Access for UN staff only



On 14 October 2015, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon led an Umoja Global Townhall Meeting for UN Staff.  USG Yukio Takasu of the Department of Management, USG Atul Khare of the Department of Field Support, ASG Ernesto Baca of Umoja and ASG Carole Wainaina of the Office of Human Resource Management,  joined the SG at the podium.

The meeting was held in preparation for the deployment of Umoja on 9 November 2015 at all UN Offices headquartered in New York, Geneva and Vienna -including the offices they support- ESCWA, ECA, ECLAC, International Tribunals, and nearly 40 DFS-supported Missions across the globe. This means that an additional 12,000 staff will soon begin using the solution.

In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General said “Umoja is not an option. It is a necessity. We need to hit the ground running in 2016. In this time of peril and turmoil around the world, we absolutely need Umoja to enable us to continue delivering on our mandates... Umoja will allow us to learn what we can accomplish when we are unencumbered by an outdated administrative system”.

The speakers emphasized the amount of thought and effort put into the design and build of the Umoja solution, taking into account the varying needs of all users and duty stations. The solution will harmonize and standardize our processes and enable other critical reform initiatives, such as the Mobility Framework and the future Global Service Delivery Model.

The panel also stressed that as with any complex business transformation initiative, there will be challenges in the months following roll-out and that management commitment and strong teamwork will be essential to overcome any potential issue impacting the operation.

Among other issues, the speakers also assured staff that a successful and on-time disbursement of payroll using the new solution is the highest priority for senior management and that a thorough contingency plan is in place to ensure that staff receive their salaries. Following remarks from the panel, the floor was opened for questions from UN Offices , Regional Commissions and Field Missions.. Questions were asked and answered on issues ranging from the impact of Umoja on staff, particularly on staff retention and on temporary contract holders and retirees, the effect of Umoja on projects and posts which depend on voluntary contributions, challenges in Umoja user training, and the ways in which Umoja will work with other Secretariat-wide initiatives.

In their responses, the panel took the opportunity to reassure staff that  while the transition to Umoja and a new way of doing business will be challenging at times, every effort is being made to support the transition to “the new normal”  -  Umoja.

The officials emphasized that Umoja is ultimately “a means to an end”. Umoja will help enable the UN to address operational needs with greater agility, and better adapt to modern challenges.

The archived webcast of the Umoja Townhall Meeting is available at:

For more information, user updates, and Umoja Self-Service tutorials, please visit the Umoja website at