Ghada Waly

Director-General/Executive Director


Message for the Opening of the Enabling Environment Week

  19 October 2020

Excellencies, dear colleagues,

Welcome to the start of Enabling Environment Week.

The challenges posed by the COVID crisis to the world of work have underscored the urgent need to reshape the working environment within organizations.

For the UN System, the Enabling Environment Guidelines launched last year are an excellent practical instrument for promoting inclusivity and equality.

By connecting the goal of gender parity to improvements in our broader workplace culture, the Guidelines support the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Gender Parity Strategy, as well as the UNOV/UNODC Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

The UN has accelerated progress on parity, which has already been achieved at the senior management level.

As the first woman to lead UNODC, and an International Gender Champion, I am determined to ensure that UNOV/UNODC strongly contribute to this UN-wide momentum. I am proud to announce that we have achieved overall gender balance in the professional categories at UNODC for the first time in September 2020, and this is just the beginning.

The Enabling Environment Guidelines, with their emphasis on workplace flexibility, family-friendly policies and standards of conduct, are helping to guide our efforts.

UNODC has also published guidance specific to field offices, addressing important points such as flexible working arrangements.

In the spirit of the guidelines, UNOV/UNODC has embraced a comprehensive understanding of inclusivity, in line with the UNODC Geography Action Plan as well as the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy.

It takes a truly diverse organization reflecting the diversity of our world, to live up to serving the people of the world. By helping us to attract and retain diverse staff, the Enabling Environment Guidelines will contribute to a UNOV/UNODC that is fit for purpose in these challenging times.

I thank UN Women and their partners for elaborating and promoting the guidelines. And thanks to the Gender Focal Points of the Vienna-based Organizations for organizing the Enabling Environment Week and adapting it to COVID constraints.

Let us take the opportunity of this week to listen and learn from each other. Thank you.