19 May 2006

Deputy Secretary-General Meets with European Commission Vice-President

NEW YORK, 18 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is a joint communiqué by Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Mark Malloch Brown, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, issued today:

Mr Kallas and Mr. Malloch Brown met on 18 May 2006.

Mr. Kallas and Mr. Malloch Brown noted their common commitment in adapting their multinational organizations to evolving challenges.  They shared the belief that improved budgetary, financial and human resource practices are essential to enable an efficient and effective conduct of work.

The European Commission accomplished a major internal reform of its administration between 1999 and 2005 and gained valuable technical experience in this regard.  Many of the topics raised in the current discussion about improving United Nations budgetary, financial and human resource policies are similar to those that were -- and continue to be -- of particular importance to the European Commission.  It is the common interest of both sides to share their knowledge, experiences, best practices and reflections in this area.

Based on these considerations, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Siim Kallas, and the Deputy Secretary-General have asked their colleagues to examine possible ways to exchange information and best practices in the areas of planning and budgeting, human resources, simplification of administrative procedures, financial management and controls, and audit, accountability and transparency.

The technical details of this cooperation in the above mentioned areas will be discussed at operational level in the coming weeks, and could entail exchange of available information, organization of lectures or workshops at the United Nations or the Commission, information visits and exchanges of officials.

Siim Kallas and Mark Malloch Brown concurred that, in light of these discussions, the necessary elements to implement this exchange should be agreed between both sides, later this year.

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