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The CEB, at its April 2016 session, considering the critical importance of transformative leadership highlighted in the CEB common principles for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, had tasked its high-level committees to help develop a shared concept of leadership characteristics necessary in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, across different functions, levels and locations. Accordingly, a joint task team of the High-level Committee on Programmes and the High-level Committee on Management had been formed, facilitated by the United Nations System Staff College, with the programmes committee focusing on the conceptual and definitional aspects from programmatic and policy perspectives, benefitting from the managerial expertise of the management committee. The efforts focused specifically on global perspectives, had been closely coordinated with the complementary country-focused work of UNDG. The two processes would be joined together to produce a unified and comprehensive proposal, reflecting the perspectives and expertise of all three high-level committees, to be considered by CEB at its first regular session of 2017.


The Committee expressed support for the work undertaken to date by both the High-level Committee on Management/High-level Committee on Programmes joint task team and the working group under UNDG and looked forward to considering a unified and comprehensive product. The Committee felt that the leadership framework should serve as a strategic organizational tool, from which human resources strategies would naturally flow. Members stressed the importance of quickly translating the concepts into actionable policies, supported by education and training. Many felt that co-creation was a particularly important concept on which success would be judged. The framework should be applicable at all staff levels, targeting both existing and emerging leaders. The importance of creating a “professional management culture” was mentioned, where willingness to challenge and be challenged and be open to considering various options were identified as important characteristics. The need for the existing United Nations values of respect for diversity, integrity and professionalism to underpin the leadership framework was stressed.


The Committee supported the seven leadership elements outlined in the paper on the United Nations leadership model developed under UNDG auspices as a basis for further efforts to be undertaken by the Committee in collaboration with the High-level Committee on Management and UNDG. The Committee further supported the approach, plan and focus areas for such further work as proposed by the joint High-level Committee on Programmes/High-level Committee on Management task team, pending adjustments, as appropriate, in light of the comments and inputs provided during the discussions (and those from the High-level Committee on Management). The Committee requested the joint task team, together with the working group on leadership under UNDG, to prepare a unified and comprehensive proposal on United Nations system leadership for consideration by the Committee at its thirty-third session, with a view to submitting it to CEB at its first regular session of 2017.