New York, 2 June 2015


Dear Colleagues,

Thank you all for being here for an important moment in the life of our United Nations. A special welcome to those joining by video conference.

We are here to mark a tremendous achievement and to acknowledge the hard work of staff around the world who have made this happen.

Umoja is a signature step in strengthening the United Nations to meet the high expectations of the world’s people. Umoja will help us to manage our financial and human resources and support services globally.

However, Umoja is not just a management or IT tool. It is part of our push to transform the United Nations into a more modern, flexible and global organization that can better respond to the mandates of our Member States and the needs of the world’s people.

I commend all those colleagues who are dedicating so much of their time and energy towards realizing our vision for Umoja. I especially applaud Under-Secretary-General Takasu as Project Owner, and Assistant Secretary-General Baca, for their leadership and commitment.

Today we go live with Cluster 3, which includes ESCAP, UNON, UN-Habitat, UNEP and OCHA globally, including New York and Geneva.  The leaders of these offices have proven what can be done when we work together as one.

The Department of Field Support continues to do its part for Umoja.  Some weeks ago, MINUSTAH completed its pilot exercise.

Umoja is a hugely  complex undertaking. The main challenge is organizational readiness, for management and staff alike. There is no precedent for management reform in the UN Secretariat on such an immense scale.

I am proud of the way the extended Umoja team and its partners continue to meet the challenges.  As we move towards the next phase of deployment, it will take even more effort. I expect senior managers of the Secretariat to lead this process collectively, as reflected in their compacts with me.

I am committed to ensuring that a robust plan for Cluster 4 is in place and is implemented.  

But today, congratulations are in order for the on-time deployment of Cluster 3.  Since staff put in many long hours to get to this point, I would also like to thank their families for their support from behind the scenes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Umoja is the tool that will help make the United Nations fit for purpose in the 21st century. Let us continue to move forward towards a new way of working.

Congratulations and thank you.