The Board’s consideration of management issues during the period 2007/08 focused on enhanced coherence in the working modalities of member organizations. Inspired by the ongoing deliberations on system-wide coherence, which highlighted the key role that improved business practices could play in the United Nations system’s ability to deliver better results, a plan of action for the harmonization of business practices in the United Nations system was elaborated under the auspices of the High-Level Committee on Management.

The Board also reviewed the increased safety and security risks faced by United Nations system staff and the sharing of information contained in internal audit reports as part of its continuous efforts at advancing accountability and transparency in the United Nations system. The Board further strengthened its relationship and improved its cooperation with other inter-agency mechanisms of the United Nations system.Through the authority delegated to the High-Level Committee on Management and its networks, other important achievements during the period under review include the following:

  • the integration of the procurement network into the High-Level Committee on Management framework in recognition of the increasing importance and complexity of management and coordination issues related to procurement and, more broadly, to the supply chain;
  • the establishment of a legal network with the objective of improving system-wide coherence in the provision of legal services; and
  • the provision of support to the delivering as one pilot projects on various human resources-related issues.

Internal audit reports

The Board considered issues related to the disclosure of information contained in internal audit reports of United Nations system organizations in the light of the expectation of the international community that the system should be as accountable and as transparent as possible. The Board stressed that it was important for any disclosure policy to incorporate adequate criteria to ensure that the human and legal rights of the staff were respected, especially in connection with information contained in internal audit reports that have to do with investigations.

Business practices

In line with the increasing demands from the international community for efficient and coherent United Nations system operations, the Secretary-General has made the pursuit of effective, transparent and harmonized administrative and management procedures one of his priorities since taking office. The Board’s endorsement of the High-Level Committee on Management initiative to develop a plan of action for the harmonization of business practices in the United Nations system is a concrete step in the advancement of that objective.

Security and safety of staff

CEB reviewed the general security environment in which the staff of the United Nations system were currently operating and the nature and relevance of emerging threats. The Board issued a statement expressing serious concern over the recent number of violent attacks against humanitarian workers and United Nations staff operating in various regions of the world. It called upon all Member States to renew their commitment to the protection of humanitarian workers and to ensure safe and unhindered access to all people in need, in keeping with international law and humanitarian principles.