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 enhanced authority delegated to the three CEB pillars further facilitated an accelerated decision-making process during formal CEB sessions and allowed executive heads extended time to focus on deliberations of a policy character.

CEB took action on a number of substantive issues during the reporting period. They ranged from the harmonization of business practices in the United Nations to facilitate the system’s ability to deliver better results, to developing a common United Nations system position towards climate change. The Board also agreed on a United Nations system strategy to help developing countries confront the emerging global food crisis in the context, in particular, of system-wide activities for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and poverty alleviation. The Board’s efforts to further all these issues are expected to continue in the period ahead.

The executive heads of United Nations system organizations remain committed to furthering coherent approaches to system-wide themes, building on the mandate provided to them by their respective governing bodies to assist Member States in achieving concrete results in the implementation of intergovernmental mandates.