The UN development system stands at a crossroads. It can either embrace the deepreform required to remain relevant to development in today’s global economy, or face the prospect of continued marginalisation. The path chosen at this juncture depends on the commitment of all relevant actors – UN agencies and governments – as well as strong leadership: from governments, from within the UN development system, and from the Secretary-General.
The magnitude and enormity of global challenges and changes require of the UN development system a major repositioning, well beyond the current focus on operational effectiveness.
The Secretary-General has taken initiatives to establish task forces on food security, Every Woman, Every Child, and Energy for all. A key challenge is whether it will prove possible to institutionalise these arrangements and use them as an instrument to drive strategic reform throughout the system.