Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)


Mr. António Guterres, Secretary General, UN


(All members have equal standing)

Reporting to

Economic and Social Council
General Assembly

Meeting frequency

Twice a year

The United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) is the main instrument for supporting and reinforcing the coordinating role of the United Nations intergovernmental bodies on social, economic and related matters.

The Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) is the longest-standing and highest level coordination forum in the history of the United Nations. Comprising the leadership of 31 member organisations.

The underlying premise in the creation of the ACC (predecessor of CEB) was that an institutional mechanism was needed to draw the disparate parts of a decentralized system of specialized bodies - each with its own constitution, mandate, governing bodies and budgets - into a cohesive and functioning whole.

The UN Charter’s call for coordination through “consultation and recommendation” underscores the decentralized nature of the UN system. No central authority exists to compel compliance by organizations of the system to act in a concerted manner.  Coordination and cooperation are contingent upon the willingness of system organizations to work together in pursuit of common goals.

In the many decades since its establishment there have been a number of reviews and reforms of the coordination machinery. In 2001, ACC was renamed the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination. CEB meets twice a year under the chairmanship of the UN Secretary-General.

The UN Charter established the terms by which a decentralized UN system would function. At the center of that system would be the United Nations and its principal organs. The United Nations would deal directly with questions of peace and security, as well as issues of a political nature. It would act in concert with and through the specialized agencies on social, economic and related matters. The specialized agencies would carry out their respective mandates in their fields of expertise. Responsibility for effectively coordinating the work of the specialized agencies at the intergovernmental level would rest with the General Assembly and ECOSOC.

The origins of CEB date back to 1946, when the Economic and Social Council, stressing its desire to “discharge effectively its responsibility to coordinate the activities of the specialized agencies”, adopted resolution 13 (III), which requested the Secretary-General to “establish a standing committee of administrative officers of the specialized agencies brought into relationship with the United Nations, for the purpose of taking all appropriate steps, under the leadership of the Secretary-General, to ensure the fullest and most effective implementation of the agreements entered into between the United Nations and the specialized agencies.” The UN Secretary-General established the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), then known as Coordination Committee. The title of ACC was given in 1948 to distinguish it from ECOSOC’s own Coordination Committee.

CEB is chaired by the UN Secretary-General.

The CEB carries out its role through two mechanisms:

High-Level Committee on Programmes
The High-Level Committee on Programmes promotes system-wide cooperation, coordination and knowledge sharing in programme and operational areas.

High-Level Committee on Management
The High-Level Committee on Management identifies and analyzes administrative management reforms with the aim of improving efficiency and simplifying business practices.

CEB Mechanisms Overview

The Membership of the CEB includes the United Nations; 15 Specialized Agencies established by intergovernmental agreements; 3 Related Organizations - the World Trade Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Organization for Migration; and 12 Funds and Programmes created by the United Nations General Assembly. The International Organization for Migration is the newest member to join the CEB.

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