Innovation is about being much more effective and at the scale that is necessary to benefit the people the United Nations serves.
Secretary-General António Guterres, CEB Second Regular Session of 2018
Under the leadership of the Secretary-General as Chairman of CEB, the 31 Executive Heads that comprise the Board have recognized the imperative to not only become more adept at utilizing new technologies, but also to integrate and mainstream into the daily operations of individual entities and the United Nations system as a whole in order to become better equipped at adapting to the challenges facing the world today and to better support Member States in their pursuit of the SDGs.
The High-level Committee on Management has engaged in a series of discussions on fostering innovation and mainstreaming it into the operational and management practices of the system in 2018 and 2019. CEB tasked its High-level Committee on Programmes to deepen its analytical examinations, pursue joint actions on the impact of technological innovations on sustainable development and promote shared values for guiding the efforts of the United Nations system in the era of transformative change. That system-wide work on technological innovation is linked to and supports the Secretary-General’s strategy on new technologies, which was launched in 2018. The High-level Committee on Programmes, in follow-up to CEB directives and in support of the Secretary-General’s strategy on new technologies, engaged in a series of in-depth analytical examinations of the impact of new technologies on the achievement of the Goals, with particular focus on the unique perspectives and needs of developing countries as an over-arching and cross-cutting consideration for that work. The effort resulted in the completion of the UN system-wide strategic approach and road map for supporting capacity development on artificial intelligence, UN system-wide strategic approach for achieving inclusive, equitable and innovative education and learning for all, and UN system strategy on the future of work.
The CEB also tasked the CEB secretariat, together with the United Nations Innovation Network, with developing a customized innovation toolkit for the United Nations system. The development of the UN Innovation Toolkit was completed in 2019 and is now available to the public.