United Nations

A/RES/45/239


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

21 December 1990

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                  A/RES/45/239
                                                  72nd plenary meeting
                                                  21 December 1990
 
                               Personnel questions
                                       A
                         Composition of the Secretariat
 
      The General Assembly,
                                       I
 
      Recalling Articles 97, 100 and 101 of the Charter of the United Nations,
 
      Reaffirming its resolutions 33/143 of 20 December 1978, 35/210 of
 17 December 1980, 41/213 of 19 December 1986, 42/220 A of 21 December 1987,
 43/224 A of 21 December 1988 and 44/185 A of 19 December 1989,
 
      Recognizing the importance of maintaining a qualified, independent and
 geographically balanced international civil service,
 
      Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the composition
 of the Secretariat and the relevant sections of the analytical report of the
 Secretary-General on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 41/213,
 
      Noting with appreciation the progress made in reducing the number of
 Member States that are unrepresented or underrepresented in the Secretariat,
 
      Recognizing that matters related to the representation of Member States
 in the Secretariat are dealt with on a country basis,
 
      Noting the positive results of national competitive examinations for
 posts at the P-1 and P-2 levels and the intention of the Secretary-General to
 introduce national competitive examinations for posts at the P-3 level in two
 occupational groups,
 
      Noting also the continued efforts made to fill posts in organizational
 units with high vacancy rates, particularly in the regional commissions,
 
      Noting further that there are limited opportunities for promotion in some
 occupational groups in the Secretariat,
 
      Bearing in mind the views on personnel questions expressed by Member
 States in the Fifth Committee during the forty-fifth session,
 
      1.   Reiterates its full support for the Secretary-General as the chief
 administrative officer of the Organization, and underlines its full respect
 for his prerogatives and responsibilities under the Charter of the United
 Nations;
 
      2.   Requests the Secretary-General to strengthen the role and emphasize
 the authority of the Office of Human Resources Management of the Secretariat
 in accordance with recommendation 41 of the Group of High-level
 Intergovernmental Experts to Review the Efficiency of the Administrative and
 Financial Functioning of the United Nations;
 
      3.   Reaffirms, in accordance with the Charter, that the paramount
 consideration in the appointment, promotion, granting or reviewing of
 permanent contracts and career development of the staff and in the
 determination of the conditions of service shall be the necessity of securing
 the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, and that this
 consideration is fully compatible with the principle of equitable geographical
 distribution;
 
      4.   Urges the Secretary-General, whenever making appointments at all
 levels to posts subject to geographical distribution, to make every effort to
 recruit nationals of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States, bearing
 in mind also the need to increase the number of staff recruited from Member
 States below the mid-point of their desirable ranges;
 
      5.   Notes that the existing practice of holding national competitive
 examinations is a useful tool for recruitment, inter alia, from unrepresented
 and underrepresented Member States, and requests the Secretary-General to
 expedite the recruitment of candidates successful in national competitive
 examinations with a view to filling all posts committed to each examination
 with the shortest possible delay;
 
      6.   Requests the Secretary-General to take every available measure to
 ensure, at the senior and policy-formulating levels of the Secretariat, the
 equitable representation of Member States, in particular of developing
 countries and Member States with inadequate representation at those levels, in
 accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, and to
 include relevant information in future reports on the composition of the
 Secretariat;
 
      7.   Also requests the Secretary-General, in order to preserve the
 principles of equitable geographical distribution and rotation in the upper
 echelons of the Secretariat, to ensure that equal opportunity is given to
 candidates of all Member States when making appointments to all posts in the
 upper echelons, and not to extend, as a rule, the service of
 under-secretaries-general and assistant secretaries-general for a period
 exceeding ten years, in accordance with recommendation 54 of the Group of
 High-level Intergovernmental Experts;
 
      8.   Reaffirms that no post should be considered the exclusive preserve
 of any Member State or group of States, and accordingly requests the
 Secretary-General, when making appointments to high-level and
 policy-formulating posts, to give equal opportunity to all Member States
 through the announcement of such posts to the extent possible, with due regard
 to the principles of the highest standards of efficiency, competence and
 integrity and of equitable geographical distribution, bearing in mind that
 appointments are to be made at the discretion of the Secretary-General against
 specific selection criteria in accordance with Article 101 of the Charter;
 
      9.   Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts aimed at
 improving the composition of the Secretariat by ensuring a broad and equitable
 geographical distribution of staff in the Professional and higher categories
 in all main departments and offices, bearing in mind that the paramount
 consideration shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of
 efficiency, competence and integrity, and to report thereon to the General
 Assembly at its forty-seventh session;
 
      10.  Also requests the Secretary-General to consider measures in order to
 ensure, to the extent possible, the representation of the main legal systems
 in the Secretariat, where appropriate;
 
      11.  Further requests the Secretary-General, in order to ensure that
 equal opportunity is given to internal and external candidates, to take
 appropriate measures for the timely distribution of vacancy announcements to
 all Member States;
 
      12.  Requests the Secretary-General, with respect to the recruitment,
 transfer and promotion of staff for placement in the regional commissions, to
 make every effort to encourage equitable representation of all Member States
 in the regional commissions, in order to reduce the high vacancy rates;
 
      13.  Also requests the Secretary-General to include in the report on the
 composition of the Secretariat to be submitted to the General Assembly at its
 forty-seventh session statistical tables indicating the nationality of staff
 serving in posts financed from extrabudgetary resources in the Secretariat;*
 
      *    This is understood not to include United Nations organs that have
 delegated authority in matters of appointment of the staff.
 
