Guterres assures Museveni on Entebbe UN base

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Museveni meeting Guterres in Ethiopia

President Museveni attended the official opening of the 32nd Ordinary Summit of the African Union Heads of State today in Addis Ababa.

He congratulated H.E. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for his election as new chair and joined others in thanking outgoing chair H.E. Paul Kagame for a job well done.

Museveni later met the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on the sidelines of the AU Summit.

“We discussed a range of issues including regional peace, security and human rights.”

Museveni said the SG assured him that the UN base in Entebbe will remain vibrant even as the organisation undertakes reforms.

Kagame handing over to al-Sisi

The Regional Service Centre Entebbe [RSCE] is a shared service centre based in Entebbe, Uganda.

It consolidates administrative and support functions previously located in various field missions in a less volatile, more family friendly regional location, with the goal of providing efficient, client-orientated and scalable services while reducing the missions’ footprints to UN field missions across Africa.

A new report by Guterres quoted at the start of 2019, recommended to maintain the UN base in Entebbe.

Daily Monitor reported that under the new arrangement, more than 300 jobs will be abolished in 2020 if the proposal is finally adopted by the General Assembly.

The report adds that the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe (RSCE) will “continue to perform functions not in the scope” of the UN Global Service Delivery Model (GDSM) reforms, including regional ICT services, regional training and conferences services, transport and movement services, and liaison offices for peacekeeping missions to Abyei and South Sudan.

The GDSM reforms championed by Guterres are aimed at scaling down UN bases worldwide to create a lean and cost-effective UN system in few locations.

Other functions such as logistical hub for the UN Mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO), global procurement support section, civilian pre-deployment training team, regional ombudsman under the office of the Office of Internal Oversight Services and the UN Mine Action Centre, will all remain at Entebbe, according to the report.

The January 8 report is a stark contrast to last year’s report which nearly took away all functions from the RSCE to the proposed Global Shared Service Centre in neighbouring Kenya’s capital Nairobi under GDSM reforms.

The previous May 2017 report had recommended that UN administrative functions be consolidated at three dispersed locations — Nairobi, Budapest (Hungary) and City of Mexico (Mexico).

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