28/03/2003
Press Release
GA/AB/3559



Fifty-seventh General Assembly

Fifth Committee (Resumed)

45th Meeting (PM)


FIFTH COMMITTEE CONCLUDES FIRST RESUMED SESSION, APPROVING EIGHT TEXTS

INCLUDING DRAFT RESOLUTION ON HUMAN RESOURCES


Approved Drafts also Cover Administration of Justice,

Information and Communication Technology, Refugee Exploitation


The General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this afternoon approved a consensus 11-chapter draft resolution on human resources management, thus concluding its consideration of the main agenda item of the Committee’s fifty-seventh session, begun in 2002.  [Based on the Committee’s work cycle, it considers personnel matters every other year, the alternate year being devoted to the budget of the Organization.] 


That draft resolution was one of eight texts approved without a vote on various management and budgetary questions, at today’s closing of the Committee’s first resumed session.  It addressed numerous issues related to the ongoing human resources management reform within the Organization, including the role and monitoring capacity of the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM); recruitment and placement; mobility; delegation of authority and accountability; hiring of consultants and individual contractors; employment of retired staff; composition of the Secretariat; and mandatory age of separation.


Among the latest initiatives introduced within the framework of the reform, which was initiated in 1998, is a new recruitment, placement and promotion system.  Great importance is attached to the principle of managed mobility, which was envisioned as a measure, which would facilitate assignment of staff and provide for greater career development opportunities.  Other measures include development of generic job profiles for Professional posts; improvement of a staff performance appraisal system; and introduction of flexible working arrangements. 


By the draft approved today, the Assembly would express appreciation for the Secretary-General’s efforts aimed at reforming human resources management within the Organization and reaffirm the central role of the OHRM in that respect.  To assess the results of ongoing efforts, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to report at the next “personnel” session of the Committee in 2004 on the achievements of the reform and to conduct a study of its impact as far as improvement of recruitment, placement, promotion and training are concerned. 


Welcoming the recently-introduced on-line “Galaxy” recruitment system, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to further improve that tool, dealing, in particular, with a significantly increased number of applications,


received from nationals of some 186 countries so far.  Pointing to the need to select staff on the basis of merit, demonstrated competencies and performance, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that experience and institutional memory acquired in the United Nations are given due consideration in evaluating applications for promotion. 


Expressing concern over the low proportion of staff below the age of

35 years, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to examine the factors, which inhibit the selection of young people.  In order to prioritize the rejuvenation of the Secretariat, it would also decide not to change the mandatory age of separation from the Organization, which is currently established at

60 years. 


The draft also addresses the need to ensure equitable geographical representation and achieve a wide and equitable distribution of staff in all departments and to “fully reach” the level of posts subject to geographical distribution, which presently stand at 2,700.  In the light of ongoing concern about under-representation of women in the United Nations, also included in the text is a request for the Secretary-General to undertake a comprehensive review of progress made toward the goal of 50/50 gender distribution and to submit proposals to improve representation of women. 


Acting on another draft resolution, the Committee made recommendations to the Assembly on the ways of improving the administration of justice within the Organization, stressing the need to ensure the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity in that respect. 


By that text, the Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to ensure independence of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, taking steps to separate its secretariat from the Office of Legal Affairs and examining the possibility of its financial autonomy.  It would welcome the Secretary-General’s request for a review of the appeals process by the OIOS, looking, in particular, for measures to shorten the period required for the disposal of cases.


The draft would further have the Assembly agree with the proposal to amend the statute of the Administrative Tribunal, requiring that candidates for the Tribunal posses judicial experience in the field of administrative law.  Noting that the staff of the Secretariat and the specialized agencies are currently subject to two different systems of administration of justice, it would request the Joint Inspection Unit to continue to study the possibility of harmonizing the statutes and practices of the United Nations and the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunals. 


By another draft, the Assembly would note with interest the key elements of the Secretary-General’s approach to the development of a strategic information and communication technology (ICT) framework, which addresses the key areas of information sharing and dissemination; administration and management; and the servicing of United Nations organs and governing bodies.  The strategy gives priority to creating a robust infrastructure and ensuring system security,


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reliable field connectivity and internal human capacity-building.  It also seeks to ensure that ICT investments generate tangible returns commensurate with their cost.


