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

EU Statement – United Nations 5th Committee: Human Resources Management and Joint Inspection Unit

New York, 04/03/2020 - 19:00, UNIQUE ID: 200304_31
Statements on behalf of the EU

4 March 2020, 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 First Resumed Session on items 140. Human Resources Management and 141. Joint Inspection Unit – Change Management

Mr. Chairman,

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.

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, let me thank Ms. Martha Helena Lopez, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management for presenting the Secretary-General's report on the Composition of the Secretariat, as well as Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the ACABQ, for presenting the corresponding report. Allow me to also thank Inspector Sukai Prom Jackson from the Joint Inspection Unit for introducing the JIU "Review of change management in United Nations system organizations", as well as Ms. Simona Petrova, Director of the Secretariat and Secretary of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, for presenting the related note of the Secretary-General.

The Member States of the European Union continue to be supporters of the Secretary-General in his ongoing efforts to modernize and reform the United Nations. This goes hand in hand with achieving more modern and effective human resources system and an organizational culture that enables staff at all levels to achieve their greatest potential.

We are convinced that improved human resources and empowered agents will help ensuring better use of the United Nations' resources to support effective programme delivery and mandate implementation. We therefore welcome the Global Human Resources Strategy, which addresses several crucial elements for achieving a more enabling policy environment for strategic people management, a more proactive talent acquisition and a transformed organizational culture, all indispensable for successful management of the UN.

The UN workforce should continue to embody the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, as set out in the Article 101 of the UN Charter. This organization also immensely benefits from the geographic diversity of its membership and we support the Secretary-General in his efforts to reflect this diversity in its workforce.

Monsieur le President,

En janvier 2020, le Secrétaire général a annoncé que la parité entre les femmes et les hommes était atteinte au niveau des cadres supérieurs des Nations unies et nous le remercions pour son engagement continu dans ce domaine. Ce développement très encourageant devrait nous inciter à continuer de rechercher la parité entre les femmes et les hommes dans l’ensemble de l’organisation, y compris pour les missions sur le terrain où les différences demeurent particulièrement marquées. Nous souscrivons aussi pleinement à l’idée d’un rajeunissement de l’organisation. Le multilinguisme est également d’une importance primordiale pour les Nations unies et nous pensons que la diversité linguistique devrait être dûment prise en compte dans la gestion des ressources humaines de l'organisation.

Une véritable politique de mobilité, de nouvelles offres de formation pour tous les agents des Nations unies et une promotion plus facile des agents des services généraux à des postes d’administrateur, le G2P, sont autant des politiques nécessaires pour offrir aux agents la possibilité d’élargir leurs expertises et les accompagner dans leur carrière. Nous sommes convaincus du bienfondé d’une politique de mobilité efficace, tant pour le personnel des Nations unies, que pour l’exécution des mandats et le bénéfice de toutes les personnes que sert l’organisation. Dans cette perspective, nous souhaitons étudier en détail les options viables qui permettraient une meilleure co-fertilisation des idées et des expériences de travail, en particulier entre le siège et le terrain. Plus que jamais, la formation du personnel des Nations unies est d’une importance capitale, nécessaire dans les environnements de travail complexes que l'on connait aujourd'hui. Les réformes et la gestion du changement nécessitent souvent des efforts considérables de la part de l’ensemble du personnel que des formations adéquates peuvent accompagner dans ces processus complexes.

Nous continuons d’attacher une grande importance au déploiement d’un cadre solide pour l’application du principe de responsabilité, qui participe pleinement de la réforme de la gestion des Nations unies. Les personnels des Nations unies se doivent d’être exemplaires et leurs actions de refléter les valeurs de l’organisation. Il est donc de la plus haute importance de continuer à promouvoir une culture de l’éthique et de la transparence, ainsi qu’à prévenir tout type de faute et à y remédier. À cet égard, nous saluons les efforts déployés par le Bureau de la déontologie et soulignons la nécessité de maintenir et de renforcer son indépendance.

Afin de traduire tous ces objectifs en lignes directrices concrètes et claires pour le Secrétariat, nous attachons une grande importance aux modifications qu’il est proposé d’apporter au statut et règlement du personnel des Nations unies, et nous saluons les efforts engagés par le Secrétaire général pour les rendre plus accessibles et opérables dans le cadre des différentes réformes que nous avons adoptées il y a deux ans.

Nous nous engageons à aider le Secrétariat à améliorer la situation des stagiaires des Nations unies et nous accorderons une attention particulière aux recommandations formulées par le Corps Commun d’Inspection sur les programmes de stages. Nous œuvrerons également en faveur d’une approche équilibrée et globale des stages dans le cadre prévu par le système commun des Nations unies.

