UNDP Leadership Week at UN Campus Bonn: The driving force of the UN reform agenda

BONN – The new UNDP Resident Representatives gathered in Bonn/Germany from 4 – 8 February to finalize their preparations for the implementation of the Secretary-General’s reform of the UN Development System. A focus was on discussing the UNDP Strategic Plan and the challenges of digital transformation.

Following a world-wide search, assessment and selection process, the new Resident Representatives will now lead the organization’s development work across the globe. “It presents a unique opportunity to decisively strengthen the UN development system,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner during his visit to Bonn.

Shortly after the launch in January 2019 of the new UNDP Accelerator Labs in 60 developing countries, the UNDP Administrator briefed the new team leaders on how the Labs will become an integral part of the programme’s country teams and infrastructure to enable a culture of innovation.

The Resident Representatives will direct UNDP’s work at country level across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 – from eradicating poverty to supporting governance and rule of law to accelerating action on climate change.

UNDP works in over 170 countries. For the past 40 years, the same person filled the role of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative at the country level. That changed in May 2018 when UN Member States supported a significant reform of the UN’s development system, separating these roles into two distinct positions. 116 of the 126 Resident Coordinators opted to remain in that role, meaning the same number of UNDP Resident Representative positions needed to be filled by early 2019 to maintain UNDP’s operational capacity. The newly selected leadership has a 50:50 gender ratio and is geographically diverse.

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