The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide further information, present the status of projects and make further proposals in the context of the 2004-2005 proposed programme budget.  The Secretary-General would also be asked to ensure that ICT requirements for duty stations and the regional economic commissions, in particular those in developing countries, are fully engaged in the strategy and that appropriate provisions are made to enable its implementation in those offices. 


Having considered a report of the Joint Inspection Unit on the investigation into sexual exploitation of refugees by aid workers in West Africa, the Committee acted on a draft, by which the Assembly would condemn any exploitation of refugees and internally displaced persons and call for those responsible for such deplorable acts to be brought to justice.


Emphasizing the need to create an environment free of sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian crises, it would note with appreciation the Plan of Action developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises and encourage all relevant agencies to pursue its effective implementation.  Also stressed in the text are remedial and preventive measures at all peacekeeping missions, refugee camps and humanitarian operations, and clear and consistent procedures for impartially reporting and investigating offences. 


By three other texts, the Assembly would request the Committee on Contributions to make further recommendations on measures to encourage Member States to pay their arrears; encourage the OIOS to continue promoting better use of resources and strengthen accountability within the Organization; and take note of several reports related to the results approach in the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.


Also this afternoon, the Committee decided to defer until the second part of its resumed fifty-seventh session consideration of several items, including the review of the gratis personnel provided by governments and other entities; the report of the Secretary-General on the standards of accommodations for air travel and support costs related to extrabudgetary activities in organizations of the United Nations system.


In other action, the Committee recommended to the General Assembly the appointment of Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) as member of the United Nations Staff Pension Committee, to fill the unexpired portion of the term of office of M.Riaz Hamidullah, also of Bangladesh.


Election of Officers


Before taking up the texts before it this afternoon, the Committee first recommended to the Assembly that it appoint Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) as a member of the United Nations Staff Pension Committee, beginning on the date of appointment by the Assembly and expiring on 31 December 2004.  That action was taken by acclamation.


Action on drafts


The first text before the Committee is a draft resolution on the results approach in the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration (document A/C.5/57/L.55), which was introduced by Committee Vice-Chairman, Michel Tilemans (Belgium).  By the draft, the Assembly would take note with appreciation the report of the Joint Inspection Unit and of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting his comments and those of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board on the matter.  It would also requestthe Committee for Programme and Coordination to consider those documents at its forty-third session and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session.


Acting without a vote, the Committee approved that draft.


Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on information and communication technology (ICT) strategy (document A/C.5/57/L.56), which was also introduced by Mr. Tilemans (Belgium).  By the terms of that text, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the subject and welcome the significant steps it represents in developing a strategic framework to guide the further development of ICT in the United Nations.  Stressing the importance of information and communication technology as a strategic tool to strengthen the functioning of the United Nations, it would recognize its potential application throughout the Organization in improving effectiveness, working practices and facilitating multilingualism, including public information activities and enhancing programme delivery. 


The Assembly would, by further terms of the text, note with interest key elements of the approach set out by the Secretary-General, including the three broad areas of information sharing and dissemination, administration and management and the servicing of United Nations organs and governing bodies as a framework for classifying initiatives; priority to robust infrastructure; system security; reliable field connectivity; internal human resources capacity-building; and the requirement to ensure that ICT investments generate tangible returns commensurate with their cost.


The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide further information and to make proposals, to be considered in the context of the

2004-2005 proposed programme budget, on the further strengthening of governance and central leadership arrangements, including a mechanism to assess results achieved and apply the lessons learned, and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions’ suggestion that the head of the Information Technology Services Division be enabled to act as the United Nation’s chief information and communication technology officer. 


Also according to the draft, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that ICT requirements for duty stations and the regional economic commissions, in particular those in developing countries, are fully engaged in the strategy and that appropriate provision be made to enable its implementation in those offices.  The Secretary-General would be requested to provide in the next budget an update on the status of projects, the returns on anticipated investment for planned and proposed major projects, specific plans to strengthen ICT infrastructure, measures to strengthen system security and means to ensure system reliability and maintenance.  It would further request the Secretary-General to address the optimum placement of technical functions presently housed in the Information and Technology Services Division which are not ICT functions.


The representative of Syria drew the Committee’s attention to a mistake in the Arabic version of the text.


The draft resolution was approved without a vote.


By the terms of a draft resolution on the scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations (document A/C.5/57/L.59), introduced by Haile Selassie Getachew (Ethiopia), the Committee on Contributions would be requested to make recommendations on measures with positive impact to encourage Member States to pay their arrears and to report thereon at the fifty-eighth session of the Assembly.


Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft.


The representative of Morocco, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said that while the Group welcomed the consensus on the draft, the Committee’s consideration of the issue at the fifty-eighth session should be made on its own merit and be limited to measures to encourage Member States to pay their arrears.  It was the Group’s understanding that the forthcoming discussion would not be linked in any way to other aspects that the Committee might be considering under the agenda item.  The Group would participate in an objective discussion with its partners with a view to finding measures that had a positive impact in encouraging Member States, particularly those facing genuine economic difficulties, to pay their arrears.


An 11-part draft resolution on human resources management (document A/C.5/57/L.58), addresses numerous issues related to the human resources management reform within the Organization, including the role and monitoring capacity of the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM); recruitment and placement; mobility; delegation of authority and accountability; hiring of consultants and individual contractors; employment of retired staff; mandatory age of separation; placement of staff serving in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General; composition of the Secretariat; and the use of staff-management consultants.


Affirming that the Secretary-General’s endeavours to improve performance, productivity and results across the United Nations are a necessary complement to improved conditions of service, the Assembly would express appreciation for his efforts aimed at reforming human resources management within the Organization.  It would also reaffirm the importance and central role of the OHRM in that regard and request the Secretary-General to report at the fifty-ninth session on the achievements of the human resources management reform when information becomes available on the experiences of the Secretariat in its implementation.  The Secretary-General would also be requested to conduct a study through the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the reform’s impact as far as improvement of recruitment, placement, promotion and training are concerned.  By the terms of the text, such a study should include an assessment of the role of central review bodies and mobility.


In recruitment and placement of personnel, the Secretary-General would be asked to ensure the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to the principle of equitable geographical distribution, as well as transparency of the process.  He would also be requested to ensure the accountability of programme managers in the staff selection process, in close collaboration with the OHRM, and to report on that matter during the fifty-ninth session.


Welcoming the introduction of the Galaxy System, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to take measures to further improve that tool, including steps to deal with the increased number of applications.  Pointing to the need to select staff on the basis of merit, demonstrated competencies and performance, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that relevant experience, knowledge and institutional memory acquired in the United Nations are given due consideration in evaluating applications for promotion.  The Secretary-General would also be requested to ensure the highest performance of translation and interpretation in all six official languages, while filling vacant posts in the language services of the Secretariat.


Among other recruitment and placement improvements envisioned by the Assembly, the text contains paragraphs related to measures to prevent discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, gender, religion and language; address the causes of continuous high vacancy rates; reduce the time needed to place on roster the successful candidates in the national competitive examinations; ensure that movement from the General Service to Professional category is consistent with legislative mandates; and complete the recruitment process without delay. 


Noting with concern the low proportion of staff below the age of 35 years, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to examine the factors, which inhibit the selection of young people.  In order to prioritize the rejuvenation of the Secretariat, the Assembly would decide that no further changes are required to the rule of the mandatory age of separation established at 60 years and request the Secretary-General to report on the exceptions made in that regard on a biennial basis. 


The draft also addresses the need to ensure equitable geographical representation, in particular through increased efforts to improve the composition of the Secretariat by ensuring a wide and equitable geographical distribution of staff in all departments.  In that connection, the Secretary-General would be requested to hold the heads of relevant departments accountable for the human resources action plan and to ensure they take due account of the principle of equitable representation when considering candidates on the roster and on the list endorsed by central review bodies.  


By the draft’s terms, the Assembly would also reaffirm that no post should be considered the exclusive preserve of any Member State or group of States, including at the highest levels, and request the Secretary-General to ensure that, as a general rule, no national of a Member State succeeds a national of that State in a senior post.  The Secretary-General would be also requested to fully reach the level of posts subject to geographical distribution, which presently stand at 2,700 and present a comprehensive assessment of the system of geographical distribution.  The Assembly would also reiterate its request to the Secretary-General to set specific targets as soon as possible to achieve equitable geographical representation of all unrepresented and under-represented Member States.


In light of ongoing concern about under-representation of women in the United Nations, especially at senior levels, the Secretary-General would be requested to undertake a comprehensive review of progress made toward the goal of 50/50 gender distribution, including the factors affecting progress and to submit proposals to improve gender representation, particularly in offices where women are under-represented. 


