1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 141: United Nations common system.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank Mr. Kingston Papie Rhodes, Chair of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), for presenting the report of the ICSC, as contained in document A/71/30, and Mr. Johannes Huisman, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division (OPPBA) for presenting the statement of the Secretary-General on administrative and financial implications of the decisions and recommendations contained in the report of the ICSC for the year 2016, as contained in document A/C.5/71/3, as well as Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing the respective report on this agenda item.
3. The Group of 77 and China would like to express our appreciation and support to the ICSC for its commendable work in fulfilling the responsibilities as mandated by the General Assembly. The Group would also like to reaffirm the principle that all staff serving under similar conditions should receive fair and equal treatment across the United Nations common system.
4. The Group takes note the annual report of the ICSC for the year 2016 containing decisions and recommendations giving rise to financial implications for the programme budget of the United Nations, starting with the biennium 2016-2017, and the budgets for peacekeeping operations, starting with the peacekeeping financial period 2016-2017. Specifically, the said decisions and recommendations deal with (i) the conditions of service applicable to both Professional and higher categories of staff and to General Service and other locally recruited categories of staff: separation payments; (ii) conditions of service of the Professional and higher categories: base/floor salary scale; and (iii) conditions of service of the General Service and other locally recruited categories: survey of best prevailing conditions of employment in Geneva, and adjustment of dependency allowances following the unfreezing of allowance.
5. The Group notes with interest that, following the General Assembly resolution 65/248 on the common system, the ICSC recommends the introduction of end-of-service severance pay in the organizations of the common system for fixed-term staff involuntarily separating from the Organization upon the expiration of their contract after 10 or more years of continuous service.
6. In this connection, the Group will seek further clarification on the duration of service proposed, the objective of the recommendation, the financial implications and the possible date of its implementation, taking account the context of the closure of some peacekeeping operations whose personnel are mostly under fix-term contracts.
7. With respect to the survey of the best prevailing conditions of employment in Geneva, the Group will be interested to learn more in details on the estimates of the financial implications for the biennium 2016-2017 resulting from the implementation of the outcome of the 2015 survey.
8. The Group emphasizes that, upon the decision of the General Assembly on the recommendations of the ICSC, adequate resources should be appropriated for the full and immediate implementation of those recommendations.
9. In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China assure you of our active participation in the coming informal consultations of this agenda item with a view to conclude our deliberation in a timely manner.
I thank you, Madam Chairperson.