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Published on Apr 15, 2012
Geneva, 13 April 2012 -- Chief Executives of the United Nations and its agencies met at the International Telecommunication Union and World Meteorological Organization.
The United Nations Chief Executives Board meets twice a year and is chaired by the UN Secretary-General. Present at this meetings are the Heads of 29 United Nations system organizations. The Chief Executives Board is responsible for keeping up to date on current political issues and concerns that face the United Nations. Additionally, they approve policy statements on behalf of the system when the reporting bodies make recommendations to do so. This is the first time that ITU and WMO are hosting the Chief Executives Board (CEB). And this is the first time that the CEB is meeting in a paper-smart environment.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has long been an advocate of information and communication technology as an instrument of social development. There is growing recognition within the UN system that collaborative working methods through on-line wikis, proprietary social media networks and other technologies are improving the quality of work while reducing its impact on the environment.
As part of the "UN Change Plan", Mr Ban has promoted "Paper-Smart" meetings with a view to making the upcoming Rio+20 Summit and the 67th Session of the General Assembly rely less on paper documents and more on online information, introducing Member States and the Secretariat to this modality through various pilots in early 2012.
ITU, with its mandate to promote a paperless work environment, has already taken far-reaching steps to increasingly equip staff with smart devices. The recently concluded World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12), attended by over 3000 delegates, was nearly 100% paper free. By eliminating 96 per cent of required paper documents for WRC-12 this year, savings amounted to 98 million fewer pages printed, thereby avoiding 960 tons of CO2 emissions. The CEB meeting is a pilot to acquaint UN Chief Executives with this novel, environment-friendly method of doing business.
Determined to introduce more improvements and efficiencies, ITU is working on online Remote Participation for delegates attending meetings and events in order to further reduce the carbon footprint while promoting inclusiveness and cutting costs for participants. ITU is also collaborating with WMO and other agencies on climate-friendly initiatives, such as earth observation radiocommunications.