On the recently introduced concept of mobility, the Assembly would welcome the efforts to develop a more versatile, multi-skilled and experienced international civil service.  When implementing mobility, it would stress the need to ensure that:


-- it does not negatively affect the continuity and quality of services, as well as the Organization’s institutional memory and capacity;


-- does not lead to transfer or abolition of posts as a result of vacancy; and


-- will have a positive impact in filling existing high vacancy rates.


The draft also promotes the need to clearly differentiate between mobility within and across duty stations, the latter being a more important factor in career development; and encourage mobility in all categories of professional and higher level posts.


Encouraging the Secretary-General to continue to develop a results-based culture, which rewards excellent performance, the Assembly would further address measures to enhance a comprehensive and systematic career development system, including in the areas of performance appraisal, training and competitive examination.  It would also request the Secretary-General to make specific proposals to make full use of the United Nations Staff College in the development of a common organizational culture and strengthening managerial skills and competencies.


On former staff, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to employ retirees only if the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by existing staff and ensure that it has no adverse effects on the career planning and mobility of United Nations staff members.  It would stress that hiring of retired staff should be on an exceptional basis and encourage the Secretary-General to fill vacant posts at senior and decision-making posts through the established staff selection process.  


Introducing the draft resolution, Aizaz Chaudhry (Pakistan) made several editorial changes to the text.  He said it had been a truly participatory process.  The Committee’s collaborative approach had allowed it to conclude a rather long document in a short amount of time.


Nora Benary, Committee Secretary, noted changes to the French version of the text.


Syria’s representative drew the Secretariat’s attention to the need to correct the Arabic version of the text.


The Committee, acting without a vote, then approved the text as orally amended.


Morocco’s representative (on behalf of the Group of 77) emphasized the importance it attached to human resources management, in particular the need to have greater accountability for programme managers in the areas of recruitment and respect of equitable geographical representation.  The Group would closely follow the implementation of pertinent provisions of the resolution, including those related to adequate representation at senior and policy-making levels in the Secretariat.


Referring to section 9, paragraph 7 of the text, the representative of Kenya said she wished to put on record the understanding that the additional information asked for in the next report on the composition of the Secretariat would be on a one-time basis for information purposes only.  


The representative of the Russian Federation expressed satisfaction that agreement had been reached on the long text.  He stressed the need to improve the system of assessing staff performance, making it effective and clear.  Without such a system, it was impossible to assess a staff member’s output.  The key to real productive reform was to give up the system of permanent contracts and move to a non-career service.  Such a system would make it possible to use human resources in a flexible manner, thereby increasing the Organization’s work.  He expected the early submission of the final proposals on the rationalization of the contract system. 


Greece’s representative (on behalf of the European Union), also referring to paragraph 7 of section 9, said that the text did not prejudge anything in terms of it being a one-time report.


By a draft resolution on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) (document A/C.5/57/L.60), the Assembly would note with appreciation the work of the Office and take note of its annual report, encouraging the OIOS to continue to help to ensure better use of the resources and strengthen accountability within the Organization.  It would also welcome the continuing efforts of the Office to coordinate its programme with other oversight bodies, including the Board of Auditors and the Joint Inspection Unit.


By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would also stress the need for adequate supervision and record keeping of peacekeeping equipment, proper inventory and internal control systems, sufficient control over mission accounts and compliance with procurement guidelines, requesting the Secretary-General to ensure that the applicable recommendations of the OIOS are fully implemented by relevant departments.  It would note with concern the findings of the Office on problem areas in the functioning and administration of the Investment Management Service of the Joint Staff Pension Fund and request the Secretary-General to ensure full and expeditious implementation of related recommendations.


Collen Vixen Kelapile (Botswana) introduced the text, noting a minor correction.


The Committee then approved the text as orally amended, acting without a vote.


The Committee next took up a draft resolution on investigation into sexual exploitation of refugees by aid workers in West Africa (document A/C.5/57/L.61).  Mr. Kelapile (Botswana) introduced the draft, noting several editorial changes.


By the terms of the text, the Assembly would condemn any exploitation of refugees and internally displaced persons, especially sexual exploitation, and call for those responsible for such deplorable acts to be brought to justice.  Expressing its serious concern that the conditions in refugee camps and communities may make refugees, especially women and children, vulnerable to sexual and other forms of exploitation, it would emphasize the need to create an environment free of sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian crises, in particular through integrating prevention of and response to such phenomena into the protection and assistance functions of all humanitarian and peacekeeping personnel. 


