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.
At the outset, let me thank Ms. Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, for introducing the Secretary-General's report on "Amendments to Staff Regulations and Rules", as well as Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the ACABQ, for presenting the corresponding report of his committee.
We would like to thank the Secretary-General for all the work and the efforts made to ensure that the Staff Regulations and Rules can be more easily read and understood. We believe that this work is necessary in the context of the modernization of the human resources policies of the Organization, in order to bring them in line with the overall reform efforts. We welcome the proposals put forward and the comprehensive nature of this effort, ranging from merely editorial amendments making the language used gender-inclusive, to substantive amendments aimed at strengthening the UN’s zero tolerance approach to sexual activity with children. We therefore hope that the amendments to the Staff Regulations can be approved by the General Assembly as requested by the Secretary-General.
We attach particular importance to the changes proposed in relation to gender parity, as well as those intended to make the United Nations a more accessible and inclusive workplace. We welcome the reference to a balanced gender representation in the Staff Regulations.
To conclude, we will use the time allotted to us to ask questions in the informal consultations, and we look forward to working with all groups and delegations, to ensure that the amendments to the Staff Regulations can be adopted as intended by the Secretariat experts, who have been working tirelessly to make them more precise, easier to understand and up-to-date.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.