Business continuity is defined as the capability of an organization to continue delivery of essential and time-critical services at acceptable predefined levels during and/or following a disruptive incident. The United Nations system organizations often operate in volatile environments and can be exposed to disruptions due to natural and human-made disasters. Moreover, the current COVID-19 pandemic has seriously tested business continuity management and organizational resilience. Yet, the pandemic also provided an opportunity to gain from good practices and early lessons learned and to strengthen business continuity management. Without an effective business continuity management framework, organizations run the risk of incoherent and uncoordinated responses, thereby amplifying crises and degrading organizational resilience.
Review of the management of implementing partners in United Nations system organizations (JIU/REP/2021/4)
The follow-up review of the management of implementing partners by organizations of the United Nations system assesses the progress achieved since the previous JIU report JIU/REP/2013/4. It takes appropriate account of the impact of COVID-19 as it relates directly to the engagement and management of implementing partners. Based on recent trends and developments, it looks ahead as to how the implementing partner modality and management could evolve in the coming years. It also draws up an illustrative list of good practices from United Nations entities.
In December 2021, the Joint Inspection Unit bid farewell to Inspector Jorge Flores Callejas, who departed after serving the Unit for two five-year terms. As an Inspector, he has issued nine system-wide reports and notes covering topics such as cybersecurity, enterprise resource planning, cloud computing, south-south and triangular cooperation, safety and security, climate change and procurement. He also coordinated management and administration reviews of JIU participating organizations such as the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). During his tenure, Inspector Flores has been active to promote the usage of JIU’s work, its findings and conclusions and issued a series of management letters on the consideration and follow-up given by the United Nations system organizations to recommendations prepared by the Unit.
The Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations system elects its Chair and Vice-Chair for 2022 and adopts its programme of work
The Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) concluded the second part of its Winter Session on 11 January 2022. In the first part of the Winter Session, the Inspectors elected Inspector Gopinathan Achamkulangare (India) as Chair and Inspector Tesfa Alem Seyoum (Eritrea) as Vice-Chair of the Unit for 2022. The Unit also adopted its programme of work for 2022 which includes five system-wide projects and the review of management and administration in one of its participating organizations. The programme of work will be presented to the General Assembly at its first resumed seventy-sixth session this year.
The event centered on the JIU report on “Cybersecurity in the United Nations system organizations” JIU/REP/2021/3 (unjiu.org)
The Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) together with the United Nations Secretariat organized an event to discuss the findings of the JIU report on cybersecurity with United Nations system organizations. The event took place on the 4th of November and was chaired by JIU Inspector Jorge Flores Callejas, Chair of the JIU. Remarks were also given by the Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance Ms. Catherine Pollard who said:
“The increased interconnectedness and interdependence of systems and data calls for an approach that recognizes cybersecurity risks as a cross-cutting and collective issue that cannot be addressed in isolation. “
In today’s digitalized world, cybersecurity has emerged as a matter of importance for international organizations, and the United Nations is no exception. The Joint Inspection Unit released its report on cybersecurity in the United Nations system organizations observing significant differences in the approach the participating organizations have taken in their respective responses to cybersecurity threats and in the maturity of their cybersecurity frameworks. Not intended as a technical assessment of the operational arrangements in place across the organizations, the report identifies a series of elements likely to improve the corporate cybersecurity posture of the United Nations system organizations and their capacity to identify, prevent and detect cyberthreats, as well as to respond to and recover from incidents.
Review of United Nations system support for landlocked developing countries to implement the Vienna Programme of Action (JIU/REP/2021/2)
The present report assesses the challenges, opportunities, good practices and lessons learned in the work of UN system organizations to support the 32 landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) to address their lack of access to the sea, remoteness and isolation from international markets, through the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) during its first five years.
The review found that UN system entities cover all the priority areas of the VPoA, to varying degrees, and in ways that are complementary to their mandates and capacities. They do so with a focus on soft assistance, through measures that tap into their expertise in normative work, knowledge development, capacity development and convening power.
Following the periodic meeting with the management committee of the United Nations Secretariat since July 2021, JIU initiated a series of high-level meetings with the heads of its participating organizations. The JIU bureau composed of Inspector Flores Callejas as chair and Inspector Roscher as vice-chair met the executive heads and other officials of ILO, ITU, UNOG, WHO, WIPO and WMO to discuss interactions between the Unit and the organizations. The cooperation shown by participating organizations, their support in data collection such as responding to questionnaires together with the effort made in facilitating interactions, of particular relevance since COVID-19 outbreak, were acknowledged and praised by JIU as an essential aspect of the oversight work conducted by the Unit.
