The world faces global challenges in area of

  • security and peace,
  • economy,
  • health,
  • environment,
  • ...
Visualisation of Systemic Connectivity

e.g. triggered by climate change. Multidisciplinary efforts are necessary to solve these problems and thus improvement of links between different UN Organisations could help support this collaborative efforts of mankind.

In this learning resource you will be introduces to the concept of One United Nations.

Learning Task edit

  • (Global Challenges) Global Challenges need a integrated problem solving approach considering social, humanitarian, economical, environmental, ... factors that determine the risk on a global scale. Explain the role of One United Nations to contribute to global challenges like Climate Change.
  • (One Health) Explain conceptual similarities differences between One Health and One United Nations. One Health connects human, animal and environmental health as a joint collaborative problem solving strategy.
    • Identify United Nations Bodies, Programmes and Agenciesm that need to work together for an One Health approach,
    • Aa an example we select a huge flooding in a developing country. To assess the extend of a flooding you can use satellite images and provide rapid mapping[1]. The disaster management agencies and NGOs support governments and local affected communities (see UN-SPIDER and UNDAC). Due to damages of the supply chain in infrastructure Cholera epidemic occur especially in developing countries (see WHO). Meteorology is important for an assessment upcoming and spatial risk assessment (see WMO). Furthermore extreme rainfalls cause massive socio-economic impact. Analyse current activities in that area within the agency and how they are linked to eachother.
    • Describe the benefits and challenges on United Nations is "Delivering as One"[2].
  • (Health, Security, Operational Infrastructure and Disease Control) Ebola outbrake seem to be health related issues, that WHO is responsible for. Due to fact that Ebola is a high infectious disease a rising epidemic causes an impact on public security and as an implication of the fact the availability of public services and infrastructure including economic supply chains. Analyse the last Ebola outbreak in terms of implications and impacts beyond health related issues. Furthermore even available risk mitigation effort (e.g. by Medicine Sans Frontiere[3]) are affected if public security for the doctors and medical staff cannot be assured. A major humanitarian support and a very important activity for the disease control cannot be performed, if they staff cannot operate in an affected region anymore. Analyse the disease and create a MindMap (e.g. with the opensource tool FreeMind[4] of affected infrastructure of the health service delivery and beyond.

Introduction edit

The examples in the learning task show that intergovernmental decision-making on the operational activities of the United Nations system have a lot of cross-sectorial dependencies. Especially with time constraints in major disasters the governmental decision making can be dependent on international support coordinated by United Nations. To enhance coherence, efficiency and effectiveness is a driver for "One United Nations". The necessary expertise in intergovermental decision-making in an agency like WHO is linked to other areas. The concept of “Delivering as one” is domain and problem specific. As the examples in the learning task show, WHO would be linked to other UN bodies, agencies and programmes for Ebola in comparsion to a flooding. Both examples are humanitarian, socio-economic disasters, but the role of meteorology in the problem solving approach is different.

Background to “Delivering as one” edit

In United Nation any new approach needs an aggreement among the member states. In 2005 the World Summit Outcome delivered by General Assembly resolution 60/1[5] identified these challenges in many areas and thus the resolutions contained suggestions on making the United Nations development system more coherent, effective and relevant for the internal member states decision making and intergovermental affairs that affect more UN Member States. Beside the fact that operational reforms are recommended a systems thinking approach is visible in aimed at strengthening the results of United Nations country activities through such measures as an enhanced role for the senior resident official, whether special representative, resident coordinator or humanitarian coordinator, and a common management, programming and monitoring framework.

Opimization, Efficiency and Synergy edit

The application of then One UN concept and the potential benefits will be demonstrated by joined usage of satellite images. Satellite images are used within the UN system in many offices and department[6],

  • UN-DPKO,
  • UN-OCHA,
  • UN-HCR,
  • UN-WFP
  • FAO,
  • UNODC,
  • UNDP,
  • UNEP
  • UN-Habitat
  • UN-ECA
  • WHO
  • UN-GlobalPulse - predictive analytics
  • IAEA - monitoring atomic power plants,
  • UNOLA,
  • UNCCD - monitor desertification and degradation of land

If different UN organisations, bodies or programmes buy the same satellite images separately on a individual basis. In the official United Nation Document A/67/780 of the General Assembly[7] the Advisory Committee notes the Secretary-General’s statement as to the increasingly complex and multidisciplinary nature of operations that need geographical information systems and an integrated ICT infrastructure. The programmes and organisations mentioned above itself have systemic links of topics especially, when Sustainable Development Goals are considered. From an IT-perspective an integration

  • reduces the cost by not buying satellite images multiple times by different organisations or programmes and
  • joint IT-infrastructure allows transdisciplinary collaboration and interoperability between organisations and programmes according to peace-keeping operations, that need e.g. economy, health, environment aspects to be addressed jointly if the mandate of the organisations and programmes allows that. The Committee therefore recommended in 2013[7] that the Secretary-General should be requested to identify the geographical information services and systems provided by all departments and offices of the Secretariat. While recognizing the specific operational needs and constraints of peacekeeping operations, the Committee is of the view that a common infrastructure (such as satellite images and place names) could be shared across the Organization. It further recommends that the Secretary-General be requested to consider options for making available the infrastructure developed for peacekeeping operations to the other departments and offices of the Secretariat.

After a period of producing seperate and inconsistent estimates of occupational burden of disease, WHO and the ILO are now producing the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury, thereby improving policy coherence and partnerships for development.

Levels of One United Nations edit

  • intergovernmental decision-making on the operational activities of the United Nations system for development.
  • individual linking of agencies for effective sharing of resources (e.g. satellite images during major disasters).
  • Community of Practice as participatory approaches to tailor activities to local and regional requirements and constraints (see Expert Focus Group for Space and Global Health

See also edit

Organisations and Programmes edit

References edit

  1. COPERNICUS - Rapid Mapping Activation - Webservice (assessed 2017/09/01) -
  2. UN General Assembly A/66/859 - Independent evaluation of lessons learned from “Delivering as one” (2012/06/26) -
  3. Ebola - Medicine Sans Frontiere (MSF) - Website on 2014 Ebola Outbreak - (assessed 2017/09/02) -
  4. Freemind - OpenSource Mind Mapping Tool. (assessed 2017/06/03) -
  5. United Nations - World Summit Outcome - General Assembly, resolution 60/1 (accessed 2017/09/02)
  6. United Nations - General Assembly - A/68/782/Add.8 - Para 45, GIS, consolidation - p.16/20 (2014/05/02) URL: (accessed 2018/10/22)
  7. 7.0 7.1 United Nations - Sixty-seventh session Agenda item 146 - Chapter II. G, Other Issues, para. 152 - Administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations (2013/04/30) - URL: (accessed 2018/10/22) )