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This report provides an overview of major developments in inter-agency cooperation within the framework of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), during the period covering its fall session 2007 and its spring session 2008.

During the reporting period, the review of the CEB structure and working methods came to a close. A significant outcome of the review was the integration of the United Nations Development Group into the CEB framework as a third pillar of the Board, alongside its two standing subsidiary bodies, the High-Level Committee on Management and the High-Level Committee on Programmes. The CEB spring session 2008 was the first meeting under the new structure. Overall, innovations introduced as a result of the review are expected to strengthen the role of the Board and make its functioning more efficient.


The period 2007/08 has seen significant progress in enhancing the role and functioning of the CEB as an effective coordinating mechanism of the United Nations system. The review of the CEB that was completed during the reporting period served to consolidate the key coordination functions of operational activities at the country level, that is, the harmonization of management functions and programme coordination under an integrated structure, enabling a comprehensive approach towards United Nations system-wide coordination.


The 2007/08 reporting period marked several important events that have contributed to the continuous efforts of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) to further coordination and cooperation among United Nations system organizations on a wide range of programme, management and operational issues. The increasingly vocal calls from the international community for a more effective, coherent and better performing United Nations elevated the Chief Executives Board to new prominence in intergovernmental debates.

Programme issues

While Chief Executives Board considered a number of substantive programme issues during the reporting period, the issues of climate change and support to development in Africa featured high on the Board’s agenda. The nature and scope of those issues require that they be addressed through a coordinated and sustained effort that CEB is well positioned to provide.

Management issues

The Board’s consideration of management issues during the period 2007/08 focused on enhanced coherence in the working modalities of member organizations. Inspired by the ongoing deliberations on system-wide coherence, which highlighted the key role that improved business practices could play in the United Nations system’s ability to deliver better results, a plan of action for the harmonization of business practices in the United Nations system was elaborated under the auspices of the High-Level Committee on Management.

Operational issues

The CEB session in Bern, Switzerland, on 28-29 April 2008 marked the first Board meeting with the United Nations Development Group formally reporting as part of the CEB structure. The Board acknowledged with appreciation the progress that had been made in operationalizing the integration of the Group as a third pillar of the CEB framework.

Year-long United Nations system-wide human rights advocacy campaign

The Chief Executives Board considered a proposal for an initiative, under the leadership of the Secretary-General, for a year-long United Nations system-wide human rights advocacy campaign to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights requested that United Nations organizations situate their own work within the scope of the Declaration and offered the assistance of her office to CEB members in developing their own celebrations and commemorations over the year, to demonstrate that the United Nation