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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

6 March 2017, New York – Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union delivered by Fiona Grant, Counsellor, European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the 71st Session of the General Assembly: Fifth Committee: First Resumed Session on the Status of implementation of the information and communications technology strategy for the United Nations

Mr Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union. The Candidate Countries 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 the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this statement.

I would like to thank the Assistant Secretary General and Chief Information Technology Officer, Ms Atefeh Riazi, for introducing the report of the Secretary General, and Mr Carlos Ruiz Massieu for introducing the related ACABQ report.

Mr Chair,

The importance of ICT as a key enabler of UN’s work grows every year. ICT not only allows for more effective communication and a more responsive global workforce. It also enhances the efficient sharing of accurate information to help the UN make better decisions and to strengthen oversight and accountability.

The Member States of the European Union welcome and commend the progress made in implementing the ICT strategy endorsed in the 69th Session, as set out in the second progress report of the Secretary General. The ICT strategy is progressively transforming the technology environment of the United Nations. Two years into the strategy’s implementation, important in-roads have been made towards harmonizing and consolidating fragmented systems, improving service delivery by delegating competences, rationalizing applications and ICT centres, strengthening governance, and supporting Umoja implementation, amongst other areas. In particular, Member States of the European Union commend the improvements made to collaboration and coordination between OICT and DFS on ICT matters and the clarity regarding overall responsibility for ICT brought by the Secretary General’s Bulletin of 21st September.

The Member States of the European Union reiterate their support for the Secretariat’s continued implementation of the strategy across the Organisation. Although the strategy has brought numerous achievements, challenges remain, and compliance and governance need to be reinforced. Continued leadership from managers at all levels in all entities of the Secretariat is crucial in this regard. Strong governance and consolidation according to the ICT strategy would promote the optimisation of resources, getting the best value from ICT assets and investments. We therefore call for the establishment of more robust ICT policies to strengthen governance and to focus investment on strategic delivery, including cyber security.

The ICT strategy is already enabling more effective visibility and oversight of ICT procurement, asset management and human resources across the UN system. Improvements to date have been significant, but more progress can be made to enable central oversight to ensure non-duplication and the efficient, flexible and transparent use of resources across the Organisation.

Mr Chair,

The Member States of the European Union look forward to working constructively on this agenda item in the coming weeks.

I thank you, Mr Chair.

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

  • Ref: EUUN17-013EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Fifth Committee - Administrative and Budgetary Committee
  • Date: 06/03/2017

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