Summary: 4 March 2008, New York - Statement by Ms Aleška Simkić, Deputy Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union; United Nations General Assembly 62nd Session; Fifth Committee: Human Resources Management
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.
At the outset let me thank the Under Secretary General for Management, Ms Alicia Barcena, Acting Under Secretary General for Department of Field Support, Ms Jane Holl Lute and the Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission, Mr Kingston Rhodes for introducing the reports before us on streamlining contracts and harmonising conditions of service. We also wish to extend our thanks to the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Ms Susan McLurg.
The European Union fully supports the goal of reform of the management of human resources at the United Nations. A well run workforce with high morale will deliver a more effective UN as well as represent better value for money.
As noted by the General Assembly in Resolution 61/244, the EU again notes the need for rationalisation of the current UN system of contractual arrangements. The current system has grown up over years, without a clear vision of managing the changed realities of a modern, expanded and more field oriented Secretariat. The proposal to simplify the many different types of contract at the UN responds to the need to make this system more transparent, easier to administer and to enhance staff morale. The European Union welcomes this overall objective. We stand ready to continue to engage constructively to ensure that any new system meets the needs of the Organisation and its staff.
The European Union recognises the importance of staff retention as a contributor to the healthy running of the Organisation, particularly in the field. We recognise the disruption that can occur to the good management of field missions when there are high vacancy and turnover rates. We look forward to discussing the best way to address the role that harmonising the conditions of service in the field can play. We do note the high costs involved and we look forward to receiving the updated figures on this issue as soon as possible.
The European Union stands ready to work with all our partners in a constructive spirit on these important issues and we look forward to a successful outcome.
Thank you Mr Chairman.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.