      14.  Further requests the Secretary-General to include in future reports
 on the composition of the Secretariat statistical tables broken down by the
 current groupings of Member States as well as tables in alphabetical order and
 to continue to produce tables showing the representation of developing and
 other countries in posts subject to geographical distribution;
 
      15.  Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at
 its forty-sixth session a report on the implementation of a competitive
 examination for posts at the P-3 level in two occupational groups;
 
      16.  Also requests the Secretary-General to pursue efforts towards the
 establishment of a comprehensive career development system for all categories
 of staff, bearing in mind the need to secure the highest standards of
 competence, efficiency and integrity and to promote mobility, and to report on
 this system to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session;
 
      17.  Further requests the Secretary-General to continue efforts to
 develop further and refine classification and evaluation systems and promotion
 procedures as an integral part of the vacancy management system, taking into
 account, inter alia, concepts of career ladders and linked grades, in
 consultation with the International Civil Service Commission, as appropriate,
 and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session;
 
      18.  Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to submit to the
 General Assembly, at its forty-sixth session, a report on the issues mentioned
 in paragraph 8 of its resolution 44/185 A;
 
      19.  Urges the Secretary-General to strengthen the training and
 retraining capabilities of the Secretariat at all duty stations, and requests
 him to submit a report to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session on
 efforts to implement training programmes in the areas of language training,
 electronic data processing training, basic supervisory training and the
 upgrading of the professional knowledge of staff in substantive areas in
 conformity with recommendation 58 of the Group of High-level Intergovernmental
 Experts;
 
      20.  Requests the Secretary-General to continue the review of
 staff-management activities and of the cost of staff representation in order
 to establish a more coherent, transparent and cost-effective framework for
 staff-management activities and to report thereon to the General Assembly at
 its forty-sixth session;
 
      21.  Also requests the Secretary-General to submit, in the context of all
 future programme budgets, specific information concerning expenditures
 relating to staff union activities, including staffing costs;
 
      22.  Further requests the Secretary-General, within the framework of
 staff-management consultations, to stress the need to solve outstanding issues
 through regular channels so as to ensure the functioning of the Organization;
 
                                       II
      Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on secondment from
 government service,
 
      Recalling Articles 100 and 101 of the Charter of the United Nations,
 
      Recognizing that there are differences inherent in the secondment of
 staff from government service to the United Nations and secondment between
 agencies of the United Nations common system,
 
      Noting the uncertain status of many staff members made available to the
 United Nations by their respective Governments under current secondment
 procedures vis-a-vis their re-employment rights as government civil servants,
 
      Taking into account the views expressed by Member States during the
 debate concerning secondment from government service at its forty-fifth
 session,
 
      1.   Affirms that secondment is not in conflict with Articles 100 and 101
 of the Charter of the United Nations;
 
      2.   Reaffirms that secondment of staff from government service to the
 Secretariat can be beneficial to both the United Nations and Member States;
 
      3.   Endorses the basic approach of the Secretary-General regarding
 secondment as set out in his report, and requests him to review the procedures
 for future secondment from government service, taking into account the
 legitimate interests of the Organization and of the government service and the
 individual concerned, and to submit appropriate amendments to the Staff
 Regulations to the General Assembly at its forty-sixth session;
 
      4.   Meanwhile requests the Secretary-General to deal with individual
 contracts on the basis of the approach described in paragraph 15 of his
 report, without prejudice to the rights of individuals as staff members of the
 Organization;
 
      5.   Invites Member States to continue to honour their obligations
 vis-a-vis their nationals made available to the United Nations under the
 current secondment procedures until their status is ascertained;
 
                                      III
      1.   Requests the Secretary-General to exercise flexibility in the
 application of the desirable ranges in individual recruitment cases keeping in
 view all parts of the present resolution;
 
      2.   Also requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the
 General Assembly at its forty-sixth session in the light of section III,
 paragraph 2, of General Assembly resolution 42/220 A on alternative options
 for desirable ranges, which was to have been considered at the forty-fifth
 session, and therefore resolves to decide this matter on a priority basis at
 the forty-sixth session of the Assembly;
 
      3.   Further requests the Secretary-General to include in the report
 referred to in paragraph 2 above other possible methodological ways for the
 distribution of posts subject to geographical distribution among Member
 States. 
 
