9 April 2014

General Assembly Adopts Resolutions Concerning Staff Mobility Framework, Capital Master Plan, Acting on Recommendations of Fifth Committee

9 April 2014
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-eighth General Assembly


81st Meeting (PM)

General Assembly Adopts Resolutions Concerning Staff Mobility Framework,


Capital Master Plan, Acting on Recommendations of Fifth Committee


Text on Strengthening United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body System Also Passed

The General Assembly adopted several draft resolutions recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today, including one relating to a career development and mobility framework for United Nations staff — a key initiative of the Secretary-General.

Acting without a vote on all draft resolutions and decisions, it also adopted texts on procurement, accountability in the Secretariat, the Capital Master Plan and strengthening of the human rights treaty body system.

Secretary-General Ban described the establishment of a managed mobility framework as an historic development for the United Nations.  “Mobility will allow us to manage our most precious resource — our staff — far more strategically than we do today.”  Today’s outcome was part of a broader strategy to build a modern and truly global Secretariat — more flexible and responsive to the many pressing demands on the international agenda, he said, citing measures to modernize its business practices over the past several years, including such initiatives as Inspira, Umoja and the International Public Accounting Standards.

The Secretary-General went on to emphasize that the managed mobility framework, to be launched in 2016, would enable staff to enjoy more rewarding careers as well-rounded and multi-skilled individuals.  In the process, they would gain the ability to better meet the Organization’s diverse needs.  It would also enable staff to more effectively share the burden of service in the most difficult duty stations.

Highlighting the Assembly’s support for his continuing efforts to strengthen accountability within the Organization, results-based management and enterprise risk management in particular, he also commended its decision to add resources in order to strengthen the “very important” human rights treaty system.  The 193-nation organ also recognized the need to fund the budget shortfalls in the Capital Master Plan, he said, expressing hope for agreement on a final appropriation during the main part of the sixty-ninth session.

Recognizing the lack of agreement on his proposed partnerships facility, he said that harnessing the strength of partnerships, including with private sector, civil society and philanthropic organizations, would help the United Nations to deliver on the priorities and mandates of Member States.  “From my earliest days in office back in January 2007, I made a pledge to bring greater transparency, accountability, efficiency and mobility to the United Nations,” he recalled, emphasizing that the Assembly’s decisions were fundamental to the Organization’s ability to adapt to the changing global landscape.

Ken Siah (Singapore), Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee, presented all the texts for action.

Action on Draft Resolutions

Acting without a vote, the Assembly first adopted draft resolution I, on “procurement”, and II, titled “Progress toward an accountability system in the United Nations Secretariat” (document A/68/691/Add.1).

By a draft decision titled “Questions deferred for future considerations”, it then deferred the issue of the proposed partnerships facility to its next session.

The Assembly went on to adopt a draft resolution titled “Special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium (document A/68/689/Add.1).

Speaking after that action Cambodia’s representative said his Government had provided more than $20 million, including $10 million in in-kind contributions, since the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).  In the spirit of collaboration, Cambodia supported the approval of subvention to the Extraordinary Chambers from assessed contributions.

Cuba’s representative expressed regret over the adoption of operative paragraph 13, relating to Capital Master Plan, emphasizing that authorizing the Secretary-General to use the Working Capital Fund and the Special Account was in violation of an earlier resolution and should not set a precedent.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly then adopted the draft resolution on the mobility framework (document A/68/690/Add.1).

The representative of the European Union Delegation expressed support for the Organization’s human-resources management reform, the principle of managed mobility and the aim of making the institution more effective and efficient.  “It is time to implement the framework,” he said.

The Assembly also adopted draft resolutions on the Joint Inspection Unit (document A/68/819), and the construction of a new facility for the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Arusha branch (document A/68/683/Add.1).

The Assembly then took up a draft resolution concerning reform of the United Nations, particularly the strengthening of the human rights treaty body system (document A/68/820).

The representatives of Iceland and Tunisia, co-facilitators of the intergovernmental process on that matter, said the text would strengthen and enhance the human rights treaty body system.

The representative of the European Union Delegation said today marked an important and overdue step in strengthening and enhancing the system’s effective functioning.

Myanmar’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), reiterated its positions on several operative paragraphs of the text.  He expressed support for the simplified reporting procedure, the submission of a common core document, and the word limitations placed on questions and reports, as contained in operative paragraph 15.

Switzerland’s representative pointed out that the primary responsibility for implementing efficient measures rested with the treaty bodies, while Member States should submit shorter reports in a timely manner.

The Russian Federation’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Cross-Regional Group (Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Syria and Venezuela), said those countries had joined the consensus, although not all their proposals were reflected in the final text.  The Organization should bear in mind its fundamental principles, such as respect for multilingualism, he said, emphasizing that all requests from States parties regarding the use of the six official languages should be carried out accordingly and in due time.

Liechtenstein’s representative said he trusted that the increased capacity of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to help States parties meet their reporting obligations would contribute significantly to addressing failure to report.

Chile’s representative, speaking on behalf of like-minded Latin American countries, said the Assembly had adopted an effective response to the challenges confronting the protection of human rights.  The final text reflected balanced positions, and the resolution would ensure greater transparency through the use of webcasting, among other benefits.

Mexico’s representative, commenting on a number of actions today, highlighted some of the texts adopted, saying that the one concerning the Capital Master Plan made it possible to host the sixty-ninth session in the General Assembly Hall, currently under renovation.  The managed mobility framework would enable staff to become a more dynamic, flexible workforce, better suited to the work of the United Nations, he added.

In other business today, the Assembly took note of Paraguay’s appointment to the Committee on Conferences for a term beginning today and expiring on 31 December 2014.

The Assembly also took note that Grenada had made the payment necessary to reduce its arrears under the United Nations Charter

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 10 April, to consider the global road safety crisis.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.