Review of measures and mechanisms for addressing racism and racial discrimination in the UN system organizations - JIU/NOTE/2022/1/Rev.1

The Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations system (JIU) is pleased to share the Review Highlights and Full Report for the Review of measures and mechanisms for addressing racism and racial discrimination in United Nations system organizations: managing for achieving organizational effectiveness, prepared by Inspector Sukai Prom-Jackson.  


What are the next steps to initiate to improve and to advance ongoing work to address racism and racial discrimination? What are the reflections and actions that need to be taken for transformative changes in addressing racism and racial discrimination, in view of global changes and challenges and the imperatives of a world characterized as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous?


This review answers these questions by assessing:


  • the magnitude and the forms and configurations of racism and racial discrimination across organizations in the UN system,
  • the organizational stage of development in addressing racism and racial discrimination, i.e., the measures and mechanisms adopted and implemented to enhance effectiveness, impact, coherence, continued relevance, and sustainability,
  • the dynamism and continued relevance of the work of organizations, i.e., the plans for next steps and for continued relevance considering global changes and challenges.


The review finds that while there has been progress in certain parts of the UN system, racism and racial discrimination are major and under-recognized problems that require urgent system-wide responses. Racism and racial discrimination are widespread throughout and the magnitude is high, based on evidence of prevalence, form, and effects of racism and racial discrimination. Results show that one in every five surveyed respondents has been racially discriminated against or harassed in the UN system.


Addressing racism and racial discrimination in a way that would add value and enhance organizational effectiveness cannot be ad hoc and piecemeal. The review identifies 9 pillars and 35 associated measures and mechanisms or components that are important for enhancing the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, impact, sustainability and continued relevance and alignment with changing times.


The JIU makes 6 recommendations addressed to the executive heads of the UN system organizations for action. As a result, the review has been issued as a Note as it does not contain recommendations to the governing bodies of the Participating Organizations.

Access the full report here

Access the review highlights and the complementary file here


Pillars of performance and associated components