Letter dated 15 November 2017 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2017/966) [EN/AR]


The Security Council, in paragraph 7 of its resolution 2367 (2017), called upon me to conduct, by 15 October 2017, an independent, external assessment of the structure and staffing of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), related resources, priorities, and areas in which it has comparative advantages and synergies with other United Nations entities, in order to ensure that the Mission and United Nations country team are configured to most appropriately and efficiently fulfil mandated tasks.

Following the adoption of the resolution, I established an independent external assessment team consisting of Anthony Banbury and Phillip Rawkins. The team conducted its work from 11 September to 8 November 2017, including a field visit to Iraq and Kuwait between 25 September and 11 October 2017. Pursuant to my exchange of letters with the President of the Security Council on 1 October, the deadline for completion of the assessment was extended from 15 October to 15 November 2017, for which I would like to reiterate my gratitude.

The team submitted its report on 9 November 2017. I am grateful to the team for the report and its recommendations, including for noting the “deep appreciation for the work of the United Nations among Iraqis. Perhaps the greatest asset that UNAMI has is the trust Iraqis place in it as a neutral, impartial actor, without any self-interest in Iraqi affairs. However, there is also a strong desire to see UNAMI do more, accomplish more and achieve more tangible results”.
The report and its recommendations focus on the following key areas:

• Strategic priorities and strategy-setting
• Organizational structure
• Resources and staffing
• Collaboration and coordination between UNAMI and the United Nations country team
• UNAMI and United Nations country team common services and cost-sharing
• Performance measurement and reporting

I am attaching herewith for the attention of the Security Council, the executive summary, the observations and the full set of recommendations of the report as submitted by the team of experts (see annex). Also enclosed are several charts and tables that support the findings of the team (see enclosures*).

It is my view that the recommendations of the team are comprehensive and cover the areas mandated by the Council under resolution 2367 (2017). Some of the recommendations can be implemented relatively quickly and under my authority, while others will require further action or certain decisions by other bodies before they can be fully implemented, in line with the existing organizational poli cy and methods of work.

I have therefore requested that a group, led by the Department of Political Affairs and consisting of representatives of the Departments of Field Support and Safety and Security, as well as of the United Nations Development Programme, be established immediately at Headquarters to further review the report and its recommendations, with deadlines and clear responsibilities for action. I have further requested that the group, working closely with UNAMI and the United Nations country team, submit to me the outcome of the review with a view to developing an implementation plan by 12 January 2018.

I am guided by the overall priorities of the mandate implementation in support of the Government and people of Iraq, as well as the need to make efficient use of resources, while ensuring that the Mission is properly resourced and that the safety and security of the United Nations staff working in Iraq is addressed to the highest standard. Where appropriate, I will work with the governing bodies and keep the Council informed on steps and actions taken.

I should be grateful if you could bring the present letter and its annex to the attention of the members of the Security Council.

(Signed) António Guterres