Mutual recognition

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Mutual recognition is the acceptance by one United Nations system organization of the policies and procedures of another. It will be the basis for the establishment of common business services and back-office functions for the revamped United Nations country teams under the development system reform. As stated in General Assembly 71/243:

entities within the United Nations development system should operate according to the principle of mutual recognition of best practices in terms of policies and procedures, with the aim of facilitating active collaboration across agencies and reducing transaction costs for Governments and collaborating agencies;

Mutual recognition statement

In November 2018, a mutual recognition statement was finalized committing signatory organizations to apply, to the greatest extent possible, mutual recognition in the areas of finance, human resources, procurement, logistics, information and communications technology and facility services. As indicated in the statement, signatory organizations are to:

  1. Maintain sounnd financial management and internal control systems to ensure that funds are used for the purposes intended with due attention to considerations of efficiency and effectiveness;
  2. Subject their financial and administrative management systems to internal and external auditing arrangements in line with internationally accepted standards;
  3. Reaffirm their commitment to the single-audit principle;
  4. Ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to significantly mitigate the risk of fraud and corruption and to address allegations and proven instances of fraud and corruption; and
  5. Undertake appropriate measures, including capacity strengthening, to mitigate risks posed by any weakness identified in their financial and administrative management systems and arrangements.


As of June 2020, the following 20 organizations are signatories:

Organization Individual Date
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner 05 November 2018
World Food Programme David Beasley, Executive Director 05 November 2018
United Nations Development Programme Achim Steiner, Administrator 08 November 2018
United Nations Population Fund Natalia Kanem, Executive Director 12 November 2018
United Nations Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General 30 November 2018
United Nations Children's Fund Henrietta Fore, Executive Director 06 November 2018
International Labour Organization Guy Ryder, Director-General 11 December 2018
United Nations Office for Project Services Grete Faremo, Executive Director 12 January 2019
World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General 20 December 2018
International Organization for Migration Antonio Vittorino, Director-General 15 January 2019
International Telecommunications Union Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General 16 January 2019
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS Michel Sidibe, Executive Director 15 February 2019
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Audrey Azoulay, Director-General 12 March 2019
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director 29 March 2019
Food and Agriculture Organization Qu Dongyu, Director-General 19 August 2019
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General 06 September 2019
United Nations Environment Programme Inger Andersen, Executive Director 09 October 2019
International Fund for Agricultural Development Gilbert F. Houngbo, President 17 January 2020
International Trade Centre Dorothy Tembo, Executive Director a.i. 02 April 2020
United Nations Industrial Development Organization Li Yong, Director-General 02 June 2020

See also