The United Nations Office in Nairobi.

Nairobi has received another major boost after United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that the Chief Executive Board meeting of UN heads in 2020 will be held in Nairobi.

The UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) comprises 31 Executive Heads of the United Nations and its Funds and Programmes, the Specialised Agencies, including the Bretton Woods Institutions (The World Bank and IMF), and Related Organisations – the WTO, the UNOPS and the IAEA.

“As the highest-level internal coordination mechanism in the United Nations, the CEB’s key role is to strengthen synergies and promote coherence and coordination among the organisations of the United Nations system on issues of system-wide concern.  It is also, one might say, an internal managerial “laboratory”,” Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed noted in remarks delivered to the coordination and management meeting of the Economic and Social Council in New York in April.

The Board first held its meeting at the UN Office in Nairobi (UNON) in 2011. UNON is one of the four major UN stations where UN agencies have joint presence and the only one in the Global South. Other UN offices are in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

News of the choice of Nairobi to host the meeting in 2020 were revealed in a tweet by the Director General of the UN Environment Erik Solheim:


Details of the agenda of the meeting are still not available but the key focus is likely to remain implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and tackling climate change.

Since its establishment in 1996, UNON has served as an administrative hub to create a smoother enabling environment for the programmes and projects of some 30 UN agency country offices.

In 2010, the UN upgraded the Nairobi office from Category ‘C’ – a duty station – to category ‘B’ stretching its presence and importance on the global stage. The upgrade is based on the standard of living, better services and security in Nairobi.



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