Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Statement – United Nations 5th Committee: UN Common System

New York, 25/10/2019 - 21:35, UNIQUE ID: 191028_18
Statements on behalf of the EU

25 October 2019, New York - Statement on behalf of the Member States of the European Union by Mr. Jan De Preter, Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 74th Session of the General Assembly Fifth Committee Main Session on Item 142: UN Common System


Mr. Chair,


I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.


The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.


I would like to thank Mr. Larbi Djacta, Chair of the International Civil Service Commission, for introducing the Commission's report for 2019, as well as Mr. Johannes Huisman, Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, Office of Programme Planning, Finance and Budget, as well as Ms. Julia Maciel, Vice-Chair of ACABQ, for their related remarks.


Mr. Chair,


At the outset, I would like to underline the continued appreciation of the Member States of the European Union for the crucial role of the International Civil Service Commission. We highly value your work, which we believe is essential to the effective functioning of the UN family.


The Member States of the European Union attach great importance to an equal treatment for equal work of all UN organizations employees under the common system. The current fragmentation of the post adjustment system is an unfair and therefore unacceptable situation. The differences in treatment between UN civil servants performing equal functions for different organizations at the same duty station within the common system has to be resolved. The level playing field needs to be restored.


We welcome the work done so far by the ICSC in refining its post adjustment methodology and in ensuring a good communication with the UN system, notably UN staff members.


However, the overall application of the common system faces unforeseen challenges due to decisions of the ILO Administrative Tribunal. We regret that the Tribunal questions the legality of the process which has been used by the ICSC to determine post adjustment. We see this situation as untenable and stand ready to look for a sustainable remedy. Allow me in that regard to reiterate our support for the ICSC's authority in this field, as well as the working methods and practices of the Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ).


We look forward to resolving the present problem collectively and to safeguarding the ICSC's mandate to develop and implement consistent policies and common standards that enable equal treatment for equal work of the UN staff members.


In doing so, we will focus on

  • exploring all legal options to preserve the consistency of the common system and to ensure that the principle of equal pay for equal work will continue in the future, consistent with the regulatory framework and the practice that have so far governed the common system.
  • recalling the importance, for specialized agencies and other international organizations which participate in the common system, to adopt a common approach towards the authority of the ICSC.


Finally, Mr. Chair, let me assure you of our commitment to engaging constructively with all colleagues on all issues related to the work of the ICSC in the upcoming informal consultations. We look forward to also discussing during this session all the proposals made by the Commission in its report for 2019. 

Thank you.


* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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