United Nations

A/51/304


General Assembly

 Distr. GENERAL
13 September 1996
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


Fifty-first session
Items 105 and 122 (b) of the
  provisional agenda*


                                                                              

                           ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN

      HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT:  COMPOSITION OF THE SECRETARIAT

         Improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat

                                                                              

                       Report of the Secretary-General

                                                                              

                                    CONTENTS

                                                                              

                                                         Paragraphs   Page

I.     INTRODUCTION .....................................  1 - 4          3

II.    MEASURABLE ACHIEVEMENTS ..........................  5 - 10         4

        A.       Women in posts subject to geographical
                 distribution, by level and department ..  5 - 7          4

        B.       Women in posts subject to special language
                 requirements ...........................     8            9
        C.       Promotion ..............................     9           10

        D.       Appointments  ..........................    10           11

III.   FRAMEWORK TO SUPPORT GENDER EQUALITY, INCLUDING THE
             IMPROVEMENT OF THE STATUS OF WOMEN .......... 11 - 21        11

        A.       Consolidation of special measures for the
                      achievement of gender equality ......   11          11

        B.       Special Adviser on Gender Issues .........   12          12

        C.       Steering Committee on the Improvement of the
                 Status of Women in the Secretariat .......13 - 14         13

        D.       Administrative Committee on Coordination ....15           14

        E.       Office of the Focal Point for Women in the 
                 Secretariat .....................         16 - 20         14

        F.       Discrimination, including harassment ........21           16

IV.     IMPLEMENTATION OF GENDER GOALS .....................22 - 31         16

        A.       Follow-up to the strategic plan of action for the
                 improvement of the status of women in the 
                 Secretariat (1995-2000):  key actions by the 
                 Office of Human Resources Management, in
                 collaboration with the Office of the Focal Point
                 for Women in the Secretariat ..............24 - 25        17

        B.       New management culture ....................26 - 31        19

V.     CONCLUSION ..........................................32 - 35        20

     *    A/51/150.


                                                                              

      Tables

1.      Gender distribution of staff in the United Nations Secretariat, by
        department or office and grade:  Professional and higher-level
        staff in posts subject to geographical distribution, as of 
        30 June 1996 .....................................................6

2.      Gender distribution of staff in the United Nations Secretariat in 
        posts subject to geographical distribution, 1994, 1995 and 1996 ..7

3.      Gender distribution of staff in the United Nations Secretariat, by
        department or office and grade:  D-1 and higher-level staff in posts
        subject to geographical distribution, as of 30 June 1996 .........8

4.      Gender distribution of staff in posts with special language
        requirements, by grade, 1995 and 1996 ............................9

5.      Gender distribution of staff in posts with special language
        requirements, by region and grade, as of 30 June 1996 ............10

6.      Gender distribution of Professional staff promoted through the
        appointment and promotion bodies to the P-3 to D-1 levels,
        30 June 1995 to 30 June 1996 .....................................10
                                                                              

I.  INTRODUCTION


1.         As provided for in Article 8 of the Charter of the United Nations,
the universal eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and
under conditions of equality in the United Nations principal and subsidiary
organs is vital to the Organization's credibility and leadership role as an
advocate for improving the status of women worldwide.  In the last decade,
policies aimed at achieving gender equality in the United Nations global
Secretariat have produced measurable gains, in terms of both the number of
women working at all levels, and changes in the work environment within which
they pursue their careers.  In 1985, only 23.1 per cent of Professional posts
subject to geographical distribution were filled by women (see A/C.5/40/30,
table 1); as of 30 June 1996, the corresponding figure is 35.1 per cent. 
Nonetheless, the Secretary-General's guiding target of 50/50 gender
distribution overall by the year 2000 appears elusive.  The Secretariat is
particularly far from achieving that target at policy-making and
decision-making levels (D-1 and above) where the percentage of posts held by
women is 17.9 per cent.  The Secretary-General's target must be supported,
particularly in the current context of financial crisis, by ongoing creative
measures to protect established gains and fulfil equality objectives.

2.         At its fiftieth session, the General Assembly adopted resolution
50/164 on the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat.  In that
resolution, the Assembly expressed disappointment that neither of the
objectives that it had established in its resolutions 45/125 of 14 December
1990 and 45/239 C of 21 December 1990 had been met (a 35 per cent overall
participation rate of women in posts subject to geographical distribution by
1995 and a 25 per cent participation rate of women in posts at the D-1 level
and above by 1995), and that the level of representation at the D-1 level and
above remained unacceptably low.  At its forty-ninth session, the Assembly had
adopted resolutions 49/222 A and 49/222 B in which, inter alia, it had
provided guidance and support for efforts to improve the status of women in
the global Secretariat and the United Nations system of organizations.  In its
resolution 49/422 A, the Assembly had urged the Secretary-General to implement
fully the strategic plan of action for the improvement of the status of women
in the Secretariat (1995- 2000) (A/49/587 and Corr.1, sect. IV).

3.         As indicated above, the first goal established in Assembly
resolutions 45/125 and 45/239 C and reaffirmed in Assembly resolution 50/164
of a 35 per cent overall participation rate of women in Professional posts
subject to geographical distribution has now been achieved.  However, as of 30
June 1996, the representation of women at the policy-making and
decision-making levels stands at 17.9 per cent, reflecting very slow progress
towards the companion goal of a 25 per cent participation rate of women.  A
new time-bound target for the representation of women overall in posts subject
to geographical distribution should now be realistically redefined so that
attention will remain focused on gender equality.  In order to proceed and
achieve full equality - 50/50 gender distribution overall - some intermediate
minimum targets need to be set.  To realize the goal of a 25 per cent
representation of women in policy-making levels, continuous support for
filling such posts with qualified women candidates is required both from
senior managers of the Organization and from Member States.  However, the
current and seemingly open-ended financial crisis faced by the United Nations
has had a continuing negative impact on recruitment at all levels, diminishing
opportunities for changing the balance in the foreseeable future, particularly
at the policy-making and decision-making levels.