In that connection, the Assembly would note with appreciation the Plan of Action developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises and encourage all relevant agencies to pursue its effective implementation.  The Secretary-General would be requested to ensure that remedial and preventive measures taken by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the IASC and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in response to recommendations of the OIOS, are extended to all peacekeeping missions, refugee camps and humanitarian operations.  The Assembly would also request putting in place clear and consistent procedures for impartially reporting and investigating instances of sexual exploitation and related offences.  All the bodies of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations would be encouraged to incorporate in their codes of conduct specific responsibilities of humanitarian aid workers to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and respond to them appropriately.


Further, by the text, the Assembly would recognize the shared responsibility, within their respective competencies, of United Nations organizations and agencies and troop-contributing countries to ensure that all personnel are held accountable for sexual exploitation and related offences, committed while serving in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.  It would request the Secretary-General, in response to recommendations of the OIOS, to maintain data on investigations into sexual exploitation and related offences by humanitarian and peacekeeping personnel and all relevant actions taken thereon.


Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the text, as orally amended.


South Africa’s representative (on behalf of the African Group) said the draft contained some references to peacekeeping operations and personnel as well as the shared responsibility of the United Nations and troop-contributing countries for their personnel.  It had been the Group’s understanding that the Fifth Committee was not in any way attempting to undermine the work of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.  The Group had agreed to the language with the understanding that the Committee’s would not undermine any other related processes that fell within the mandate of the Special Committee.  The Group had expressed from the outset its strongest condemnation of exploitation of vulnerable persons.  Member States had a collective responsibility to ensure that vulnerable groups were not further traumatized.  She was encouraged by the outcome of the Committee’s negotiations.


India’s representative aligned his delegation with the position of the African Group and reiterated that the Fifth Committee did not want to encroach on the prerogatives of other bodies.  His delegation’s position during the negotiations was that the structures would be put in place on the understanding that the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations would be making the relevant decisions on the matter.


The Committee next took up a draft resolution on the administration of justice (document A/C.5/57/L.57).  Introducing the draft, Magnus Lenefors (Sweden) noted several editorial changes to the text. 


According to the terms of the draft, the Assembly would stress the urgent need to ensure effective and expeditious administration of justice in the Organization and request the Secretary-General to ensure that the highest standards of efficiency, competence, integrity, as well as the principles of fairness and due process serve as the paramount considerations in the system of administration of justice within the United Nations.  It would request the Secretary-General to take steps to ensure the independence of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal and the separation of its secretariat from the Office of Legal Affairs and to study the possibility of its financial independence. 


Further according to the text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General, taking due account of the findings of the OIOS, to submit a report containing alternatives on strengthening the administration of justice by means of ensuring transparency and fairness in the provision of justice to the Organization’s staff.  It would also welcome the Secretary-General’s initiative in requesting the OIOS conduct a management review of the appeals process.  He would also be requested to entrust the OIOS to include in its report measures to shorten the period required for the disposal of cases, including imposing deadlines at all stages of the process.  It would also request the Secretary-General to ensure that the OIOS includes not only the procedures and functions related to the Joint Appeals Board but also those related to the Panel of Counsel, the Administrative Law Unit and the Joint Appeals Joint/Joint Disciplinary committee secretariats. 


The draft would also have the Assembly agree that United Nations Administrative Tribunal should be strengthened through an amendment to its statute requiring that candidates for the Tribunal posses judicial experience in the field of administrative law.  Noting that the staff of the Secretariat and the specialized agencies were subject to two different systems of administration of justice, it would request the Joint Inspection Unit to continue to study the possibility of harmonization of the statutes and practices of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal and the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal.  The Secretary-General would also be requested to undertake a more in-depth analysis of the implications of ensuring that executive heads collaborate with staff associations in the development of comprehensive legal insurance schemes that will cover legal advice and representation for staff to ensure equality of all staff in adversary procedures and the widest possible access of staff to the administration of justice.