Review of management and administration in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) (JIU/REP/2021/1)
Established in 1950 as a successor of the International Meteorological Organization, WMO recognizes the need to continuously adapt to a rapidly changing world. The need for regular reform is driven by environmental degradation, resource constraints, increased competition and scientific and technical advances. WMO also sees the need to enhance wider engagement of all its Member States and Territories, private and academic sectors, the science community and partner organizations.
Date: 1 April 2021
Please say a few words about “who you were” in your professional life before joining the JIU
A large part of my career resides within the United Nations, where I served in various roles for 27 years. I was a delegate of my country, Eritrea, at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York for 21 years and served on the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for 6 years. Now, I am elected by the UN General Assembly to serve at the JIU for the next five years. In a way you could say that the UN is in me and I am in the UN. Before that, I worked as the Executive Director of a humanitarian organization, assisting victims of wars and famine in the Horn of Africa for 10 years. I was also Accounts and Budget Analyst for the Africa Region with an international NGO based in Nairobi, Kenya, for 5 years in the early years of my career.
The report intends to provide a contribution to the collective efforts triggered by recent overarching strategies on new technologies and the future of work, which address the issue of innovation and the use of digital technologies by the United Nations system in an action-oriented approach.
Blockchain is among the technologies whose interaction and blending of physical, digital and biological systems define the profile of the fourth industrial revolution. Although the technology is still young, weighing the trade-offs and determining regulatory action and operational frameworks should be a subject for multi-stakeholder dialogues, including in the United Nations system. The 2030 Agenda and the strategic calls for innovation that have followed it prompted some organizations to take the lead and pilot blockchain applications, mostly for operational activities.
Date: 9 March 2021
Please say a few words about "who you were" in your professional life before joining the JIU?
I worked for 38 years in the Spanish Administration, in a wide variety of roles, including executive, political and, during the last nine years, control and supervisory functions, as an Inspector of Services of Economy and Finance. To put it briefly, I can say that I am very used to studying and transforming organizations, leading people, designing and drafting policies, budgets and regulations and rules, and measuring results.
Review of mainstreaming environmental sustainability across organizations of the United Nations system (JIU/REP/2020/8)
The current context provides an opportunity for the United Nations organizations to reimagine the system by making their policies, practices and operations, including internal management, environmentally sustainable. They should move away from advocacy practices aimed merely at raising awareness and should instead assume responsibility for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development within their operations and activities. They should fully seize the opportunities arising from the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic for serious digitalization and resource footprint reduction, including in the realm of travel.
The Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations system elects its Chair and Vice-Chair for 2021 and adopts its programme of work
The Inspectors of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) on 12 January elected Inspector Jorge Flores Callejas (Honduras) as Chair and Inspector Gönke Roscher (Germany) as Vice-Chair of the Unit for 2021. The Unit also adopted its programme of work for 2021 at its resumed Winter Session. The programme of work includes five system-wide projects and the reviews of management and administration in two of its participating organizations and will be presented to the General Assembly at its seventy-fifth resumed session later this year.
Multilingualism is both an asset and a shared commitment for all organizations in the United Nations system. Multilingualism is critical for the governance of the organizations in the United Nations system, but also for reaching out to its mandate beneficiaries, the peoples of its Member States.
JIU/REP/2020/5 Enterprise risk management: approaches and uses in United Nations system organizations
Enterprise risk management (ERM) has its roots in the private sector and has value in all sectors, including United Nations system entities. United Nations system organizations are exposed to a myriad of risks while delivering on their mandates –– from fraud and corruption, reputational risks and cybercrime to risks of a political nature, natural and human-made disasters. In its resolution 61/245, the General Assembly endorsed the adoption of ERM in the United Nations system to enhance governance and oversight.
This review examines progress achieved in developing common premises in countries where United Nations country teams operate. It identifies barriers to progress and recommends a range of measures to enable the efficiency and other gains common premises have been intended for, as well as a more far-reaching transformation of the management of the United Nations system’s extensive real estate portfolio in the field.