4.         The present report has been prepared pursuant to Assembly
resolution 222 A.  It presents recent achievements and challenges over the
past year in meeting prescribed gender-distribution goals.  During the present
time of financial constraint on the United Nations, human resource planning
and managerial responsibility, continued commitment and vigilance, and
enforceable and effective measures are particularly necessary to secure
present gains and achieve continuing progress, even if modest.


II.  MEASURABLE ACHIEVEMENTS

A.  Women in posts subject to geographical distribution,
    by level and department                             

5.         As part of the Organization's efforts to improve the status of
women, the Office of Human Resources Management of the United Nations
Secretariat prepares monthly monitoring tables on the status of women in the
Secretariat and distributes them to the Steering Committee for the Improvement
of the Status of Women in the Secretariat.  The tables cover the gender
distribution of staff in the United Nations Secretariat by department or
office, as well as by grade for Professional and higher-level staff in posts
subject to geographical distribution; they provide data on the Assistant
Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General levels, the D-2 and higher
levels, the D-1 and higher levels, and P-5 and higher-level staff in posts
subject to geographical distribution.

6.         Table 1 shows that the percentage of women in posts subject to
geographical distribution stands at 35.1 as of 30 June 1996, compared with a
percentage of 23.1 in 1985 (see A/C.5/40/30, table 1), an increase of 12 per
cent in the last 11 years.  Table 2 shows the progression of the status of
women in the last three years.  Although there has been some increase in the
number of Professional women in the Secretariat - since the middle of 1994 the
percentage of women has increased by 2.3 per cent - the hiring freeze, which
began in September 1995, has clearly taken away one of the major tools of the
Organization to implement gender equality.  Furthermore, as a result of a
concerted effort by the Office of Human Resources Management working with
programme managers, statistics show that women have not been
disproportionately affected by the early separation programmes of 1995 and
1996.  The number of Professional staff separated under those programmes was
89, of whom one third were women.  Under the early separation programme for
1995, of 57 Professional staff members approved 21 were women and 36 were men;
under the programme for 1996, of 32 Professionals 8 were women and 24 were
men.  Since two thirds of those separated were men, new opportunities for the
upward mobility of women have become available.

7.         Table 1 indicates the gender distribution, by department, of
Secretariat staff in posts subject to geographical distribution.  Of the 31
departments and offices reviewed, 15 have achieved or surpassed the goal of 35
per cent women overall in posts subject to geographical distribution; nine
have reached over 25 per cent women; four departments and offices have not yet
reached 25 per cent women; and three have reached 50 per cent or more women in
Professional posts (table 1).  In addition, three departments have reached or
surpassed 50 per cent women in posts D-1 and above (see table 3).  As a
follow-up to a decision made at the Fourth World Conference on Women to
mainstream gender issues into all programmes and aspects of the United
Nations, it is expected that an end to the financial crisis would provide
opportunities to recruit more women for previously male-dominated areas, thus
eliminating the exclusion of women from certain occupations.











Table 1.  Gender distribution of staff in the United Nations Secretariat, by
          department or office and grade:  Professional and higher-level staff
          in posts subject to geographical distribution, as of 30 June 1996


Department                                                        Grand   % of
Office                                                     Total  Total  women

