Kurumlararası Operasyon Toplantısı


Remarks from

Mahmood A. Ayub

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

Istanbul, Hotel Richmond


Allow me to begin by welcoming participants from all the regions, from the regional bureaux and from Headquarters. I sincerely hope that your stay in this unique city will not only be useful but also enjoyable.

This type of regional meeting of ExCom operations managers is still unique to this region. And even in this region, this is the second such meeting. The pilot was in Copenhagen in October 2005.

I think you are well aware of the overall objective of this get together.  It is, of course, to provide a unique forum for UNDG ExCom agency operations professionals to discuss common operational issues, and to share information and learn together from one another.

There is also a sense of urgency about this meeting, in view of the High Level Panel’s recommendations in its “Delivering as One” Report, with its focus on the development of a joint framework and joint office.

I don’t think I need to tell you that the UN is under intense scrutiny. It is being asked to deliver more, and to do so more effectively. We have to remain relevant and effective or else you can be sure that the available funding will go elsewhere. As it is, our share of Official Development Assistance is less than 10%.

What does the UN family need to do to remain relevant and effective?

  • Clearly we must drive the reform and to be seen as driving the reform
  • We must strive for operational simplification and harmonization
  • We must seek strategic partnerships within as well as outside the organization
  • We must be opportunistic and tactical where it helps our cause by availing of high-value “low hanging fruits” in our work.
  • We must avoid complacency at all costs—since there is absolutely no room for it.
  • We must be more accountable—and seen to be so—to our donors, to governments, and above all to the citizens of the countries we serve.
  • Last, but definitely not least, we must be more effective and more efficient in all our work.

All these exigencies of course have a major relevance for all our work, and especially your work. We cannot have effective and efficient programme delivery without solid operational support. We simply CANNOT.

  • We have to continuously strive for renewal, renovation, cleaning house.
  • We have to aim for reducing transaction costs
  • We need to consult more with each other
  • We have to harmonize operational systems wherever and whenever possible—and the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) roll-out going on now is a good example

Our challenges seem daunting. But very honestly we also have a great deal going for us. And as one who has moved recently to the UN family from the World Bank where I worked for almost thirty years, I can say this without any vested interest.

  • People may complain a great deal about the UN but the truth is that even its harshest critics admit that it is still the only viable global body that has credibility.
  • It is not the UN money that makes the difference. It is our technical capacity, our role as an honest broker, our neutrality, our convening power, our membership, and our constituency that makes us unique.

And so I come back to the critically important role that this meeting has in moving us in the direction of greater effectiveness and efficiency.  I sincerely hope that this two-day event will generate concrete and attainable results within the country and regional context.

  • I am hopeful that you will come up with concrete ideas on joint office development
  • I am hopeful that you will have a solid discussion on attainable common services
  • I am hopeful that you will learn more about ExCom agency adoption of the new International Public Sector Accounting Standards ( IPSAS)
  • I am hopeful that you will have frank and open and collegial discussions on the viability of HACT in this region
  • I am hopeful that you will learn more about HIV/AIDS in the workplace, and how best to address this issue with courage and sensitivity as a team and as a family

I am sorry I have taken more time than I intended to. Let me thank you all for the time you have taken to attend this meeting. In particular, my sincere thanks to:

Mike Pozdol, Svend Madsen, Martina Clark, Jonathan Ball, Sam Momanyi, Gurhan Aydeniz, Thomas Haettenschwiller, Danijela Mirkovic, my colleague from the UN Country Team in Ankara Eddie McLoughney, and last but not least Olga Mikhailova who has worked behind the scenes stitching all this together.

Good luck and thank you very much.

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