I have the honour to speak on behalf of the 28 Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
Allow me first to welcome Mrs. Martha Helena Lopez, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management to this committee, congratulate her upon her appointment, and also thank her for presenting the reports of the Secretary-General. Let me also thank Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chairman of ACABQ, for introducing the corresponding reports of his committee.
Last year, the Fifth Committee was successful in concluding an important resolution on human resources management at the United Nations. And as agreed, the Secretary-General will present a comprehensive human resources management strategy to the General Assembly next year. We therefore look forward to a substantial discussion of those Human Resources Management proposals during future sessions, also in the wider context of UN management reform.
The member states of the European Union believe that UN staff is at the core of the good functioning of the Organisation and the effective delivery of mandates. The UN staff is the main asset of the Organisation and we believe that the UN should continue to be able to attract staff that embodies high standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, as set out in Article 101 of the UN Charter. The actions of the UN personnel must reflect the Organisation’s values. In turn, UN staff need an organisational culture that enables them to contribute to their greatest potential.
In that regard, we welcome the intention of the Secretary-General to make human resources management at the United Nations even better, more focused on performance and delivery to the field, at the service of the billions of people around the world who benefit from the UN and its mandates, as explained in the report on management reform “Shifting the management paradigm at the United Nations: ensuring a better future for all”.
We therefore welcome simplified human resources policies and procedures, improved workforce planning with increased flexibility in deployment, improved and quicker recruitment procedures, mobility of personnel, and last but not least, enhanced performance management which recognises good performance and effectively tackles under-performance. The rightsizing of the Secretariat should be a priority.
While we also welcome the commitment of the Secretary-General to achieve gender parity in his senior appointments, we note with concern that gender imbalance remains a persistent issue in the UN workforce, especially at the senior level and in UN field operations. Further and urgent system-wide action is needed in this regard.
In short, Mr. Chairman, we look forward to receiving fully-developed proposals to all the above-mentioned issues in due course. At the same time, we believe that during this session we should only focus on time-bound issues and other urgent business at hand. We therefore look forward to discussing and preferably closing this item as soon as reasonably possible to allow sufficient time for the Secretary-General to further develop his proposals and get back to us in future sessions.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.