DAM     M = USGx1, D1x3,  P5x4,  P4x2,  P3x2,  P2x2           14
        F = D2x1,  D1x2,  P5x3,  P4x6,  P3x3,  P2x2           17     31   54.8
DAM/    M = ASGx1, D2x1,  D1x1,  P5x6,  P4x10, P3x11, P2x6,   36
OHRM    F = D2x2,  D1x3,  P5x8,  P4x13, P3x9,  P2x6           41     77   53.2
INTORG  M = P5x2,  P4x1                                        3
        F = P4x2,  P2x1                                        3      6   50.0
DPI     M = ASGx1, D2x4,  D1x13, P5x19, P4x32, P3x37, P2x25  131 
        F = D2x2,  D1x5,  P5x13, P4x32, P3x45, P2x31         128    259   49.4
DPCSD   M = USGx1, D2x2,  D1x10, P5x14, P4x11, P3x5,  P2x4    47 
        F = D2x2,  D1x2,  P5x8,  P4x15, P3x10, P2x7           44     91   48.4
UNJSPF  M = D1x2,  P5x5,  P4x3,  P3x8                         18 
        F = P5x2,  P4x6,  P3x6,  P2x1                         15     33   45.5
UNEP    M = D1x1,  P4x6,  P3x1,  P2x3                         11      
        F = USGx1, D2x2,  P5x2,  P4x1,  P2x3                   9     20   45.0
DAM/    M = ASGx1, D2x4,  D1x5,  P5x8,  P4x11, P3x14, P2x8    51     
OPPBA   F = P5x10, P4x9,  P3x14, P2x7                         40     91   44.0
UNHCR   M = USGx1, ASGx1, D1x2,  P5x6,  P4x11, P3x8,  P2x4    33 
        F = P5x2,  P4x8,  P3x9,  P2x6                         25     58   43.1
DDSMS   M = USGx1, D2x2,  D1x6,  P5x13, P4x17, P3x9,  P2x1    49
        F = D2x1,  D1x1,  P5x7,  P4x14, P3x10, P2x4           37     86   43.0
UNOG    M = USGx1, D2x2,  D1x7,  P5x4,  P4x12, P3x19, P2x10   55
        F = D1x2,  P5x7,  P4x4,  P3x12, P2x13                 38     93   40.9
DCP     M = USGx1, D2x2,  D1x1,  P5x7,  P4x6,  P3x7,  P2x3    27
        F = P5x1,  P4x8,  P3x3,  P2x6                         18     45   40.0
DPA     M = USGx1, ASGx2, D2x8, D1x10,P5x21,P4x22,P3x14, P2x6 84     
        F = D2x1,  D1x5,  P5x11, P4x15, P3x14, P2x6           52    136   38.2
OLA     M = USGx1, D2x5,  D1x7,  P5x10, P4x8,  P3x9,  P2x9    49
        F = P5x9,  P4x7,  P3x7,  P2x7                         30     79   38.0
OIOS    M = USGx1, D2x1,  D1x2,  P5x7,  P4x11, P3x8,  P2x1    31
        F = D1x1,  P5x1,  P4x8,  P3x3,  P2x5                  18     49   36.7
DESIPA  M = USGx1, D2x2,  D1x11, P5x11, P4x24, P3x23, P2x11   83
        F = D1x2,  P5x8,  P4x14, P3x9,  P2x9                  42    125   33.6
DAM/    M = ASGx1, D2x3,  D1x12, P5x15, P4x23, P3x25, P2x12   91
OCSS    F = D1x4,  P5x8,  P4x12, P3x14, P2x8,                 46    137   33.6
DPKO    M = USGx1, ASGx2, D2x3, D1x8, P5x7, P4x20, P3x8, P2x4 53
        F = D1x1,  P5x2,  P4x8,  P3x13, P2x2                  26     79   32.9
SG      M = USGx2, ASGx1, D2x2, D1x2, P5x3, P4x2,  P3x3, P2x2 17
        F = ASGx1, D1x2,  P5x2,  P3x1,  P2x2                   8     25   32.0
ESCWA   M = USGx1, D1x4,  P5x12, P4x22, P3x7,  P2x4           50
        F = D2x1,  P5x2,  P4x5,  P3x7,  P2x7                  22      72  30.6
ESCAP   M = USGx1, D1x9,  P5x21, P4x32, P3x21, P2x9           93  
        F = D2x1,  D1x3,  P5x2,  P4x12, P3x8,  P2x14          40     133  30.1
ECLAC   M = USGx1, D1x10, P5x17, P4x34, P3x24, P2x15         101
        F = D1x2,  P5x6,  P4x8,  P3x13, P2x9                  38     139  27.3
DHA     M = USGx1, D2x4,  D1x7,  P5x11, P4x6,  P3x1,  P2x3    33
        F = P5x2,  P4x2,  P3x4,  P2x4                         12      45  26.7
UNOV    M = D2x2,  D1x3,  P5x7,  P4x12, P3x12, P2x2           38
        F = D1x2,  P5x2,  P4x4,  P3x4,  P2x1                  13      51  25.5
REGCOM  M = D1x1,  P5x1,  P4x1,                                3
        F = D1x1,                                              1       4  25.0
UNCHS   M = ASGx1, D2x2,  D1x2,  P5x4,  P4x11, P3x10, P2x4    34
        F = D1x1,  P5x1,  P4x4,  P3x4,  P2x1                  11      45  24.4
ECE     M = USGx1, D1x5,  P5x15, P4x18, P3x17, P2x12          68
        F = D2x1,  D1x2,  P5x1,  P4x6,  P3x6,  P2x4           20      88  22.7
UNCTAD  M = USGx1, D2x3,  D1x22, P5x39, P4x36, P3x40, P2x16  157
        F = D1x1,  P5x6,  P4x8,  P3x21, P2x10                 46     203  22.7
ECA     M = USGx1, D2x1,  D1x7,  P5x33, P4x37, P3x37, P2x12  128
        F = D1x1,  P5x3,  P4x8,  P3x14, P2x10                 36     164  22.0
DPKO/   M = ASGx3, D2x2,  D1x6,  P5x14, P4x5,  P3x7,  P2x2    39
FALD    F = P5x1,  P4x1,  P3x2,  P2x2                          6      45  13.3
UNCC    M = D2x2,  D1x1,  P5x1,  P4x1                          5
        F =                                                    0       5   0.0
UNSCOM  M =                                                    0
        F =                                                    0       0   

TOTAL   M = USGx20, ASGx14, D2x57, D1x180, P5x337, P4x447
            P3x387, P2x190                                 1,632           
        F = USGx1,  ASGx1,  D2x14, D1x43,  P5x130, P4x240
            P3x265, P2x188                                   882   2,514  35.1



Table 2.  Gender distribution of staff in the United Nations Secretariat in
          posts subject to geographical distribution, 1994, 1995 and 1996  


                30 June 1994

Level     Women     Men    Total   % Women
USG           2      17       19     10.53
ASG           2      16       18     11.11
D-2          14      61       75     18.67
D-1          34     198      232     14.66
P-5         122     375      497     24.55
P-4         246     481      727     33.84
P-3         240     371      611     39.28
P-2         168     201      369     45.53
P-1           2       0        2    100.00
Total       830   1 720    2 550     32.55


                30 June 1995

Level     Women     Men    Total   % Women
USG           2      18       20      10.0
ASG           2      12       14      14.3
D-2          14      58       72      19.4
D-1          39    188      227      17.2
P-5         136     345      481      28.3
P-4         234     460      694      33.7
P-3         250     379      629      39.7
P-2         180     198      378      47.6
P-1           0       0        0       0.0
Total       857   1 658    2 515      34.1


                30 June 1996

Level     Women     Men    Total   % Women
USG           1      20       21       4.8
ASG           1      14       15       6.7
D-2          14      57       71      19.7
D-1          43     180      223      19.3
P-5         130     337      467      27.8
P-4         240     447      687      34.9
P-3         265     387      652      40.6
P-2         188     190      378      49.7
P-1           0       0        0       0.0

Total       882   1 632    2 514      35.1


Source:  Previous reports of the Secretary-General on the composition of the
Secretariat (A/49/527 and A/50/540) and data provided by the Office of Human
Resources of the United Nations Secretariat.



