12 March 2009
General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly

Fifth Committee

32nd Meeting (AM)



The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this morning began its review of the conditions of service and compensation for the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC).

As noted by the representative of Sudan, who addressed the topic on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, the issue was being drawn to the Fifth Committee’s attention as required by a 2003 General Assembly resolution, in which the Secretary-General was asked to alert Member States if the annual compensation of those officials fell below the level of compensations for Assistant Secretaries-General.

The Secretary-General’s report on the issue (document A/63/354), introduced by Marianne Brzak-Metzler, Chief of the Conditions of Service Section, Office of Human Resources Management, explains the procedure used to calculate adjustments to the emoluments for the three officials.

The report says the annual compensation of the two full-time ICSC members and the Advisory Committee Chairperson was $167,174 on 1 September 2003, with an additional special allowance of $10,000 for the Chairperson of ICSC and the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee.  The annual net compensation for the three officials is adjusted every January based on a formula tied to the consumer price index movement for New York.

Thus, with that annual adjustment, the total annual net compensation of the two Chairpersons from January 2004 to January 2008 had been above the level of compensation for Assistant Secretaries-Generals serving in New York, and was equivalent to 101 per cent of that of Assistant Secretaries-General “paid at the dependant rate”.  However, the report points out the possibility that, at the time of the next adjustment slated for 1 January 2009, the total annual net compensation for the Chairpersons might drop to 1.5 per cent below the level of compensation for Assistant Secretary-General.

At the time of writing, the anticipated rise in annual net compensation of the three officials was established at 4 per cent -- which, as stipulated by the formula, is 90 per cent of the 4.7 per cent rise in the consumer price index from November 2007 to November 2008, rounded to the nearest whole number.

The report also says that the pensionable remuneration of the three officials was to be adjusted at the same time and by the same percentage as that used to adjust their annual compensation.  That method has been applied since 1991.  Based on the estimated movement of 4.7 per cent in the consumer prince index, the pensionable remuneration of the two Chairpersons was to be revised to $267,105 and that of the Vice-Chairperson of ICSC to $252,795.

The Advisory Committee’s related report (document A/63/726), which was later introduced by Advisory Chairperson Susan McLurg, says that, based on information provided by the Secretary-General, the adjustments would require an estimated $33,194 for the programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.

Ms. Brzak-Metzler pointed out however, that, although it had been anticipated that the annual net emolument of the three officials would be adjusted by 4 per cent, that had, in fact, been adjusted by 2 per cent.  Their pensionable remuneration was also adjusted by 2 per cent.  In consideration of those facts, the estimated additional requirements of $33,194 for the 2008-2009 biennium budget would be cut in half.  She then invited the General Assembly to take note of the report.

As she introduced the Advisory Committee’s report, Ms. McLurg concurred on the need to review those adjustments and also recommended that the Assembly take note of the Secretary-General’s report.

As did the representative of Sudan, Namibia’s representative sought further information on the issue of the remuneration of the Vice-Chairperson of the Advisory Committee.  Speaking on behalf of the African Group, she said that the Advisory Committee had had a Vice-Chairperson position since 1994 and that, “despite playing an important role, the function had not been fully recognized”.  She would seek information on that issue, among others, at the Committee’s informal discussions.

The Committee will meet again at a time to be announced.

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For information media • not an official record