Annual Reports

The Ombudsman Office prepares an annual report reflecting the type and number of grievances handled as well as recommendations for changes in policies and procedures, in particular where systemic issues have contributed to the problem.


In 2023, transitions, concurrent crises, funding pressures, hybrid work, political instability, mental-health issues, and burnout concerns impacted the workplace of UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS and UN-Women (the organizations). Organizations and personnel faced heightened volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. The Office of the Ombudsman for UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS and UN-Women (the Office) in turn expanded its outreach and field missions as well as mediation efforts. The Office noted a shift towards more people-centred human-resources management efforts across organizations, for both staff and the affiliated workforce, which recognized that complex work environments directly affect people and their lives, who in turn delivered with resilience in challenging times.

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The Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes was in a period of transition during the reporting period and remains so the time of writing of the present report: two of its key professional positions, Ombudsman and Ombudsman Specialist remained vacant in 2022. Nevertheless, the Office team continued to provide dedicated services in spite of the lack of adequate staffing and wishes to extend appreciation and thanks to all management and staff of the five organizations served who demonstrated their belief and support in the Office. The cooperation and forthright spirit of resident representatives, the staff of human resources, legal, ethics, and investigation offices, in addition to staff representatives, who encouraged colleagues to make use of the services provided by the Office contributed to the overall effectiveness of informal resolution in the workplace.

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As the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic stretched into a second year in 2021, the Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes continued to serve its community by honing virtual mechanisms.
It is encouraging that the ombudsman and mediation teams were able to deal effectively with an increase of 27 per cent in the number of cases brought individually and as a group to the attention of the Ombudsman. Moreover, in the outreach and training activities, the teams were able to offer virtual master classes, webinars and modules in capacity-building for conflict- management skills to a global audience in the six official languages, with some interventions tailored to specific needs raised by country offices or at the regional level. In all, the Office facilitated more than 100 virtual sessions; those offered to the Respectful Workplace Facilitators and the pilot certificate programme in conflict- management skills for leaders are particularly noteworthy.

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For the Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes, as for offices around the world, the year 2020 was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The active threat to the health and safety of the Office personnel, as well as to the health and safety of the global United Nations workforce, meant instituting a number of changes to office procedures and developing new ways for the Office to interact with the people it serves. Nonetheless, 2020 was a highly productive year that saw the completion of projects started in 2019, significant continuing development of conflict management, and further expansion in the development of conflict management services.

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In submitting his report on the work of the Office in 2019, the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes takes stock of a very productive  year while facing the daunting challenges ahead during the time of COVID-19.   In immediate response to these challenges, the Office will further  strengthen interventions that draw on the possibilities of virtual communication in the continuing expansion of informal conflict resolution systems


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The year in review, 2018, can be summarized in two numbers for the Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes:  plus 20 per cent – the increase in the number of cases from the previous year and minus 50 per cent – the reduction in full-time professional personnel from 2017 (and continuing to the present).

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The Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes saw a momentous year in 2017.  The Office has responded to the growing demand for the informal resolution of work place conflict in a number of constructive ways:  by enriching its panel of conflict-resolution experts; traveling to country offices and increasing outreach and training activities in all the organizations served. and developing innovative initiatives to bring the Ombudsman closer to all contract holders in the funds and programmes.

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The Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes provides informal workplace conflict resolution services to the workforce of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

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The Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes is the informal grievance mechanism for staff members and non-staff personnel of UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS and UN-Women, to whom it  provides confidential and impartial assistance to facilitate informal resolution of workplace disputes and issues. Services provided include listening, coaching, shuttle diplomacy, negotiation, and mediation.

French and Spanish versions to be available soon!

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The period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 marked the last full year of the mandate of the current Ombudsmen for the United Nations Funds and Programmes.  An Ombudsman for the Funds and Programmes serves for up to five years in total and provides impartial, independent and confidential conflict-resolution expertise.

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The Office of the Ombudsman is mandated to address conflict informally within the five funds and programmes that is serves by providing an independent, confidential safe space to discuss problems in the workplace and to surface underlying systemic issues.

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The year 2012 marked the tenth anniversary of offering ombudsman and mediation services to the Funds and Programmes.

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The period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011 marked the first full year in service of the Ombudsmen for the Funds and Programmes, Ms. Mame Diagne and Mr. Helmut Buss.

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The new system of the administration of justice in the United Nations took effect on 1 July 2009. In this context, the integrated Office of Ombudsman and Mediation Services (UNOMS) comprises three pillars: the United Nations Ombudsman, the Ombudsmen for the Funds and Programmes and the Ombudsperson of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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The year 2009 provided opportunities to consolidate a common framework for expanding ombudsman services to offices in headquarters and the field.

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In accordance with General Assembly resolution 62/228, the integrated Office of Ombudsman and Mediation Services worked throughout 2008 in various areas to harmonize processes and review systemic issues in a more rigorous way.

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The Office of the Joint Ombudsperson (OJO) began the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2007 looking forward with enthusiasm to consolidating the past years’ experiences and to a number of changes that would contribute to improving its services worldwide.

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The report on the activities of the Office of the Joint Ombudsperson for the period 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2006 covers a number of important milestones.

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The report on the work of the Office of the Ombudsperson for the period 1 August 2004 to 31 December 2005 shows that the number of staff seeking the services of the Ombudsperson remained at about the same level as during the preceding period

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In the second year of the operation of the Office of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Ombudsperson, over 498 staff members at all levels sought the services offered by the Office.

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The present report covers the activities of the Office of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Ombudsperson for the period 1 June 2002 to 31 July 2003.

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