About the UNDG


UN Photo by Julie Pudlowski

The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) unites the UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies, departments, and offices that play a role in development in over 160 countries. The UNDG was constituted in 1997 following the UN General Assembly’s endorsement of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s report “Renewing the United Nations: A Programme of Reform” (A/51/950, para. 73).

Since 2008, the UNDG has been one of the three pillars of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), the highest-level coordination forum of the United Nations system. The CEB brings together the executive heads of UN organizations under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General to provide broad guidance, coordination and strategic direction for the system as a whole in the areas under the responsibility of executive heads. Focus is placed on inter-agency priorities and initiatives while ensuring that the independent mandates of organizations are maintained.

Within the CEB structure, the High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) promotes system-wide cooperation, coordination and knowledge sharing in programme and operational areas. The High-Level Committee on Management (HLCM) identifies and analyzes administrative management reforms with the aim of improving efficiency and simplifying business practices, while the UNDG is responsible for coordinating UN operational activities at the country level.

The UNDG is chaired by the UNDP Administrator on behalf of the Secretary General. The UNDG Chair is supported by the UNDG Vice-Chair and an interagency UNDG Advisory Group. The UNDG Vice-Chair and the Chair of the UNDG ASG AG are always at the ASG level. The UNDG Vice-Chair serves for two years. The Chair of the UNDG ASG Advisory Group rotates among its members every two years.

Global UNDG

The UNDG serves as a high-level forum for joint policy formation and decision-making.

It agrees on the UNDG strategic priorities and work plan and endorses all formal UNDG guidance, policy papers and position statements, in close consultation with the other pillars of the CEB.

The UNDG shall convene three to four times a year under the chairmanship of the UNDG Chair. The UNDG shall be composed of senior representatives, preferably at the Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) / Assistant Director-General (ADG) level, designated by the executive heads of UNDG member entities. UNDG representatives shall be entrusted by their executive heads to take decisions on their behalf. Normally, there shall be one representative from each UNDG member entity who may be accompanied by an organizational expert for substantive presentation and discussion.

Decision‐making shall be based on consensus among UNDG members, with the adoption of the opt‐in/opt‐out principle when circumstances call for it, which would require the UNDG Principal to inform the UNDG Chair in writing accordingly.

Decisions of the UNDG shall be binding across the UNDG working mechanisms.

DOCO (The UN Development Operations Coordination Office) assists the UNDG Chair in preparing the UNDG agenda, arranging the meetings, preparing the meeting reports and ensuring the UNDG Working Groups, Regional UNDG Teams, and Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams are informed of the decisions and views of the UNDG. DOCO also facilitates the link with the CEB Secretariat on work planning and reporting to the CEB.

UNDG Working Mechanisms

UNDG Working Mechanisms

UNDG Documents

Publication Date
Files and links
ECOSOC Dialogue retreat on the longer-term positioning of the UN Development System in the context of the post-2015 development agenda2015
ECOSOC Dialogue on the "longer-term positioning of the UN development system" - UNDG Perspectives on Capacity, Impact and Partnership Approaches, 22 May 20152015
ECOSOC Dialogue on the "longer-term positioning of the UN development system" - "UNDG Perspectives on Organizational Arrangements", 19 May 20152015
ECOSOC Dialogue on the “longer-term positioning of the UN development system” - UNDG Perspectives on Funding, April 20, 20152015
UNDG Perspectives on Functions - March 20, 20152015
UNDG Functioning and Working Arrangements2016
Management, Accountability System for UN development system, Resident Coordinator System2008
UNDG cost-sharing in support of the RC System – Status Update 2014/20152015
UNDG cost-sharing in support of the RC System – Status Update 2016/20172015
Forward calendar for UN(DG) events in the first half of 20162015
UNDG ASG AG Terms of Reference2014