STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA
BY COUNSELOR M. LUZ MELON, PERMANENT MISSION OF ARGENTINA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 129: CONDITIONS OF SERVICE AND COMPENSATION FOR OFFICIALS, OTHER THAN SECRETARIAT OFFICIALS SERVING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: FULL-TIME MEMBERS OF THE ICSC AND THE CHAIR OF THE ACABQ, AT THE FIRST RESUMED 65TH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 129 specifically on the conditions of service for officials, other than Secretariat officials, serving the General Assembly full time members of ICSC and the Chairman of ACABQ.
2. The Group would like to thank the Chief of the Policy and Conditions of Service Section, OHRM, Mr. Arnab Roy for introducing the report of the Secretary-General contained in document A/65/676. The Group also would like to congratulate the new Chair of the ACABQ, Mr. Collen Vixen Kélapilé, and the new Vice-Chair, Mr. Alejandro Torres Lépori, for their election, and to thank the Vice-Chair for his introduction of the relevant report of the Advisory Committee contained in document A/65/767.
3. The Group of 77 and China recalls that in its resolution 58/266, the General Assembly had requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on the conditions of service and compensation of the three (3) officials no later than at its Sixty-Third Session. The Group is concerned that when the report was submitted during the Sixty-Third Session and even after it was deferred to the Sixty-Fourth Session, the Committee did not take any action on it.
4. The Group is of the view that the Secretary General and the Secretariat are responsible for taking the initiative to inform the General Assembly that total net annual compensation of the two Chairs had fallen below the level of the compensation of Assistant Secretaries-General so that the General Assembly could take the necessary action. The Group regrets that net annual compensation fell below the level of the compensation of Assistant Secretaries-General on 1 Jan 2009 and the Secretary-General and the Secretariat did not bring the issue to the attention of the General Assembly at its 64th session in accordance with the provisions of the resolution 58/266. The Group of 77 and China will be seeking further clarification on the implication of this omission as how this impacted compensation package for the individuals concerned. The Group therefore welcomes the current report of the Secretary-General and is committed to reaching an outcome on this very important agenda item.
5. The Group of 77 and China concurs with the observation by the Advisory Committee that the review of compensation and conditions of service for the three (3) officials has been considered by the General Assembly with increasing frequency. The Group also notes that the Secretary-General has indicated to the Advisory Committee a preference for the establishment of an automatic adjustment mechanism. The Group believes that greater efficiency could be achieved by such a mechanism, and would seek further clarification during informal consultations on the issue.
6. In conclusion Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China is committed to a constructive engagement during the informal consultations with a view to reaching a successful outcome on this important agenda item.