Statement by Stephen Lieberman, Minister Counselor, on Agenda Item 139: Human Resources Management Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly, Monday 21 October 2013

Stephen Lieberman
Minister Counselor for UN Management and Reform 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
October 21, 2013


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My delegation would like to thank Ms. Catherine Pollard, ASG for Human Resources Management; Ms. Joan Dubinsky, the Director of the Ethics Office; Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chairman of the ACABQ; Inspectors Terzi and Fall of the JIU for their respective reports and Mr. Kenneth Herman, the Senior Adviser on Information Managament Policy Coordination for the CEB, for presenting the notes of the Secretary-General on the reports of the JIU.

While we will reserve most of our comments for the next HRM formal session, let me echo colleagues: the UN cannot do its critical work without the dedication of its staff. Consequently, the United States sees HRM as one of the agenda items most critical to the success of the Organization and looks forward to working with all delegations on relevant HRM issues in the weeks ahead.

In the interst of time, I will offer two brief obersvations this morning.

First, Mr. Chairman, on the proposed amendments to the staff rules and regulations, my delegation would like to support the inclusion of sexual exploitation and abuse as a specific instance of prohibited conduct under the basic rights and obligations of staff. We believe that this is useful progress towards full adherence with the Secretary-General’s zero tolerance policy.

Second, Mr. Chairman, with regard to the Ethics Office report, we join the ACABQ in commending the efforts of the Ethics Office in ethics outreach, training and education; procurement ethics; and financial disclosure. We also commend the Ethics Office on starting its report on the independent and comprehensive review of the existing protection against retaliation policy and practices. We remain concerned with the low number of reported cases and that as the Ethics report states the policy “continues to be utilized as a grievance and labor dispute mechanism,” and we hope that the review will address these issues.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


PRN: 2013/193