Press Releases

    7 May 2002


    New Executive Director sets out priorities on first day in Vienna post

    VIENNA, 7 May (UN Information Service) -- Good governance, clear strategic priorities and a stable budget are among key priorities for the new Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), Mr. Antonio Maria Costa who assumed his functions today.

    In an address to staff on his first day as Director-General, Mr. Costa said that good governance was fundamental for credibility and accountability. "Good governance is indeed a question of sound management and transparent working practices," he stated, "but it is also about accountability through open communication with the outside. To enforce this process I intend, with your help, to develop new instruments of compliance, control and evaluation, and establish new venues to consult with Member States regarding their priorities."

    Five key aspects of the work of the UN Office at Vienna were highlighted by Mr. Costa in his address: good governance, setting strategic operational and institutional priorities, achieving stable and predictable funding, good staff-management relations and internal and external communication. He said that he saw credibility and funding as two sides of the same coin: "The resources made available to us will not be regarded as ‘an entitlement to spend’, but rather as ‘a commitment to deliver’."

    Mr. Costa thanked Mr. Steinar B. Bjornsson who was designated as Officer-in-Charge from 1 January 2002 for his hard work during the transition period. He also reinforced the need for action on the five key areas to be taken quickly and he spoke in support of the UN Secretary-General’s second term reforms.

    As Director-General, Mr. Costa will lead the United Nations Office at Vienna, one of the four worldwide headquarters of the UN. Mr. Costa is also the Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) which consists of the UN International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the UN Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP).

    Formerly the Secretary-General of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, Mr. Costa of Italy was appointed by the Secretary-General in March.

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