STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA
BY MR. SEBASTIAN DI LUCA OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF ARGENTINA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 139: HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT,
AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF SIXTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 139, entitled “Human Resources Management”.
2. The Group of 77 and China wishes to express its appreciation to Ms. Ruth de Miranda, Chief of the Human Resources Policy Service of the Office of Human Resources Management, Ms Joan Dubinsky, Director of the Ethics Office for their introductions of the relevant reports of the Secretary-General on human resources management. The Group also thanks the Chair of the ACABQ, Mr Collen Kelapile, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), for introducing the related report of the ACABQ.
3. We further thank the Chair of the Joint Inspection Unit, Mr. Mounir Zahran, for introducing the report on staff mobility and work life balance.
4. The Group of 77 and China has pronounced itself on different occasions in favour of the efforts by the Secretary-General to continue the transformation of the human resources management. To us, the efficient and effective delivery of the UN mandates fundamentally hinges on the quality of its staff and the availability of resources. Ensuring the well-being of all international civil servants is of the utmost importance to the Group of 77 and China. We support all reform measures aimed at establishing a highly motivated, vibrant and dynamic workforce for our Organisation.
5. The Group stresses the need to comprehensively review the system of desirable ranges “with a view to establishing a more effective tool to ensure equitable geographical distribution in relation to the total number of staff of the global United Nations Secretariat”. The Group notes that the number of staff under the system of desirable ranges is 2,049 out of a total number of staff of the global United Nations Secretariat, which stood at 43,747 in June 2011. This represents less than 5% of the total number of the staff.
6. In this regard, the Group reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to intensify his efforts to achieve equitable geographical distribution and gender balance of staff, as mandated by the General Assembly, in particular, in senor management positions. We continue to urge the Secretariat to make use of the future retirement of staff so as to improve the international character of the Organization, and that greater efforts should be made by the Secretary-General to improve the representation of women, particularly at the senior levels.
7. The Group appreciates that the new analysis on D1 and above level of staff members has been contained in the Composition of Secretariat for facilitating member states to know the staffing structure of the secretariat. This may become one of active factors to improve the inadequate representation of developing countries and emerging countries currently on high-level posts.
8. The Group welcomes the introduction of the HR Insight tool, which should improve access by Permanent Missions to information on staff representation in the Secretariat. The Committee expects that the Secretary-General will ensure that the integrity of the sensitive data contained in HR Insight is protected.
9. On the other hand, the Group notes with interest the recommendations and proposals contained in the JIU's report on staff mobility and work/life balance across the United Nations system, and looks forward to an in-depth discussion of those recommendations, including those related to inter-agency mobility mechanisms and matching the organizational needs with the staff needs.
10. The Group takes note of the increased number of service requests received by the UN Ethics Office from August 2010 to 31 July 2011, which represents an increase of 78% in the number of requests received by the Office compared to the average for the preceding three reporting periods. This may be attributable to the intensified outreach efforts undertaken during the 2010-2011 reporting period. In particular, we welcome the initiatives to promote a culture of ethics at senior management level.
11. However, the Group is of the view that the reported increase in volume of service requests received and the number of cases reviewed are not sufficient indicators to determine fully whether the objectives of promoting high standards of integrity and a culture of ethics are being achieved. The Group therefore requests the Secretary-General to devise appropriate evaluation criteria for this purpose.
12. With regard to the ethics question, the Group welcomes the efforts made by the Ethics Office in promoting a culture of ethics among staff members of different grades across the Secretariat and particularly at the senior management level and stresses the importance that all staff members act in manner that is compatible with their status as international civil servants.
13. The Group notes the Secretary-General’s recommendations to maintain the existing arrangements whereby the review function of the Financial Disclosure Programme (FDP) is administered by an external vendor and to develop a new IT platform. We expect that through the efforts undertaken to create awareness of the FDP among the staff and the procedures that have been established to support compliance, this would translate into full compliance with the filing obligations.
14. This agenda item constitutes a priority for our Group. We would like to assure you of our commitment and willingness to engage in a constructive debate to foster substantive progress on this pivotal agenda item.
I thank you.