Statement on Agenda Item 134: Human Resources Management, in the Fifth (Administrative and Budgetary) Committee of the General Assembly

Stephen L. Lieberman, Minister-Councelor for UN Management and Reform
New York, NY
October 29, 2010




AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Madam Chair.

At the outset, my delegation would like to take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, for her statement. My delegation also expresses its appreciation to Ms. Angela Kane, Under-Secretary-General for Management; Ms. Joan Dubinsky, Director of the Ethics Office; and Ms. Susan McLurg, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions; for introducing the many reports that fall under this important agenda item this session. Finally, we would like to welcome Ms. Paulena Analena, Vice-President of the SMCC, and Mr. Stephen Kisambira, President of the UN Staff Union, who have come to present the views of the staff on this agenda item.

Madam Chair,

Many different issues have been presented to the General Assembly this session under the umbrella of human resources management. Although my delegation recognizes the importance of each and every one of these issues, we will, in the interest of time, limit our comments at this juncture to one issue in particular, namely the proposals regarding contractual arrangements.

Two years ago, the General Assembly adopted resolution 63/250, a landmark resolution to streamline contracts and harmonize conditions of service in the United Nations to create a global Secretariat. However, one element of the reforms remains to be implemented, namely the modalities for granting continuing contracts.

My delegation recalls that the proposal previously submitted by the Secretary-General in document A/64/267 was withdrawn based on concerns raised by Member States. My delegation believes, however, that many of these concerns are not addressed in the revised proposal of the Secretary-General. Moreover, the Secretary-General has in fact eliminated the factor of continuing need in the granting of continuing contracts. We recall that, under the ICSC framework for contractual arrangements, continuing appointments are “designed to assist the organizations of the UN common system in maintaining programme continuity” and that “inclusion in this category is subject to the continuing needs of the organizations and extends to staff who perform functions that are core to the mandate of each organization of the UN common system.” My delegation continues to believe that the primary purpose of the contractual framework should be to ensure a professional workforce that is flexible enough to address the needs of the Organization in facing the challenges of today as well as those of tomorrow.

Madam Chair,

My delegation firmly believes that the greatest resource of the United Nations is its staff, and for this reason we are committed to consider carefully all of the proposals presented by the Secretary-General on human resources management. We look forward to working constructively with all delegations on the many issues covered under this agenda item in the weeks ahead.

Thank you, Madam Chair.



PRN: 2010/252