5 December 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Fiona Grant, Counsellor at the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, 71st Session of the General Assembly – Fifth Committee Main Session Item 134j: Enterprise Resource Planning – Umoja
– As delivered –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this Statement.
Allow me to thank the Under-Secretary-General for Management, Mr. Yukio Takasu, for introducing the eighth progress report of the Secretary-General on enterprise resource planning project. Thanks also to Mr Salhina Mkumba from the Board of Auditors, and to Mr Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of ACABQ, for presenting the Advisory Committee’s related report.
The Member States of the European Union continue to be strong supporters of enterprise resource planning at the UN. The task is large. It requires changes to working practices, skills bases and organisational culture, over and above technological aspects. But the benefits to the organisation in terms of efficiency, accountability and ability to deliver front-line mandates are worthy of our perseverance and continued support.
We understand that Umoja has now been extended to 32,000 staff at 400 locations worldwide. This is a significant achievement, and we thank all staff involved.
We have taken note of the eighth report of the Secretary-General on the enterprise resource planning project, and of the observations made by the Board of Auditors and by the ACABQ. Notwithstanding the significant progress achieved, including improvements in project management and efforts to identify clearly the benefits from Umoja’s implementation, a number of important issues remain.
Firstly, the Member States of the European Union look forward to understanding better the Secretariat’s plans for ensuring staff preparedness and training ahead of future deployments and also plans to promote smoother and shorter stabilisation periods. Lessons learned from previous deployments will be important in this regard.
Secondly, the Member States of the European Union note with concern that issues relating the above have contributed, amongst other factors, to project slippage and cost over-runs. We look forward to gaining a better understanding of the cost implications and how they are being gripped moving forward, including through a robust risk management approach.
The Member States of the European Union continue to attach great importance to the full implementation of Umoja Extension 2, which includes some of the most important and promising functionality. This includes enhancement to supply chain management, budget formulation, programme management, conference and event management, and force planning. The quality of data that will be available through UE2 offers great potential to aid the Secretariat and Member States in our future decision making. We concur with the Board of Auditors that Umoja is central to the successful reform and modernisation of the UN’s administration. We also strongly concur with the ACABQ that the implementation of the full scope of the project is necessary to protect the investment already made by Member States, as well as to realise fully all benefits of the project.
Umoja is, at its base, a technological solution. But the UN’s staff are central both to the success of its implementation and as beneficiaries. We stress the importance of the UN’s senior leaders holding all managers in the system to account for their cooperation and readiness to engage with the Umoja teams.
The Member States of the European Union look forward to discussing these issues further with all other Member States, as well as the Secretariat, in the upcoming informal consultations.
I thank you, Madam Chair.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
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