Table 3.  Gender distribution of staff in the United Nations
          Secretariat, by department or office and grade:   
          D-1 and higher-level staff in posts subject to    
          geographical distribution, as of 30 June 1996     



Department/   USG      ASG      D-2      D-1        Total   
office       M   F    M   F    M   F    M    F     M     F    Grand     % of
                                                              total     women 
UNEP             1                 2     1          1   3      4       75.0
DAM/OHRM              1         1  2     1   3      3   5      8       62.5
REGCOM                                   1   1      1   1      2       50.0
DAM          1                     1     3   2      4   3      7       42.9
ECE          1                     1     5   2      6   3      9       33.3
SG           2        1   1     2        2   2      7   3     10       30.0
ESCAP        1                     1     9   3     10   4     14       28.6
UNOV                            2        3   2      5   2      7       28.6
DPI                   1         4  2    13   5     18   7     25       28.0
DPCSD        1                  2  2    10   2     13   4     17       23.5
DPA          1        2         8  1    10   5     21   6     27       22.2
OIOS         1                  1        2   1      4   1      5       20.0
DAM/OCSS              1         3       12   4     16   4     20       20.0
DDSMS        1                  2  1     6   1      9   2     11       18.2
ESCWA        1                     1     4          5   1      6       16.7
UNOG         1                  2        7   2     10   2     12       16.7
UNCHS                 1         2        2   1      5   1      6       16.7
ECLAC        1                          10   2     11   2     13       15.4
DESIPA       1                  2       11   2     14   2     16       12.5
ECA          1                  1        7   1      9   1     10       10.0
DPKO         1        2         3        8   1     14   1     15        6.7
UNCTAD       1                  3       22   1     26   1     27        3.7
OLA          1                  5        7         13   0     13        0.0
DHA          1                  4        7         12   0     12        0.0
DCP          1                  2        1          4   0      4        0.0
DAM/OPPBA             1         4        5         10   0     10        0.0
UNJSPF                                   2          2   0      2        0.0
UNHCR        1        1                  2          4   0      4        0.0
UNCC                            2        1          3   0      3        0.0
DPKO/FALD             3         2        6         11   0     11        0.0
INTORG                                              0   0      0
UNSCOM                                              0   0      0
  Total     20   1   14   1    57 14   180  43    271  59    330       17.9



B.   Women in posts subject to special language requirements

8.         As shown in table 4, the percentage of women in posts subject to
special language requirements was 35.3 on 30 June 1995 and 36.3 as of 30 June
1996.  However, the staffing complement of certain language services still
consists predominantly of male staff (see table 5).  It should be noted that
for those countries that have low representation of women in posts subject to
geographical distribution, the same pattern exists in their respective
language units.  Posts with special language requirements range from levels
P-1 to P-5 inclusive.  At the D-1 level and above, such posts are subject to
geographical distribution because of the degree of managerial responsibility
and functions attached to them.  Had the target of 35 per cent overall
included posts subject to special language requirements, the Secretariat would
have met a 35-per-cent representation level for 1995 and 1996.


Table 4.  Gender distribution of staff in posts with special
          language requirements, by grade, 1995 and 1996    

                 30 June 1995                  30 June 1996

Level     Women  Men  Total %Women      Women  Men  Total  %Women
P-5         39    91    130   30.0         48   91    139    34.5
P-4        126   231    357   35.3        120  231    351    34.2
P-3        121   237    358   33.8        127  226    353    36.0
P-2         31    23     54   57.4         32   26     58    55.2
P-1          0     0      0    0.0          0    0      0     0.0
  Total    317   582    899   35.3        327  574    901    36.3



Table 5.  Gender distribution of staff in posts with special
language requirements, by region and grade, as of 30 June 1996    

                 P-5     P-4      P-3    P-2   P-1    Total
                                                            Total
    Region      F   M   F   M    F   M   F  M  F  M   F   M staff
Africa          4  15   6  45   10  32   3  1  0  0  23  93   116
Asia and the  
Pacific         4  14   8  38   16  50   3  4  0  0  31 106   137
Eastern Europe  0  17   2  48    2  83   1  4  0  0   5 152   157
Western Europe 25  23  63  56   44  23  12  9  0  0 144 111   255
Latin America   9   9  16  12   16  13   3  4  0  0  44  38    82
Middle East     0   6   2   9    6  10   1  1  0  0   9  26    35
North America and 
the Caribbean   6   6  20  20   31  14   8  3  0  0  65  43   108
Others          0   1   3   3    2   1   1  0  0  0   6   5    11
    Total      48  91 120 231  127 226  32 26  0  0 327 574   901


C.   Promotion

9.         The strict application and monitoring of the special measures set
forth in administrative instruction ST/AI/412 of 5 January 1996 on special
measures for the achievement of gender equality have yielded a promotion rate
of 41.3 per cent for women over the past year (see table 6).  The special
measures require that due regard be paid to improving the status of women even
when financial crises or measures lead to periods of downsizing and/or a
freeze on recruitment.


