Catalyst for Progress and Change-How the Millennium Declaration is changing the way the UN system works

CEB’s contribution to the preparatory process of the 2005 World Summit culminated in the publication of "One United Nations: Catalyst for Progress and Change — How the Millennium Declaration is Changing the Way the United Nations System Works", which was launched at the July 2005 session of the Economic and Social Council and was commended by the President of the Economic and Social Council to the Summit.

The publication evolved as a product of the United Nations system assessment of its role in supporting the implementation of the goals of the Millennium Declaration. It was intended to demonstrate how the common endeavour engendered by the Declaration has been serving to broaden the perspectives of all organizations of the United Nations system and helping them, both individually and collectively, to deepen analysis, expand knowledge-sharing, reinforce synergies and sharpen the focus on results. And it sought to underscore the system’s readiness to be held collectively accountable for its efforts in this regard.


Collaborative initiatives and actions by the organizations of the United Nations system to support the implementation of the Millennium Declaration.

Executive Summary

With this report, the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) aims to contribute to the preparations for the 2005 World Summit, to take place this September in the General Assembly, five years after the adoption of the historic Millennium Declaration. The report provides an  account of how UN organizations are working together to assist countries in achieving the Declaration’s objectives.

The Millennium Declaration is changing the way the UN system works

Its Charter gives the United Nations Organization a comprehensive mission, encompassing the maintenance of peace and security, the promotion of human rights, and economic and social progress. The mandates of the specialized agencies, UN Programmes and Funds and related organizations—which together with the Organization make up the United Nations system—cover a wide spectrum of concerns and areas for international cooperation.

Working together to promote human rights, democracy and good governance

The Millennium Declaration commits the nations of the world “to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as respect for all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development.” In it, world leaders resolve “to strengthen the capacity of all our countries to implement the principles and practices of democracy and respect for human rights.”

The Way Forward for the UN system

The Charter of the United Nations and the constituent instruments of the specialized agencies and other UN organizations stem from a basic quest for multilateral cooperation and from fundamental principles of international solidarity that have stood the test of time. The Millennium Declaration reinforces these principles and provides the basis for a renewed unity of purpose and a new common platform for action across the UN system.