Loading

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, the Executive Board of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme meeting commenced at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), Kenya.

Agenda Item 1: Opening of the Meeting

The meeting began with opening remarks by the Chair of the Executive Board, Mr. Daniel Carl of the United States of America , who noted that the Executive Board during its first meeting on 30 May 2019, on the side-lines of the UN-Habitat Assembly, decided to suspend the first meeting and to resume from 18 to 20 November 2019. He also noted that the Bureau of the Executive Board met three times:

The Bureau recommended during its meetings that the resumed meeting of the Executive Board should be held from 19 - 20 November 2019. His remarks were followed by a statement from UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif who provided an update on UN-Habitat’s current reform process with respect to the organization’s financial situation and stressed the importance of working with Member States to build up competency, accountability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of the agency.

She also thanked Member States, particularly Norway, Sweden and Kenya for their continued financial support. However, the Executive Director emphasized that the “organization is not out of the woods yet” with respect to the deficit realized and pleaded with the Member States to continue supporting the strengthening and long-term sustainability of UN-Habitat.

The opening statements concluded with remarks by Hon. Chris Obure, on behalf of the Republic of Kenya’s Minister for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. James Macharia who committed to supporting the work of UN-Habitat and encouraged Member States to pledge financially to UN-Habitat.

Agenda Item 2: Organizational Matters

The Executive Board adopted the meeting’s agenda and took note of the Report of its meeting held on 30 May 2019. The morning session focused on three key issues:

  1. Report on financial, budgetary and administrative matters of UN-Habitat (HSP/EB/1/6)
  2. Financial report and audited financial statement for the financial year ended 31 December 2018
  3. Report of the Board of Auditors (A/74/5/Add.9) including UN-Habitat Staffing Reports as of 30th June 2019 (HSP/EB.1/INF.2).

Agenda Item 3: Financial, budgetary and administrative matters of UN-Habitat

The Executive Director noted that UN-Habitat instituted a number of austerity measures such as a recruitment freeze, travel limitations, and contract extensions due to the deficit challenges. This has resulted in many colleagues carrying heavy workloads and increasing the loss of talent and institutional knowledge.

The discussions focused on the need for:

The Executive Board approved $18.9 million budget for foundation non-earmarked; and took note of:

  • Regular budget ($11.2 million)
  • Programme support budget ($10.6 million)
  • Foundation earmarked budget ($63.5 million)
  • Technical cooperation budget ($147.4 million)

The total budget for all these five segments (Including foundation non-earmarked budget) is ($251.6 million)

Financial Report and audited financial statements for the financial year ended 31 December 2018 and Report of the Board of Auditors (A/74/5/Add.9)

Key Recommendations

  1. Call for Member States to honour their pledges on time to help UN-Habitat deliver its core mandate and support LDC
  2. Member States welcome the report of auditors
  3. Member States encouraged UN-Habitat to propose a realistic budget
  4. Member States encouraged UN-Habitat to use funds to improve the lives of people living in poverty
  5. Call upon UN-Habitat for more transparency and accountability
  6. Call upon the creation of an ad hoc working group on budgetary issues

UN-Habitat Staffing Reports as of 30th June 2019 (HSP/EB.1/INF.2)

Key Recommendations

Agenda Item 4: Approval of the Annual Work Programme and Budget of UN-Habitat

Member states discussions focused on the need for:

  1. The Work Programme to clearly describe, more specifically, how it delivers on the Strategic Plan
  2. Better articulation of how sub-programmes were prioritized (based on pledged);
  3. United Nations reform to be better reflected in the 2020 Work Programme
  4. Regular contribution invested in the normative work to create more balance
  5. Support of new structure and new Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023
  6. Establishment of an ad hoc working group on budget
  7. More accountability of contributions made

UN-Habitat reiterated:

  1. UN-Habitat reform is aligned with the UN reform, particularly the decentralization pillar
  2. UN-Habitat will prioritize and meet the shortfall through partnerships to help reduce cost and support the programme delivery (including collaborative efforts with UNDP, UNIC), engage with Resident Coordinators to work on cooperation programme
  3. UN-Habitat will work more with NGOs and professional to implement the work programme

The discussion highlighted the ambitious budget and the need for support to realize the budget target. Continuous effort is needed to yield the trust and donors' contribution.

It was recommended that the Secretariat:

  • Provides more details and guidance on the scenarios
  • Better articulates how sub-programmes were prioritized (based on pledged);
  • Clarifies where the funds will be coming from, where will they go, who will benefit
  • Clarifies who will be the target beneficiaries
  • Clarifies how to balance normative and operational work
  • Further clarifies how to ensure that the transition plan from the current structure and programme to new programme will accommodate ongoing projects

At the end of the first day:

  1. Executive Board took note of the report on financial, budgetary and administrative matters of UN-Habitat (HSP/EB/1/6)
  2. Executive Board took note of the report on Financial report and audited financial statement for the financial year ended 31 December 2018 and report of the Board of Auditors (A/74/5/Add.9)
  3. Executive Board took note of the report on UN-Habitat Staffing Reports as of 30th June 2019 (HSP/EB.1/INF.2)
  4. The Strategic Plan was approved and decision adopted

For more information, check out our website, Youtube Channel and photos

Credits:

UN-Habitat