Table 6.  Gender distribution of Professional staff promoted 
          through the appointment and promotion bodies to the
          P-3 to D-1 levels, 30 June 1995 to 30 June 1996    

                                         Percentage of
Levels          Men            Women         Women         Total
D-1              14              8           36.36            22
P-5              35             20           36.36            55
P-4              38             26           40.63            64
P-3              28             27           49.09            55
Total           115             81           41.32           196

Source:  Office of Human Resources Management of the United Nations
Secretariat. 


D.  Appointments

10.        In the Secretary-General's bulletin ST/SGB/278 of 14 September 1995
on the financial situation of the Organization, the Secretary-General decided,
among other measures, to implement a freeze on recruitment until the financial
situation of the Organization improves substantially.  Recruitment, one of the
main tools for improving the percentage of women in the Professional category,
especially at D-1 levels and above, has been drastically slowed during the
financial crisis.  Since there is no critical mass of women at the middle
levels, the ability to use promotion as a tool for reaching the targets set by
the General Assembly is limited, further affecting the Secretary-General's
goal of achieving gender balance within the established time-frame.  Thus, the
Secretariat does not have the necessary opportunities to improve gender
balance as fast as the Secretary-General wishes.


III.  FRAMEWORK TO SUPPORT GENDER EQUALITY, INCLUDING
      THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE STATUS OF WOMEN         

A.  Consolidation of special measures for the
    achievement of gender equality           

11.        Administrative instruction ST/AI/412 of 5 January 1996 on special
measures for the achievement of gender equality consolidates in a streamlined
format all existing measures dispensed over the last 10 years in bulletins,
administrative instructions and other policy issuances on achieving gender
balance, and provides the framework for monitoring the status of women in
departments and offices.  In its resolution 49/222 B, the General Assembly
noted with appreciation the statement on the status of women in the
secretariats of the United Nations system adopted by the Administrative
Committee on Coordination (ACC) at its first regular session of 1995.  The
Secretary-General's bulletin ST/SGB/282 of 5 January 1996 on policies to
achieve gender equality in the United Nations was issued concurrently with
administrative instruction ST/AI/412.  The bulletin will facilitate the
monitoring of the status of women, as well as give impetus to efforts to
realize the Secretary-General's goal of gender equality by the year 2000. 
However, the United Nations is still unable to implement many of those
measures due to the constraints created by the financial crisis, such as its
inability to recruit new staff.  Summarized below are the principal measures
that the Office of Human Resources Management has adopted in its plan for the
improvement of the status of women:

           (a)        Whenever the Secretary-General has found it necessary to
impose a recruitment freeze, requests for exceptions to the freeze shall be
considered in a more favourable light if the recommended candidate is a woman;

           (b)        Vacancies in the category and level of posts falling
short of target figures set by the General Assembly shall be filled, when
there are one or more female candidates, by a female candidate provided that
(a) her qualifications meet all the requirements for the vacant post and (b)
her qualifications are substantially equal or superior to those of competing
male candidates; 

           (c)        When a woman candidate matches requirements for a
vacancy and a department recommends a male candidate, a written analysis must
be submitted by the department indicating the basis for the selection;

           (d)        Except for posts filled through competitive examination,
foreseeable vacancies that occur may not be filled by a male candidate until
the Office of Human Resources Management has certified that, despite the best
efforts of all concerned for a period of at least six months, no qualified
woman candidate has been identified;

           (e)        Women who have been in the service of the Organization
including United Nations funds and programmes, for at least one year, under
any type of appointment or as consultants, can apply for United Nations
internal vacancy announcements;

           (f)        Vacancies for posts at the P-5 level and above in
departments that do not have gender equality must be advertised internally and
externally (except when the Office of Human Resources Management has waived
requirement for external announcement, as when a qualified woman candidate has
been identified);

           (g)        If any candidate is to be recruited over the normal
maximum desirable range for a given country, such exceptions should be made
only for women, in limited cases, in relation to posts for which they are the
best qualified candidates;

           (h)        In order to expand the pool of women available for
recruitment at the lower Professional levels, exceptionally well-qualified
women serving under short-term appointments or appointments of less than one
year at the P-2 or P-3levels and encumbering an established post may, on a
limited basis, be allowed to take the competitive examination even though they
are nationals of Member States above the mid-point of their desirable range or
nationals of overrepresented Member States;

           (i)        Whenever assignments against a higher-level post
temporarily become available, all departments and offices are requested to
undertake a review of their qualified women staff for temporary placement
against such functions;

           (j)        A formal monitoring process has been established within
the Office of the Focal Point for Women to ensure that women are not
disproportionately affected during the financial crisis;

           (k)        The rules on seniority are to be flexibly applied so
that the cumulative seniority of a woman staff member is considered for the
purposes of regular and accelerated promotion.


B.  Special Adviser on Gender Issues

12.        Following the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing,
4-15 September 1995) and in response to a recommendation of the Conference,
the Secretary-General has designated one of his special advisers as his
Special Adviser on Gender Issues.  In that capacity, the Special Adviser
assists the Secretary-General in ensuring that the gender perspective is
effectively integrated into policies and programmes in all areas of work in
the United Nations system, working together with the Division for the
Advancement of Women of the United Nations Secretariat, the United Nations
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the International Research and Training
Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), the Office of the Focal
Point for Women in the United Nations Secretariat and other concerned units
within the United Nations system.  In line with that mandate and in order to
ensure better coordination among the various components of the system, in
consultation with the programmes and funds of the United Nations system, the
Special Adviser has, on an informal basis, established three working groups
with the participation of the United Nations Secretariat and some funds and
programmes of the United Nations system.  The working groups cover policy and
research, operational activities, and gender balance throughout the United
Nations system, and have already carried out some preliminary work in
identifying areas of action.  The groups are expected to merge with any
task-oriented working groups that the Inter-Agency Committee on Women (see
para. 15 below) may decide to establish.  Their activities could then
be taken up within that wider framework. 


