Senior Leadership Committments

United by the highest standards of the international civil service and the Secretary-General's call for “principled and visionary UN leadership”, the Task Force has identified five Senior Leadership Commitments (SLCs), that have been developed to help prepare UN leaders to steer the transition of their organizations and workforces towards the future of work. These commitments build on the UN System Leadership Framework and incorporate the lessons that have been learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has accelerated transformational change and provided the opportunity to challenge many previous assumptions about the way we work. For example, assumptions that linked productivity to a common physical space and standardized work schedules may need to be reconsidered, and principles of trust and results-based performance have never been more important.

The five Senior Leadership Commitments are supported by three cross-cutting principles and provide a structure for leaders to embark on a journey to embrace the future of work. Leaders need to model the behaviours they want to see in others. Upholding and embodying the five Commitments will require openness, determination, resilience, and sustained support from UN system entities to their senior leaders, especially in the form of ongoing coaching and collective reflection.

This new way of working will help to reinvigorate the UN system’s organizational culture by shifting away from a top-down approach to inviting proactive and inclusive leadership. For those assuming leadership roles, a thorough onboarding process anchored in these Commitments and the practices and behaviours they entail will need to be developed by their respective entities.

Endorsed on 25 March 2021; references: Conclusions of the Forty-First Session of the High-Level Committee on Management (March 2021)

  • Leadership
  • High-Level Committee on Management (HLCM)
  • Human Resources Network (HRN)
  • UN System Frameworks


  • Senior Leadership Commitments.pdf

    PDF | 357.47 KB

  • Implementation Plan for Operationalizing the Senior Leadership Commitments.pdf

    PDF | 317.22 KB