Mr. Chairman,

Unfortunately, this Committee has been unable to reach a consensus on Human Resources Management in the 73rd and 74th Main Sessions. This session, however, offers us a new opportunity to find consensus and to ensure that current and future Human Resource Management reforms meet the needs of both the Organization and its staff. The consensus-based approach is of paramount importance for the Fifth Committee. The Member States of the European Union pledge to work constructively with all parties to achieve a resolution in this regard. We would like to reiterate our call for a timely submission of documents in all official languages. We look forward to receiving all remaining reports in due course and look forward to considering all Human Resources Management items this session, including agenda item pertaining to seconded active-duty military and police personnel where an action needs to be taken before the end of June 2020.  

Finally, allow me, Mr. Chairman, to make clear the wish of the EU Member States to work with you and all members of the Fifth Committee in a spirit of constructive cooperation, consensus and collegiality. 

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

*  *  *

[Full English translation below]

 

Mr. Chairman,

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.

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, let me thank Ms. Martha Helena Lopez, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management for presenting the Secretary-General's report on the Composition of the Secretariat, as well as Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the ACABQ, for presenting the corresponding report. Allow me to also thank Inspector Sukai Prom Jackson from the Joint Inspection Unit for introducing the JIU "Review of change management in United Nations system organizations", as well as Ms. Simona Petrova, Director of the Secretariat and Secretary of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, for presenting the related note of the Secretary-General.

The Member States of the European Union continue to be supporters of the Secretary-General in his ongoing efforts to modernize and reform the United Nations. This goes hand in hand with achieving more modern and effective human resources system and an organizational culture that enables staff at all levels to achieve their greatest potential.

We are convinced that improved human resources and empowered agents will help ensuring better use of the United Nations' resources to support effective programme delivery and mandate implementation. We therefore welcome the Global Human Resources Strategy, which addresses several crucial elements for achieving a more enabling policy environment for strategic people management, a more proactive talent acquisition and a transformed organizational culture, all indispensable for successful management of the UN.

The UN workforce should continue to embody the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, as set out in the Article 101 of the UN Charter. This organization also immensely benefits from the geographic diversity of its membership and we support the Secretary-General in his efforts to reflect this diversity in its workforce.

Mr. Chairman,

In January 2020, the Secretary-General announced that gender parity at the top level of the UN was achieved and we thank him for his continuous engagement in this area. This is a very encouraging development, which should only motivate us to continue seeking gender parity across the whole Organization, including the field missions where differences are most evident. We also fully subscribe to the idea of rejuvenating the Organization. Multilingualism as well is of paramount importance for the UN and we believe linguistic diversity should be adequately reflected in the human resources management of the UN.

Enhanced mobility, further training opportunities for UN staff and managers, as well as a smoother G2P transition are policies necessary to give individuals an opportunity to broaden their base of experience and develop their careers to the fullest. We believe that a well-functioning mobility framework is in the interest of the UN staff, as well as the mandates and people they serve. With this in mind, we wish to explore in detail viable options that would allow for a better cross-fertilization of ideas and work experiences, in particular between the headquarters and the field. More than ever, training of UN staff is of vital importance, a necessity for better adaptation to the complex working environment we live in today. Reforms and change management often require great efforts from all staff and adequate training can accompany them through such processes.

We will continue ascribing great importance to the roll-out of a strong and robust accountability framework as an integral part of the management reform of the UN. The actions of the UN's personnel must reflect the values of the Organization. It is therefore of outmost importance to continue fostering a culture of ethics and transparency as well as to prevent and address any type of misconduct. In this regard, we welcome the efforts of the Ethics Office and underline the necessity of maintaining and reinforcing its independence.

In order to translate all those goals into tangible and clear guidelines for the Secretariat, we will attach great importance to the proposed amendments to Staff Regulations and Rules, and welcome the Secretary-General's efforts to make them easier to work with and in line with the overarching reforms we agreed on as a Committee two years ago.

We are committed to support the Secretariat in addressing the situation of UN interns and we will pay particular attention to the recommendations made by the JIU in its review of internship programmes. We will also work towards a balanced and system-wide approach to internships within the framework provided for by the UN Common System.

Mr. Chairman,

Unfortunately, this Committee has been unable to reach a consensus on Human Resources Management in the 73rd and 74th Main Sessions. This session, however, offers us a new opportunity to find consensus and to ensure that current and future Human Resource Management reforms meet the needs of both the Organization and its staff. The consensus-based approach is of paramount importance for the Fifth Committee. The Member States of the European Union pledge to work constructively with all parties to achieve a resolution in this regard. We would like to reiterate our call for a timely submission of documents in all official languages. We look forward to receiving all remaining reports in due course and look forward to considering all Human Resources Management items this session, including agenda item pertaining to seconded active-duty military and police personnel where an action needs to be taken before the end of June 2020. 

Finally, allow me, Mr. Chairman, to make clear the wish of the EU Member States to work with you and all members of the Fifth Committee in a spirit of constructive cooperation, consensus and collegiality. 

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 


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

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