C.  Steering Committee on the Improvement of the
    Status of Women in the Secretariat          

13.        The Steering Committee on the Improvement of the Status of Women in
the Secretariat was established by the Secretary-General on 7 March 1986, as
part of an overall programme to overcome the main obstacles to women's
integration into the substantive work of the Organization.  The Committee is
chaired by the Special Adviser on Gender Issues to the Secretary-General, and
is composed of 16 members selected in their personal capacities by the
Secretary-General from various departments and offices.  The Focal Point for
Women in the Secretariat is an ex officio member and the Secretary of the
Committee.  The Committee monitors the implementation of the strategic plan of
action for the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat
(1995-2000); advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary-General on
policies for the advancement of women; and reports to the Secretary-General on
a yearly basis.

Local steering committees

14.        Some regional commissions have or are in the process of setting up
steering committees and some, such as the Economic Commission for Africa, have
had such committees in the past.  In April 1995, the Director-General of the
United Nations Office at Vienna, upon the recommendation of the Joint Advisory
Committee, established the Vienna Committee for the Improvement of the Status
of Women to help achieve gender goals.  The Committee acts in an advisory
capacity to the Director-General, and communicates to the Steering Committee
in New York its findings and recommendations. 


D.  Administrative Committee on Coordination

15.        In 1995, the members of ACC reaffirmed their strong commitment to
ensuring that the advancement of women was a policy priority within the
organizations of the common system, and to taking the necessary measures to
improve the status of women in their respective secretariats.  ACC recognized
that a concerted effort had to be made to implement existing policies fully,
as well as to develop new initiatives to increase the participation of women,
especially at senior levels.  In addition, at its first regular session of
1996, ACC established the Inter-Agency Committee on the Advancement on Women,
to be chaired by the Special Adviser on Gender Issues to the
Secretary-General.  The mandate of the Committee is to monitor, on the basis
of performance indicators, the implementation by the United Nations system of
the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women and
gender-related recommendations emanating from recent United Nations
conferences and summits within the purview of the system, and to advise ACC on
ways and means of ensuring effective cooperation and coordination of the
United Nations system in that regard and in support of mainstreaming gender
equality in the work of the United Nations system.  In order to facilitate and
monitor its work in that area, ACC requested that its Consultative Committee
on Advisory Questions report to it at regular intervals on the implementation
of the measures it had initiated to increase the participation of women.  That
review is currently under way and a report will be submitted to ACC at its
second regular session of 1996.


E.  Office of the Focal Point for Women in the Secretariat

16.        The Focal Point for Women continues to report directly to the
Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management and to function as
an integral part of his immediate office and the Office of Human Resources
Management as a whole.  Her main functions are as follows:  

           (a)        To monitor the implementation and progress of the
strategic plan of action for the improvement of the status of women in the
Secretariat (1995-2000), as endorsed by the General Assembly in its
resolutions 49/222 A and 50/164;

           (b)        To communicate, network and advocate within the United
Nations common system on gender issues to ensure that the United Nations and
outside institutions fully benefit from lessons learned in addressing gender
issues at the workplace;

           (c)        To intervene in the placement and promotion processes to
ensure that women are given every opportunity to be placed and promoted into
posts for which they are qualified;

           (d)        To intervene in recruitment processes to ensure that
greater numbers of qualified women are recruited, in particular at the senior
decision-making levels;

           (e)        To provide reports and attend deliberations of the
General Assembly on the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat,
and also to provide secretariat services to the Steering Committee on the
Improvement of the Status of Women in the Secretariat and others, as
necessary;

           (f)        To provide counsel and guidance to women staff members
who seek her assistance with their careers, and advise them on their rights
and responsibilities.

17.        The Focal Point for Women works closely with the Office of Human
Resources Management to build a more supportive and encouraging work
environment in order to further the targets set by the General Assembly.  In
addition, the Focal Point tries to generate better communication among all
staff.  Special events that would bring women and men together to discuss
issues of mutual concern are also planned.  

18.        On 25 April 1996, the Focal Point organized the "Take your
daughters to work day", in cooperation with the Staff Committee and the Group
on Equal Rights for Women.  The activities of the day were designed to provide
young women with the opportunity to see their mothers and/or fathers at work
and to see at first hand the role that women play in the Organization and the
opportunities open to them for future leadership roles.

19.        The activities of the Office of the Focal Point continue to be
financed through extrabudgetary sources.  Current staff resources - for one
Principal Officer and one General Service-level staff member - are extremely
limited in view of the workload related to the implementation and monitoring
of the plan of action, as well as the follow up to the Fourth World Conference
on Women and the new ACC Inter-Agency Committee on Women.  In its resolution
49/222 A, the General Assembly urged Member States to make voluntary
contributions to support the efforts of the United Nations in bringing about
gender equality.  Bringing gender equality to the United Nations is a
responsibility to be shared by Member States with the United Nations and to be
shared by the Office of Human Resources Management with other departments. 
Appointment promotion bodies, for example, have been supportive (see table 5).

In order to reach gender equality the work environment needs to be improved. 
To that end, gender sensitivity has been incorporated in the Performance
Appraisal System as well as in the People Management Training Programme.  In
addition, to offset limited staffing resources the Focal Point has availed
herself of the Internship Programme.  

Departmental focal points

20.        A network of departmental focal points, functioning since 1994,
assists the Focal Point for Women in the Secretariat.  The departmental focal
points, in addition to their regular duties, work with department heads and
chiefs of administration and/or executive offices to monitor policy
implementation and alert the Focal Point to problems encountered by women in
their respective departments.  The departmental focal points are chosen by the
heads of departments and offices for a two-year term, in consultation with
staff representatives, taking into account their demonstrated interest and
commitment to improving the status of women in the Secretariat.  The
departmental focal points support and work in close cooperation with the Focal
Point for Women in the Secretariat.


F.  Discrimination, including harassment

21.        Although harassment is not a gender issue per se, the Focal Point
for Women in the Secretariat serves as an adviser to the Joint Advisory
Committee Task Force on Harassment, which works to identify and deal with the
problem of harassment, including sexual harassment, in the workplace.  With
extrabudgetary and consultant support, the joint staff/management Task Force
has prepared a questionnaire for desk-to-desk distribution at all duty
stations of the global United Nations Secretariat.  The survey will explore
how culture and gender influence the definition of harassment in the United
Nations workplace, and will assess the degree to which United Nations staff
perceive harassment in its various forms to exist in their work environment. 
The new data will be used to help with the re-examination and strengthening of
existing procedures for dealing with harassment in the United Nations
workplace. 


IV.  IMPLEMENTATION OF GENDER GOALS

22.        The consolidated special measures give practical effect to the
Secretary- General's goal of achieving gender balance in the Secretariat.  The
aim of those measures is to give women the opportunity to compete on a more
equal footing with their male counterparts for promotion and placement
opportunities, until the goals of gender equality are reached.  The terms of
the measures are clear; their effectiveness will depend not only on the
participation of all offices and departments but on monitoring their
performance and, wherever possible, taking the necessary action to enforce the
measures.  In coordination with other units of the Office of Human Resources
Management, the Focal Point, together with the Steering Committee, endeavour
to facilitate and monitor the implementation of the special measures, through
procedures that emphasize the importance of both providing equal opportunity
for women and recognizing the additional perspective that women contribute to
the work of the Organization.

23.        Once regular recruitment resumes, the Office of Human Resources
Management will facilitate the recruitment and advancement of women through
broad networking, contacts made at conferences with women delegates, and
communication with technical associations, as well as by upgrading the
internal and external rosters of women and, when financially viable, through
broad advertising in newspapers and journals with women as their target
audience.  The Focal Point for Women has established a growing network of
women both inside and outside the Organization for the purposes of
communication and circulation of vacancy announcements. 


A.  Follow-up to the strategic plan of action for
    the improvement of the status of women in the
    Secretariat (1995-2000):  key actions by the 
    Office of Human Resources Management, in     
    collaboration with the Office of the Focal   
    Point for Women in the Secretariat           

24.        The Office of Human Resources Management has developed a fourfold
strategy to support the implementation of administrative instruction
ST/AI/412.  Under its strategy, the Office will endeavour to assist all
offices and departments in the realization of the measures set forth in the
instruction.  To that end, the Office of the Focal Point will: 


                                                                              

                                      I.

           (a)        Meet regularly with department heads, programme
managers, executive officers and middle-level executives to ensure that there
is a constant dialogue on the improvement of the status of women in the global
Secretariat;

           (b)        Meet with members of the Steering Committee for the
Improvement of the Status of Women, members of the appointment promotion
bodies, Office of Human Resources Management clusters, departmental focal
points and staff representatives to keep them informed of most recent
developments;

           (c)        Design and implement an aggressive and proactive search
system, in consultation with Member States, that employs recruitment
networking, executive search, and posting of vacancies on the Internet to
expand the pool of qualified women candidates.  In particular, attend
international meetings and conferences to open new avenues for contacts with
women professionals in their fields;  


                                                                              

                                 II.

           (d)        Monitor the appointment and promotion processes to
ensure that women are nominated, and assist all departments and offices in
identifying women candidates, both within and outside of the Organization, who
meet the qualifications for any vacant post;

           (e)        Ensure that every effort is made to identify qualified
women staff members for promotions, including accelerated promotions where the
circumstances so warrant;

           (f)        Develop and establish a human resources database that
will reflect more accurately the experience gained by women, including the
educational credentials and training received during the last 10 years of
service within the United Nations and/or with other organizations;

           (g)        Report on a quarterly basis to the Secretary-General on
the status of women, addressing copies to the chairs of the appointment and
promotion bodies, and the Senior Review Group;


                                                                              

                                   III.

           (h)        Ensure that all women throughout the United Nations
Secretariat are well-informed on administrative instruction ST/AI/412 and its
implications for their career development;

           (i)        Utilize effectively the six-months vacancy forecasts to
plan, outreach and network so that a larger number of women candidates can be
identified;

           (j)        Meet with individual staff members to discuss their
contractual status, personal situation and career paths, and take follow-up
action, as necessary and appropriate;

           (k)        Communicate regularly with the staff at large through a
quarterly newsletter and a column in the Secretariat News with the dual
objective of informing and educating staff on important issues concerning
gender;


                                                                              

                                    IV.

           (l)        Work to create a workplace in which gender equality is
valued and respected, and try to bring about a work environment that allows
women to reach their full potential; 

           (m)        Develop strategies for building greater trust and more
open communication between the Office of Human Resources Management,
management and the staff at large;

           (n)        Develop communication strategies and bring about gender
sensitivity through such programmes as people management programmes in order
to bring about the attitudinal changes necessary for a better work
environment;

           (o)        Network and outreach with non-governmental
organizations, educational institutions and other bodies to provide
information on progress made in the Secretariat.

