Committed to reforms

We will continue to forge ahead with reforms, and we are committed to doing even more to improve effectiveness and better support Member States.

Conflicts are upending the globe.

Poverty and hunger are on the rise.

The number of refugees and internally displaced persons is reaching new highs.

Financing for development is coming too little and too late.

Our commitments to combat the climate crisis pale in comparison to the scale of this existential threat.

Meanwhile, the pandemic and its impacts are far from over.

The role of the United Nations has never been more vital — and we are stepping up.

We are improving our adaptability and breaking silos.

Our reforms continue to help us deliver better.

More than nine out of ten governments expressed appreciation for the Covid-19 responses of the UN development system — from health to humanitarian assistance and socio-economic support.

Ninety-one percent of host governments indicated that the United Nations today is more relevant to their country’s development needs.

In 2021, our repositioned UN country teams helped deliver 1.4 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines; facilitated access to nearly 50 million out-of-school children — half of them girls; extended access to water and sanitation to close to 50 million people; and supported 70 countries to strengthen regulations for decent work for persons with disabilities.

The rapid adaptation to the Covid-19 pandemic is visible testimony to the agility of our responses under the annual program budget.

The new peace and security architecture is more integrated, with our Peacebuilding Office serving as a hinge between peace and security and development.

I am proud that our reforms have allowed us not only to respond quickly and effectively to the challenges of an unprecedented global pandemic, but also enabled us to survive one of the worst financial crises for the United Nations in more than a decade.

I am proud to report that we are on a positive trajectory towards achieving gender parity across the United Nations system.

We achieved gender parity among senior leadership for the first time in UN history — and we did so two years ahead of schedule.

In the Secretariat, the proportion of women in the professional categories and above has increased to over 42 percent from 37 percent in 2017 — a 15 percent annual increase.

I am also pleased to report meaningful results in our efforts to achieve more equitable geographical representation in the Secretariat — and this is despite the slower pace of recruitment over the last few years due to hiring restrictions forced by the precarious liquidity situation and the evolution of the retirement age.

Between 2016 and 2021, the number of under-represented countries dropped by approximately 20 percent from 44 to 36 countries.

We will continue to forge ahead with reforms, and we are committed to doing even more to improve effectiveness and better support Member States.

Excerpts from the Secretary-General’s remarks to the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly on 12 October 2022.


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