                                       B
                  Administration of justice in the Secretariat
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Reaffirming the importance of a just and efficient internal justice
 system in the Secretariat,
 
      Recalling its resolutions 42/220 B of 21 December 1987, 43/224 B of
 21 December 1988 and 44/185 B of 19 December 1989,
 
      Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the
 administration of justice in the Secretariat and the related report of the
 Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,
 
      1.   Recognizes the considerable progress achieved in the area of the
 administration of justice in the Secretariat, in particular the efficient
 functioning of the Headquarters Joint Appeals Board and the promulgation of a
 fully revised set of disciplinary rules;
 
      2.   Requests the Secretary-General to continue with reforms in the
 administration of justice in the Secretariat in accordance with resolution
 44/185 B and to establish by 1991 an effective system for informal settlements
 of staff grievances as well as a well-functioning disciplinary system;
 
      3.   Also requests the Secretary-General to undertake a study of the
 overall system of administration of justice taking into account the concrete
 suggestions for improvement of the system, inter alia, those regarding the
 establishment of an office of ombudsman and the functioning of the United
 Nations Administrative Tribunal, the Committee on Applications for Review of
 Administrative Tribunal Judgements and the Panel on Discrimination and Other
 Grievances made by Member States during the forty-fifth session of the General
 Assembly and to report thereon to the Assembly at its forty-seventh session.
 
                                       C
             Improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Reaffirming that the United Nations shall place no restrictions on the
 eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under
 conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs,
 
      Recalling Articles 97, 100 and 101 of the Charter of the United Nations,
 
      Recalling its resolution 2715 (XXV) of 15 December 1970, in which it
 first addressed the question of the employment of women in the Professional
 category, and all relevant resolutions that have continued to focus on this
 area since then, particularly its resolution 40/258 B of 18 December 1985, in
 which it welcomed the action programme to improve the status of women in the
 Secretariat for 1985-1990,
 
      Noting with satisfaction that the question of the improvement of the
 status of women in the secretariats of the United Nations system continues to
 be a standing item on the agenda of the Administrative Committee on
 Co-ordination,
 
      Taking account of the relevant part of the report of the International
 Civil Service Commission,
 
      Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the improvement of
 the status of women in the Secretariat and section II.G of the report of the
 Secretary-General on the composition of the Secretariat,
 
      Noting with concern that, although there has been a slight increase in
 the percentage of women in the Secretariat, women fill only 7.1 per cent of
 posts at the D-1 level and above,
 
      Reaffirming that the Fifth Committee is the appropriate Main Committee of
 the General Assembly entrusted with responsibility for administrative,
 budgetary and personnel matters, including, inter alia, the issue of
 representation of women in the Secretariat,
 
      1.   Reiterates its full support for the Secretary-General as the chief
 administrative officer of the Organization and his prerogatives and
 responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations;
 
      2.   Urges the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to increase the
 number of women in posts subject to geographical distribution, particularly in
 senior policy-level and decision-making posts, in order to achieve an overall
 participation rate of 30 per cent by the end of 1990 and, to the extent
 possible to 35 per cent by 1995, taking into account the principle that the
 paramount consideration shall be the necessity of securing the highest
 standards of efficiency, competence and integrity with full respect for the
 principle of equitable geographical distribution;
 
      3.   Also urges the Secretary-General, all things being equal and to the
 extent possible, to accord priority to the participation of women at the D-1
 level and above with a view to increasing the participation rate of women in
 posts at the D-1 level and above to 25 per cent of the total within the
 overall participation rate of women in 35 per cent of posts subject to
 geographical distribution by 1995;
 
      4.   Reiterates its request that the Secretary-General make every effort
 to increase the representation of women from developing countries, in
 particular at the D-1 level and above;
 
      5.   Requests the Secretary-General to make every effort to increase the
 representation of women from those countries with a low representation of
 women;
 
      6.   Also requests the Secretary-General, in accordance with General
 Assembly resolution 44/185 C of 19 December 1989, to develop an action
 programme for the advancement of women in the Secretariat for the period
 1991-1995, incorporating as necessary the unfulfilled points of the 1985-1990
 action programme and to report thereon to the Assembly at its forty-sixth
 session;
 
      7.   Further requests the Secretary-General to include in the action
 programme for the advancement of women in the Secretariat for the period
 1991-1995: (a) a comprehensive evaluation and analysis by the Secretariat of
 the main obstacles to the improvement of the status of women in the
 Organization; (b) proposed measures to overcome the underrepresentation of
 women from certain Member States; and (c) a detailed programme of activities,
 including monitoring procedures and a timetable for their completion;
 
      8.   Requests the Secretary-General to maintain the existing Secretariat
 machinery and to consider the adequacy of the existing machinery to implement
 the action programme, taking account of the work-loads in the relevant
 offices, and to report thereon when submitting the action programme for the
 period 1991-1995;
 
      9.   Requests Member States to continue to support the efforts of the
 United Nations, the specialized agencies and related organizations to increase
 the participation of women in the Professional category and above by,
 inter alia, nominating more women candidates, especially for senior
 policy-level and decision-making posts, by encouraging women to apply for
 vacant posts and by creating national rosters of women candidates to be shared
 with the Secretariat, specialized agencies and related organizations.