25.        Management commitment is the key to the achievement of gender
equality, in particular at the highest levels.  While the overall proportion
of women has increased in most departments and offices, the number of women in
senior and policy-making positions still remains well below the targets set by
the General Assembly and the Secretary-General.  A concerted effort needs to
be made by both management and by Member States to implement existing
policies, as well as to develop new initiatives to increase the participation
of women at senior levels.  Some of the measures highlighted above, such as
networking within both the United Nations system and outside institutions
active on gender issues, will help to identify qualified women for
senior-level vacancies once recruitment resumes.  In addition, continued
dialogue with universities, non-governmental organizations and professional
women associations will assist in rostering women for future vacancies,
allowing the Office of Human Resources Management a more dynamic response to
departments and offices in their search for qualified women candidates.


B.  New management culture

26.        An important goal of the Secretary-General's strategy for
modernizing the management of the human resources of the Organization is to
develop in the Secretariat a new management culture that truly values
diversity and is conducive to having all staff members contribute to their
maximum potential.  Establishing that new culture will require changes in
attitudes as well as in systems and policies.

27.  The introduction of the new Performance Appraisal System has been an
important initiative in that regard.  The System, which strongly encourages
all staff members and their managers to jointly set goals and agree upon
performance dimensions on which to base an annual appraisal, includes gender
sensitivity as a mandatory managerial responsibility, which will help to
promote greater accountability in such areas as achieving gender balance and
demonstrating gender and culture sensitivity in the workplace.

28.  Since training is a critical factor in promoting attitudinal change,
gender issues are increasingly being incorporated into the Secretariat's
programmes of training and staff development, including the orientation
programme for new staff joining the Secretariat; training in the Performance
Appraisal System; conflict resolution; and supervision and management
training.  

29.  A mandatory programme of people management training is being implemented
top-down, starting with all staff at the D-1 and D-2 levels.  In order to
improve the gender balance and support measures to enhance the status of women
in the Secretariat, women at the P-5 level who have managerial
responsibilities have been included with the directors in the first phase of
the training.  Gender issues are dealt with in the programme and in the
follow-up sessions through the use of case studies that raise gender issues
and promote their discussion.

30.  Another important element of the Secretary-General's human resources
strategy is the implementation of more systematic training and career support
for staff from the time they first join the Organization.  Starting in
January 1997, that programme will include a mandatory orientation programme to
introduce all entry-level Professionals recruited through the competitive
examination process, over 50 per cent of whom are women, to the work of the
Organization, its policies, practices and culture.  A new system of managed
assignment will also help to ensure that young Professional staff are able to
acquire a broader range of experience early in their careers.

31.  Since the new management culture must also encourage and support a
workplace more conducive to the realities of the lives of women working for
the Organization, issues such as the working environment, spouse employment,
flexible working hours, child-care arrangements and career-break schemes will
be more thoroughly explored.


                                                                              

V.  CONCLUSION

32.        Over the last decade, the United Nations has pursued various
measures and programmes to bring about gender equality and improvement of the
status of General Service staff, the majority of whom are women.  The goals
set for the equal representation of men and women are important not only in
terms of numbers but also for the recognition of the value added by a
diversified, gender- balanced and representative workforce.  Decisions need to
be made with the essential and unique perspective that women bring to the
workplace.  The Secretary-General's firm commitment to achieving gender
equality has translated into several important decisions to improve the status
of women in the Secretariat.  Statistics show an increase in the number of
women at all levels of representation, while the United Nations work
environment has adapted to promote and safeguard the value of a workforce
equally open to qualified men and women.  The guiding target of achieving
equality in gender distribution overall by the year 2000, however, remains
elusive.  

33.        In some areas, particularly at higher levels, the representation of
women is still very low.  The Secretary-General and Member States must
continue to work together to ensure that qualified women are identified and
given the opportunity to serve in senior positions in the Secretariat. 
Together, they must champion the vision of a workforce capable of growing
professionally and in which all individuals can contribute fully to the
Organization without hindrance.  Women are 51 per cent of the global
population and must be allowed to contribute fully to the Organization if the
United Nations is to represent the world in all its diversity.  

34.        The Secretary-General will continue to vigorously pursue the goals
set by the General Assembly with respect to the improvement of the status of
women.  The target of 35 per cent overall representation for women in posts
subject to geographical distribution has now been achieved.  In view of the
continued financial crisis the goal of 50/50 gender distribution by the year
2000 is not realistic.  The General Assembly, therefore, may wish to set more
realistic targets for women in posts subject to geographical distribution,
such as 37 per cent by 1997 and 41 per cent by 1999.  While the target set of
25 per cent for women in senior decision-making levels has not been achieved,
it should continue to be a guiding factor.  The ongoing search of the
Organization for gender equality and other efforts to bring about a more
diverse and equitable geographical representation should not be considered
conflicting.  In fact, they should be complementary and should be pursued
together as a mutually beneficial goal.

35.        The next century should find the United Nations at the forefront of
gender issues.  Member States need to collaborate with the United Nations and
demonstrate their commitment to gender equality.  They need to identify the
means and resources for reaching those objectives.  Although the financial
crisis has made it extremely difficult to meet the numerical targets the
Organization has set, the Secretariat will make every effort to make the work
environment one that will harness the energies of women to work side by side
with their male colleagues to find creative approaches to addressing the
issues of the international community.  A work environment that is satisfying
and full of opportunities for women and men to pursue their career with
optimism, work ethics and professional loyalties can only serve to renew and
invigorate the global Secretariat in the service of the international
community.

                                                                              

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