High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP)


Mr. Guy Ryder (Director-general ILO)

Meeting frequency

Twice a year

The High-Level Committee on Programmes promotes system-wide cooperation, coordination and knowledge sharing in programme and operational areas.

The HLCP’s mandate includes:

  • fostering policy coherence and programme coordination in response to inter-governmental mandates and in support of international agreed development goals;
  • supporting integrated and coordinated preparation of and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits;
  • serving as a forum for inter-agency dialogue, consultations and sharing of best practices on policy development, programming and monitoring modalities;
  • developing common strategies, policies, methodologies and tools to address emerging issues of challenges facing the UN system.
  1. The High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) will foster coherence, cooperation and coordination on programme dimensions of strategic issues for the UN system.
  2. HLCP will develop and align its programme of work with that of the other pillars of the CEB and the High-level Committee on Management (HLCM) to ensure proper sequencing of issues. Such alignment aims to maximize complementarities and synergy of work of the CEB structures in support of greater system-wide coherence in realizing intergovernmental mandates.
  3. The HLCP Chairperson and Vice Chairperson will be appointed by CEB to serve two-year teams. HLCP, composed of senior staff authorized by their executive heads to take decisions on their behalf, will meet twice a year in regular session, and will hold other meetings, including videoconferences, on an as-needed basis.
  4. HLCP will serve two key functions, namely:
  • System-wide follow up of intergovernmental decisions.
  • Scanning and identification of emerging programme issues requiring a system-wide response.

5. HLCP will address intergovernmental decisions and outcomes of major conferences and summits that require system-wide follow-up, with a view to:

  • Identify policy issues of a strategic nature relevant for the UN system as a whole, develop guidance for coherent programme development and implementation, and monitor and track contributions by organizations and inter-agency mechanisms in these policy areas so as to maximize the impact in support of internationally agreed development goals, inter-governmentally agreed policies and strategic approaches and objectives adopted by CEB.
  • Foster and support the integrated and coordinated preparation of and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits. Special attention shall be paid to enhancing the capacity of the system and Member States to assess and measure progress in the pursuit of agreed international goals.
  • Design approaches and measures to enhance the capacity of the system and Member States to assess and measure progress towards agreed international goals.

6. HLCP will provide scanning and identification of emerging issues requiring a system-wide response, with a view to:

  • Elaborate common strategies, policies, methodologies and tools, including Results-Based Management, in response to emerging issues and challenges facing the United Nations system.
  • Serve as a forum for inter-agency dialogue, consultations, coordination and knowledge-sharing regarding new programme initiatives and practices of system-wide concern.
  • Facilitate dialogue on relevant reform processes and their implications within the UN system, and identify and promote best practices.
  • Prepare for CEB sessions on ahead-of-the-curve issues of global significance.

7. In order to achieve the above, HLCP will:

  • Include, in its rolling three-year programme of work, cross-cutting and multi-sectoral issues giving special attention to policy areas for which no lead agency has been identified.
  • Develop innovative, timely and cost effective working arrangements including identifying policy themes and clusters, time-bound task forces and where required identifying lead/convening agencies.
  • Develop arrangements for monitoring and guiding the work of inter-agency bodies relevant to its work.
  • Foster dialogue and propose ways in which the collaboration and interaction with the private sector, semi-governmental and non-governmental organizations and other parts of civil society can be enhanced and contribute to the achievement of agreed systemwide goals.
  • Foster knowledge-sharing to enhance transparency, to develop consensus and to learn and apply proven successful practices and policies.

8. In the exercise of these functions, HLCP will operate within the framework of the constituent instruments of member organizations and the relationship agreements between the United Nations and the specialized agencies and Bretton Woods institutions.

The HLCP established the following three inter-agency mechanisms to increase coherence across the United Nations system in addressing urgent development challenges: UN-Water, UN-Oceans and UN-Energy. HLCP also overseas the work of the HLCP Working group on climate change.

The Committee is composed of senior representatives from CEB member organizations responsible for programme planning and development who come together twice a year to meet in regular session.

2 United Nations Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10017
Tel.: +1-212/963 81 38


UN-Water, which was established in 2003 by the United Nations High Level Committee on Programmes, has evolved out of a history of close collaboration among UN agencies. It was created to add value to UN initiatives by fostering greater co-operation and information-sharing among existing UN agencies and outside partners.


UN-Energy was established to help ensure coherence in the UN system’s multi-disciplinary response to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and to ensure the effective engagement of non-UN stakeholders in implementing WSSD energy-related decisions. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), decisions taken at CSD-9, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and Agenda 21 serve as the basis for action on energy.


UN-Oceans   is   an   inter-agency   mechanism   that   seeks   to   enhance   the coordination, coherence and effectiveness of competent organizations of the United Nations system and the International Seabed Authority, within existing resources, in conformity  with  the  United  Nations  Convention  on  the  Law  of  the  Sea,  the respective competences of each of its participating organizations and the mandates and priorities approved by their respective governing bodies.

CEB Programme Themes