It is a pleasure to convey my greetings to the International Civil Service Commission.
I congratulate the new member, Mr. Mohamed Mijarul Quayes from Bangladesh. We look forward to benefiting from his vast experience.
I also wish to express my gratitude for the service of Mr. Fatih Bouayad-Agha
of Algeria, who passed away this month. He demonstrated resolve, good humour,
and a true desire to improve the conditions of service of our staff, and was always eager to participate in working groups and missions. We are sad at his passing, but he leaves a legacy of leadership, integrity and respect.
The work of the International Civil Service Commission is crucial in ensuring
that the organizations of the common system are able to attract staff of the highest competency and integrity, and that they are treated properly and fairly while in the service of the Organization. You are a vital partner in the management of human resources in the United Nations Secretariat and across the whole common system.
To cite just one example, your contributions in achieving the harmonization of conditions of service and the simplification of contracts laid the foundations for enabling a more mobile workforce within the Secretariat and beyond.
This is a time of significant change for the UN system. We are operating in the context of a prolonged global financial crisis. Member States expect us to exercise vigorous budgetary discipline, greater managerial accountability and improved cost effectiveness while fulfilling the implementation of all mandated programmes and activities.
We have responded to this challenge by seeking efficiencies and economies.
We have worked hard to identify areas where cost savings can be achieved and where United Nations operations can be made more effective by modernizing the way we do business. But while I am fully committed to fiscal discipline in making the $100 million in cuts that the General Assembly recently mandated, with respect to the budget level for 2014-2015, I have also cautioned that, as demands continue to grow, it is unrealistic to think that substantial budget reductions will have no impact.
At this time of change and constraint, the partnership between the Commission and the Organization is of utmost importance. More than ever, the Organization needs the Commission’s support in ensuring the highest calibre staff performance and motivation. The work you will be undertaking to establish the scope of a comprehensive review of compensation for United Nations staff is at the heart of this effort. Reviewing the single/dependency salary scale within the context of “equal pay for equal work”, preserving the overall level of compensation, and delivering a more simplified and streamlined system, will benefit both the Member States and us.
Similarly, the efforts of the Commission to promote the harmonization of human resources management policies through the Working Group on the Framework for Human Resources Management, will further establish the Common System as One UN. A framework that engages the workforce, supports inter-agency mobility and is premised on staff as critical to the success of the organization will strengthen existing synergies and help to make the work of the Organization ever more efficient and effective.
The role and mandate of the Commission is to strengthen and maintain the
United Nations common system while balancing the needs and concerns of all its stakeholders. We look to the Commission to find a flexible, responsive and innovative way forward on the issues on its agenda.
I again thank the Commission for its tireless work, and wish you every success in your deliberations.