By further terms of the text, the Assembly would reiterate its request to the Secretary-General to develop an effective system of personal responsibility and accountability to recover the Organization’s financial losses caused by management irregularities, wrongful actions or gross negligence of Secretariat officials as a result of the judgements of the Administrative Tribunal.  Staff Rule 110.4 would be amended to read that no disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a staff member unless he or she has been notified, in writing, of the allegations against him or her and of the right to seek the assistance of counsel in his or her defence at his or her own expense, and has been given a reasonable opportunity to respond to those allegations.  Staff rule 111.2 would be amended to read that a staff member may arrange to have his or her appeal presented to the panel on his or her behalf by counsel, at his or her own expense.


The representative of Syria drew the Secretariat’s attention to errors in the Arabic version of the text. 


Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution.


Morocco’s representative (speaking on behalf of the Group of 77), said the Group attached great importance to the draft’s subject, since its members believed that no reform process would be considered a success if the administration of justice lagged behind.  Therefore, she was pleased that the Committee had been able to adopt the draft resolution contained in document A/C.5/57/L.57, which was a step in the direction of strengthening the morale of the staff and their commitment to serve the Organization.  The decision to strengthen the role of the Administrative Tribunal through an amendment to its statute, and the request to the Secretary-General to explore further measures to strengthen the administration of justice would go a long way in that regard.


Finally, the Committee took up a draft decision contained in document A/C.5/57/L.62, by the terms of which the Assembly would decide to defer until the second part of its resumed fifty-seventh session consideration of several items, including the review of the gratis personnel provided by governments and other entities; the report of the Secretary-General on the standards of accommodations for air travel; and support costs related to extrabudgetary activities in organizations of the United Nations system.


The representative of Botswana noted that during informal consultations the Committee had been unable to come to an agreeable solution on the report of the Secretary-General on the item on the activities of the OIOS.  To facilitate the programme of work for the resumed session, and after consulting with key delegations, he asked if that agenda item could be added to the draft decision.


The Committee Chairman, Murari Raj Sharma (Nepal), proposed that the Committee add two items to draft decision A/C.5/57/L.62, namely item 118, human resources management, report of the OIOS on possible discrimination due to nationality, race, sex, religion and language in recruitment, promotion and placement, and item 122, the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the OIOS, Management Review of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

The Committee then approved the draft decision, as orally revised, without a vote.


The representative of Greece said that concerning the deferral of item

122 on the management review of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, his delegation had agreed to that on the understanding that the Committee was waiting for the report of the High Commissioner himself.


The representative of Morocco (on behalf of the Group of 77) said that while the Group was pleased that the Committee had been able to conclude its first resumed session within its set time frame, she could not overstress the importance of better allocation of time according to projected workload, which should be reflected ahead of time in the programme of work.  The Group requested that in the future, consideration of the programme of work should take into account the views expressed by all negotiating groups and make optimal use of time without unnecessary restrictions. 


The representative of Syria recalled that, in the framework of deferral of several agenda items, his delegation had expressed concern on the OIOS report on possible discrimination in recruitment practices on the basis of ethnicity.  His delegation had asked for changes to that report and had expected that the report would be considered after it had been corrected.  The Secretariat had informed his delegation that that would be done during the second resumed session.


Returning to the Committee’s previous discussion, its Chairman, Murari Raj Sharma (Nepal) said he intended to send a letter to the President of the General Assembly as the Fifth Committee had expressed the wish to be fully involved in the consideration of the Secretary-General’s impending report on a single-stage intergovernmental review of the programme budget and the medium-term plan.  The Committee affirmed that the strategic and technical issues involved in the consideration of that report fell within its own competence. 


The Committee noted the intention of the Assembly President to engage the plenary in the consideration of the question of a single-stage intergovernmental review, he said, pursuant to the plenary’s discussion in the earlier part of the 57th session of the report entitled “Strengthening of the United Nations: an agenda for further change”.  The Committee had agreed, therefore, that the Secretary-General’s report on the single-stage intergovernmental review be introduced to the General Assembly in the plenary, making due allowance also for the need for delegations and negotiating groups to have the necessary time for reflection and consultations.  Following a brief initial discussion, the report would be remitted to the Fifth Committee.  


Following a procedural discussion and a brief suspension, the Committee decided to hold an extended bureau meeting on Monday, 31 March at 3 p.m. to further consider the matter. 


In his closing statement, the CHAIRMAN expressed satisfaction that working under strenuous circumstances within strict time lines, the Committee had arrived at a consensus “in a dignified and honourable manner”.  He trusted that after a pleasant rest following hard work, Committee members would return reinvigorated to the second resumed session, which would be held from 5 to 30 May 2003.