UNOG General Director meets NGO´s
Report by Frederic Währen
Geneva – About 200 diplomats and delegates of the UN accepted the invitation of the UNOG-General Director Mr. Michal Möller to the 7th edition of the meeting. In his extensive opening address he expresses his happiness being able to continue this tradition at the beginning of the year.
The exact wording can be red by using the following link: https://www.unog.ch/unog/website/dg.nsf/(httpSpeechesByYear_en)/BE6918CC4DAA504AC125823600326C3A?OpenDocument&year=2018&navunid=DA1302D9298CEF1E80256EF700760B0B
Translated summary of his speech (in extracts):
- Mission for peacekeeping will become more flexible, efficient and coherent through the reform of the peacekeeping and security tasks of the United Nations. It also aims to focus the crisis and conflict management on prevention. Another aim of the efforts is to improve the education and equipment of peacekeeping forces and to strengthen mediation efforts.
- Another reform project concerns the development work. Here the focus lies on the adaption of the development system in order to support the implementation of goals in a better way. However the progress of reaching the aims until 2030 is very slowly.
- The General Secretary of the UN strongly engaged for gender equality and words went hand in hand with actions. Last September a Gender-Strategy was created as a starting point for a campaign of the United Nations in order to promote this priority within the organisation. The year 2021 is the deadline for reaching this parity on the top-level management. It is planned to reach the whole parity for all systems several years before 2030.
- Geneva, the home for hundreds of NGO’s, plays a great role concerning the maintenance of this relationship that increases in substantiate charges and absolute terms. 2017 981 NGO’s with an advisory status were registered at the ECOSOC/UN-office in Geneva. This is 13,5 % more than last year. This means that 4.875 NGO-representatives had access to the Palais of the United Nations to take part in meetings and to organise discussions.
- Our General Secretary puts the disarmament at the top of his agenda in order to concentrate on prevention with new determination. In this context there is a new dynamic range to make considerable progress in this area with the High Commissioner for Disarmament Affairs. We hope that the Member States of the United Nations will use this dynamic in order to revive the Conference for Disarmament which is under increasing pressure.
- The efforts to join the international Geneva and Geneva at site have been continued. The “Palais des Nations” had about 14.000 visitors in October on the open day.
- The library and the archives of the UN continue to develop as a “Knowledge and Learning Commons” of the UN Geneva. The archive management was visited 900.000 times last year and it has now a collection of 1,7 million books.
- As part of the obligation being the Gender-Champion 2017 was the first total year of realizing the Geneva equality policy of the United Nations and it was dedicated to the support of women. The first “UN Geneva Gender Steering Group” was created. Training courses were offered to employees concerning “unconscious prejudices”. Female employees in leading positions have been trained and there was a survey on gender awareness. Furthermore specific measures will be initiated to improve the representation of women at all levels and to reach the Level 50/50. An integrative and conducive corporate culture without any gender-specific distorting has to be established. The equality between men and women and the support of the role of women at work has to be granted by the UNO Geneva. With 46,5 % at the end of 2017 the UN-office in Geneva is near to the goal of the organisation for the quality between men and women. 2016 the percentage of women on the management level is about 44 % to 41 %, in 2015 it was 38,6 %.
- The remarks about the financial situation of the UN-Geneva were less optimistically. The resolution of the General Assembly from December 2017 to fix the budget of the UN for 2018 – 2019 for 286 million USD under the budget of last year will have significant effects for the UNO Geneva. The Member States are proactively informed about the effects of the reduction of the financial resources for the activities of the Palais des Nations. This is a great challenge for the coming years.
Following the presentation a lot of questions and votes from the plenary were answered. Mr. Möller once again received the greatest acclaim for his deep commitment and his “open ear” for the NGO’s and their representatives.
Here some picture impressions: