16-17 November 2017, Geneva, Switzerland - The Institute’s Board of Trustees concluded its Fifty-eighth Session, which convened in Geneva from 16-17 November. In his opening statement, the UNITAR Executive Director, Mr. Nikhil Seth, welcomed two new trustees to the Board, His Excellency Mr. Ma Xhaoxu of China and His Excellency Mr. Valentin Zellweger of Switzerland. The Executive Director expressed the significance of the session, with the present 2014-2017 strategic framework coming to an end and the draft 2018-2021 strategic framework and the proposed 2018-2019 Programme Budget before the Board for consideration.
Following much reflection and insightful comments, the Board welcomed the 2018-2021 strategic framework with appreciation, which aligns UNITAR programming to a new set of objectives around the People, Prosperity, Planet and Peace pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Board also adopted the 2018-2019 Programme Budget of $57.34 million, which represents a growth of 11.65 per cent over project income of $49,67 million for the 2016-2017 budget cycle.
The Institute welcomed with much appreciation the announcement that the State of Qatar would contribute $500,000 annually to the UNITAR General Fund from 2018 to 2020.
Other business that the Board conducted included reviewing the 2017 Report of the Secretary-General to the Economic and Social Council, E/2017/48, and ECOSOC resolution E/RES/2017/6; programme highlights on UNITAR helping countries implement the 2030 Agenda, the newly-launched Pakistan Evidence and Learning Platform project, which assembles expertise from different parts of UNITAR; UNOSAT capacity development in geospatial technologies for disaster risk reduction and disaster interventions; and the recently launched massive open online course on climate change adaptation, with over 12,000 registrations. In addition to these programming highlights, the Board had a thorough discussion on programme challenges and lessons learned from the results of several independent evaluations.
The Board accepted an invitation from Nigeria and agreed to meet in Abuja for its next session from 29-30 November 2018.
Photo: Board of Trustees meeting in session