End of year Staff Event 2015

Director-General’s Talking Points for the End-of-Year Staff Christmas Party


Friday, 4 December 2015

Welcome everyone to this end-of-year gathering. I would like to thank the Nairobi Staff Union for organising this event, in collaboration with UNON, UNEP and UN-HABITAT.
This is a good occasion for us to celebrate as one family.
Let me take this opportunity to once again express, on my own behalf and on behalf of colleagues, my deepest condolences to our President, James Ohayo, for the terrible loss he and his family have recently suffered. I know all of us in this family -- your UN family -- stand together with you at this difficult time. I also want to thank you for your hard work in defending the interests of staff in our three entities.
As you have heard me say before, this year has been a crucial one for the UN. 2015 has seen the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Financing for Development Conference, the on-going Climate Change Conference in Paris, and major reviews of UN peace efforts, among other events. 2015 has thus paved the way for our Organisation’s work and efforts in the coming years, if not decades.
This duty station has played no small part in this year’s remarkable achievements. Let me cite just a few examples:
  1. Five months ago, we pioneered the implementation of Umoja, the largest UN change-management initiative of a generation.
  2. Eight months ago, the 25th Governing Council session of UN-Habitat and the Prepcom meeting for Habitat III were successfully held on the compound.
  3. As we speak, colleagues from UNEP and UN-Habitat are in Paris for the pivotal Climate Change Conference; and staff from UNON’s Division of Conference Services are also in Paris to support the meeting.
  4. Six weeks ago, we celebrated the UN’s 70th anniversary, during which scores of volunteer staff members went to schools and other institutions in Nairobi to raise awareness about the UN.
  5. Four months ago, we served as the venue for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit co-hosted by President Kenyatta and President Obama.
  6. And two weeks ago, we hosted the Pope!

That’s just a partial list of our achievements in 2015, but I think we can all agree, that’s a pretty good list.
All of you contributed to these achievements in various ways, through your hard work, ideas, energy and commitment. I thank you for that.
Let us draw motivation from this eventful year to do even more in 2016. The coming year will be another important one for the UN, with many activities and events planned at this duty station, not least of which is the second UNEA in May.


Thank you again for your hard work and dedication over the past year. All the best to you and your families in 2016.