Under the chairmanship of the Secretary General, the CEB provides coordination and strategic direction for the system as a whole in areas under the responsibility of executive heads. Focus is placed on inter-agency priorities and initiatives, while ensuring that the independent mandates of organizations are maintained. The CEB meets twice a year and in addition to session reports, an Annual Overview Report summarises the collective impact of member organizations.

Substantive inter-agency work is carried out by the CEB's three pillars: the High Level Committee for Programmes (HLCP), the High Level Committee for Management (HLCM) and the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). These bodies meet twice a year prior to CEB meetings, in order to ensure that their work feeds into CEB discussions. These pillars provide direction and guidance to substantive networks, working groups and task forces in each area under their responsibility. Agendas focus on harmonising efforts between organizations, but new and emerging issues that require policy coherence are also addressed, such as the global financial and economic crisis and climate change.  

Work is generally carried out by clusters of interested organizations, under the leadership of a volunteering “lead” agency. The day to day coordination of the work of the CEB and its pillars is done by the CEB Secretariat (for the High Level Committees) and by the United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO) for the UNDG.

The UN System

The United Nations system is made up of the organizations established by the Charter of the United Nations, that is, the United Nations proper, the specialized agencies provided for in Article 57 of the Charter and a number of programmes established by the General Assembly under its authority derived from Article 22 of the Charter.

Former Bodies

The origins of the CEB date back to 1946 when the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) was established, pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 13 (III), as a standing committee under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

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