The UN Reform [fr]
France supports the reform of the United Nations initiated by its Secretary-General, António Guterres. Since the beginning of his term, the Secretary-General has put forward proposals for reforming the Organization, based on three pillars: development, peace and security, and management.
In order to achieve the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, the Secretary-General proposed changes to the UN development system, endorsed by the UN General Assembly (A/RES/72/279). These changes aim to bring the UN presence and action closer to local needs and contexts. Effective 1 January 2019, the reform of the development system has transformed the country teams, which are now centered on a single strategic framework for development assistance and led by an impartial, independent and empowered Resident Coordinator.
At the core of this transformation lies the new system of resident coordinators, who must ensure a permanent dialogue with their country of residence and all UN agencies and entities. Resident coordinators must play a key role in coordinating humanitarian response and peacekeeping operations, thus ensuring the continuity of United Nations action.
The main goals of this reform are to give priority to prevention and peacekeeping, to enhance the effectiveness and coherence of peacekeeping operations and special political missions and to move towards a single, integrated pillar for peace and security. The approach centred on the " peace-security continuum " must also allow for better integration of development logics into crisis resolution.
Through the " Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) » initiative launched by the UN Secretary-General, Member States, the Security Council, host countries, troop and police contributors, regional partners and financial contributors have renewed their collective commitment to UN peacekeeping. The Statement of Common Commitments includes the commitments that Member States and the Secretariat would be prepared to make in order to take collective action to strengthen peacekeeping.
A4P has 8 chapters: politics; women, peace and security; protection; safety and security; performance and accountability; peacebuilding; partnerships; and conduct of operations. France has been designated "champion" for the Performance chapter ; this role serves to promote and encourage progress in this area.
The structure of the Secretariat has also been reviewed in order to make its work more coherent: the Department of Political Affairs has been transformed into a Department of Political Affairs and Peacebuilding (DPPA) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) into a Department of Peace Operations (DPO). A single political and operational structure, common to both Departments, is responsible for the management of all political and operational activities relating to peace and security.
The UN Secretary-General also wishes to strengthen relations with regional organizations (African Union, European Union, Arab League, etc.) to improve strategic planning and communication.
As the cornerstone of the Secretary-General’s reform agenda, the "management" pillar is defined in a complementary manner to the other two pillars that it is intended to support: lsubstantive reforms in the areas of peace and security and development require an improvement in the administrative functioning of the Organization.
In order to maintain the confidence of the international community, the Organization must show that it is capable of adapting to the present time and responding effectively and responsibly to today’s challenges. In response, the Secretary-General has proposed a new and ambitious management model for the Secretariat and the Organization. This reform aims to empower staff by delegating decision-making powers as close as possible to the field; to simplify structures and streamline procedures, particularly in the area of human resources; to increase the speed of mandate implementation; and, lastly, to improve transparency by being more accountable to the Member States. This paradigm shift aims at moving the Organization from a culture of process to a culture of results.
"Our goal must be a 21st century UN development system that is focused more on people and less on process. The true test of reform will be measured through tangible results in the lives of the people we serve - and the confidence of those who support our work." - António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, 27 November 2018