross-cutting issue at all levels, and endorsed the following actions by entities of the United Nations system:

Science and technology

In response to General Assembly resolution 62/208 on the triennial comprehensive policy review, the High-level Committee on Programmes endorsed a proposal to amend and expand the terms of reference of the United Nations Group on the Information Society, with a view to giving science and technology more prominence. The Group had originally been established as an inter-agency mechanism for coordinating substantive and policy issues related to the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.

International Public Sector Accounting Standards

Recognizing that the introduction of International Public Sector Accounting Standards would place new emphasis on the value of an organization’s assets and thus presented an opportunity to assess potential best practices, particularly with respect to capital budgeting which would facilitate the structuring, financing and monitoring of capital investment activities, and with a view towards addressing greater harmonization in United Nations system budgetary practices, the High-level Committee on Management Finance and Budget Network established a working group during the reporting period to d

Knowledge-sharing

With the implementation of the initial phases of a common United Nations system directory, the Information and Communications Technology Network of the High-level Committee on Management, in conjunction with the information and communications technology tasking group of the United Nations Development  Group, took an important step towards greater system-wide knowledge-sharing during the reporting period.

Human resources

During the reporting period, the Human Resources Network of the High-level Committee on Management made progress in a number of areas, including the finalization of a policy statement on staff with disabilities, the introduction of a questionnaire for the exit interviews of staff members leaving an organization and the launch of a review of the mandatory age of retirement. During the reporting period, the CEB secretariat took over responsibility for the dual career and staff mobility programme, which had previously been implemented by WFP.

Procurement

The reporting period marked the first year of existence of the Procurement Network of the High-level Committee on Management. During this period, the Network focused on aligning its inter-agency efforts with those of the Organization at large. The harmonization of procurement processes and practices in support of field offices, with a particular focus on the project offices in delivering-as-one pilot countries, was central to the work of the Network.

Collaboration with the Joint Inspection Unit

With the Joint Inspection Unit having increasingly included issues with system-wide impact in its work programme, the reporting period saw a closer collaboration between CEB and the Unit. A comprehensive CEB-led exercise assisted in the identification of relevant topics for the Unit’s programme of work. CEB also worked closely with the Unit in the preparation of several of its reports, acting as both an expert subject-matter adviser and a facilitator of input from organizations on the content of the report.

Evaluation-Delivering-as-one

In April 2007, CEB had endorsed a proposal to establish the substantive parameters and process for a three-phased evaluation of the eight delivering-as-one pilot projects in Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay and Viet Nam. The first outcome of this process, a synthesis report of the assessments conducted by the United Nations Evaluation Group, was before the High-level Committee on Programmes during the reporting period.

Regional coherence

The High-level Committee on Programmes considered the item entitled “United Nations coherence at the regional level: synergies and complementarities between the regional coordination mechanism and regional directors’ team” on the basis of a report presented by the United Nations regional commissions, which was released in July 2008 as a contribution to the ongoing discussion and reflection within the United Nations system on improving coherence and delivering as one at the regional level.

Campaign to end violence against women and girls

The Board was informed of the UNite to end violence against women campaign, which had been launched by the Secretary-General on 25 February 2008 with the overall objective of increasing public awareness, political will and resources for preventing and responding to violence against women and girls. The campaign provided a common framework for the United Nations system and its partners to address the scourge of violence at the global, regional and national levels.