Photo credit: UN - Photo: 2019

UNDP Selects Next Generation Of Leadership Worldwide

By Caroline Mwanga

NEW YORK  (IDN) – While the vast majority of the senior leadership of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – 126 Resident Representatives – were slated to leave the organization simultaneously on December 31, 2018, a new pool of world class talent has been selected to lead the UNDP’s development work across the globe.

The new pool is not only 50:50 gender balanced and geographically diverse, it also implies a significant leap forward in preparing to play a crucial role in the implementation of the Secretary-General’s reform of the United Nations Development System.

“It was a figurative hike up Mount Everest, but it also presented a unique opportunity for UNDP to dramatically reshape the next generation of UNDP leadership in the countries we serve,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.

“These new team leaders will direct UNDP’s work at country level across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 – from eradicating poverty to supporting governance and rule of law to accelerating action on climate change. Getting the right people is a precondition to enabling UNDP to deliver world class, cutting edge advice and support,” noted Steiner.

The 17 Goals with 169 targets were endorsed by the international community, and is now in the fourth year of implementation.

UNDP works in over 170 countries. For nearly 40 years, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative roles have been combined into one position.  That changed in May 2018 when UN Member States backed 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 would need to be filled by early 2019 to maintain UNDP’s operational capacity.

“Our new Human Resources Director pulled together a team that embraced partnerships and technology to ensure a rigorous, objective, and transparent process,” the UNDP Administrator added.

“This herculean effort succeeded in building an all new talent pool for future UNDP Resident Representatives that is geographically diverse, has a 50:50 gender ratio, and attracted 3,500 applications from highly talented individuals inside and outside UNDP,” he said.

“I look forward to working with this new generation of UNDP leaders who will lead our team in their endeavours to offer innovative and exciting development solutions to the people and governments we serve.”

Early December, Human Resource professionals from across international organizations awarded UNDP’s Human Resources team the ‘Innovation in Recruitment Prize’ for this selection process.

The new pool of candidates will now be submitted to the governments in their respective countries for formal approval prior to appointment.

In the same period, Steiner has added 5 new members to his senior leadership team earlier in 2018: Ahunna Eziakonwa of Nigeria, Ulrika Modeér of Sweden, Asako Okai of Japan, and Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva of Mexico, and Mirjana Spoljaric of Switzerland. UNDP’s senior leadership team represents 10 countries from each region UNDP serves and is 50:50 gender balanced. [IDN-InDepthNews – 05 January 2019]

Photo credit: UN

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.

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