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The year 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the JIU which was established at the 21st session of the United Nations General Assembly as the only independent external oversight body of the United Nations System. At the time, the Unit was an innovative creation of the General Assembly: it was and remains the only entity mandated with conducting inspections, evaluations and investigations system-wide.
The JIUs mandate is to look at cross-cutting issues and to act as an agent for change across the United Nations system. JIU works to secure management and administrative efficiency and to promote greater coordination both between UN agencies and with other internal and external oversight bodies. For the past 50 years, the Unit has been dedicated to assisting the legislative bodies of numerous United Nations organizations and agencies in meeting their governance responsibilities. JIU provides support in the context of these agencies’ oversight function regarding human, financial and other resources. In its reports and notes, JIU identifies best practices, proposes benchmarks and facilitates information-sharing throughout all the organizations of the UN system that have adopted its Statute.
The 50th anniversary represented an opportunity for the Unit to reflect upon its progress on many fronts while recommitting itself to better serving the interests of its participating organizations and their Member States. To commemorate this occasion, JIU launched a communications campaign, during which the organization held several events and published a series of articles highlighting its work and achievements since 1966. The 50th anniversary campaign also coincided with the 4th Biennial Meeting of JIU Focal Points, which brought together representatives of the organizations who have joined the JIU Statute. On this occasion, JIU inspectors and staff have had a chance to reflect on improvements for JIUs work and to interact with participating organizations. As part of this celebration, the gathering of focal points also included a panel discussion entitled “Oversight in the United Nations system: challenges and opportunities for the JIU.” The panel included representatives from the United Nations oversight community, from the JIU’s participating organizations and from the Unit itself.
The articles found below were part of a series to commemorate the Joint Inspection Unit’s 50th anniversary and highlight its work and achievements over the last 50 years.