by William M. Reilly
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' annual report card on the United Nations' organization sees multilateralism as the only way to meet global challenges, his spokesman said on Tuesday.
Stephane Dujarric, speaking for the UN chief and the organization, said the annual report highlights the importance of multilateralism as "the only path to address global challenges."
He said it "shows the progress made over the last year in maintaining peace and security, protecting human rights, and promoting sustainable development."
It also "underlines the importance of building partnerships with (UN) Member States, regional and international organizations and civil society to find solutions to global problems that no nation alone can resolve," said Dujarric, quoting the 80-page, glossy, soft-cover report.
Interspersed with pages of color photos and graphics, the report is divided into three basic sections after the introduction, including "The work of the Organization" and "Strengthening the Organization."
The eight chapters on the UN's work focus on the promotion of sustained economic growth and development, maintenance of international peace and security, development of Africa, protection of human rights, coordination of humanitarian assistance, promotion of justice and international law, disarmament, drug control, crime prevention and combating terrorism.
"A significant endeavor in the past year has been my reform effort that aims at making the organization more effective, nimble, field-focused and efficient to serve member states and their populations," the UN chief wrote. "This is the first time that the United Nations has embarked on a reform agenda of this scale."
He listed some of his efforts as repositioning the UN development system to support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, "Enhancing Coherence of Peace and Security Activities" by making the organization more "nimble and effective" through an overall approach that "prioritizes prevention and sustaining peace."
In addition to management reform, Guterres said the organization was taking "concrete steps to eradicate sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) as well as sexual harassment."
"I have launched a 24-hour helpline for colleagues to access information and confidential support," he said. "The Office of Internal Oversight Services is implementing a fast track procedure to receive, process and address all sexual harassment complaints. In addition, the United Nations is creating a specialized (SEA) investigation team."
Guterres also seeks in sub-chapters to protect whistleblowers, work on "Enterprise Risk Management," "Leverage Technology and Innovation," make the budgets a "Tool for Greater Accountability" and continue the UN's "commitment to the duty of care for its people," including a security management "umbrella" over more than 50 UN entities.
His conclusion looked to the 75th anniversary of the world organization in 2020.
"We must continue to innovate as ongoing events and problems shift beneath our feet," The UN chief said. "Peace, inclusive and sustainable development and human rights are intrinsically intertwined, and prevention permeates every path to success."
"The United Nations continues to offer a platform where member states, regional organizations and civil society can find solutions to global problems that no nation acting alone can resolve," Guterres said. "Working together multilaterally is not optional; it is the only answer."