New York

09 April 2014

Secretary-General's Remarks to the General Assembly following the adoption of General Assembly Resolution on Staff Mobility

Thank you very much for the opportunity to address you today.

Let me start by expressing my deepest appreciation to all of you for the many important decisions you will take this afternoon following the latest round of discussions about the future of our Organization.

Your decisions will contribute to further strengthening the global, effective, efficient and focused United Nations that we have been building together over the last several years.

I especially want to recognize your adoption just now of my proposal for a career development and mobility framework for staff.

I thank all representatives here – and the many other officials who have contributed to this accomplishment. I am grateful for your constructive engagement and support. And I congratulate you for the visionary decision you have made.

The establishment of a managed mobility framework is 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. As we carry out this framework, we can better deliver worldwide on the mandates you entrust to the United Nations.

Today’s result is part of a broader strategy to build a modern and truly global Secretariat – one that is more flexible and responsive to the many pressing demands on the international agenda. To achieve this, we have continued to modernize our business practices over the past several years, including through transformational initiatives such as Inspira, Umoja and IPSAS.

With respect to human resources reform, we have continuously evolved, starting in 2009 with the General Assembly decision on streamlining contracts and harmonizing conditions of service.  

Today, with the adoption of a managed mobility framework, the General Assembly has paved the way for the United Nations and its staff to take a significant step towards fulfilling our common vision of a truly global, dynamic and adaptable work force. 

With a structured approach to mobility, we can be much more strategic in deploying staff worldwide to fulfil our mission globally.

The framework will enable staff to enjoy more rewarding careers as well-rounded and multi-skilled individuals. In the process, they will gain the ability to better meet the diverse needs of the Organization.

The framework will also enable us to more effectively share the burden of service in the most difficult duty stations.

Allow me to take this opportunity to thank staff representatives for their contributions and inputs during the process leading the proposal that has now been approved. It has not always been easy, but over time we worked hard together to devise a feasible plan with tremendous potential to benefit both the Organization and its staff.

I know that there may be concerns among some staff about the impact of this new framework. This is only natural.

But I am confident that once implemented, all staff will recognize the benefits of mobility in building up one’s career, broadening one’s horizons and gaining diverse perspectives that will be a great asset throughout the course of one’s professional life.  That is a big part of what the mobility initiative is all about. 

The process that led to today’s success was transparent, open and based on dialogue.

We will maintain this constructive approach as we prepare to launch the new framework in 2016.

Until then, we will be in a transition preparatory period.  As we move forward, I will strive to make sure that the concerns and wishes of Member States are fully addressed. 

The Assembly will take a number of other important decisions today that will strengthen our overall transformational strategy. I will not review each one  of them but let me highlight a few. 

I appreciate the key support of the Assembly for my continued efforts to strengthen accountability in the Organization and in particular your encouragement regarding results-based management and enterprise risk management. I am fully committed to both of those initiatives.

I also commend the Assembly’s decisions to add resources to strengthen the very important human rights treaty system.

I thank the Assembly for recognizing the need to fund the budget shortfalls in the Capital Master Plan.  I look forward to your decision on a final appropriation during the main part of the 69th session.

At the same time, I recognize that there is still no agreement on the proposed Partnerships Facility, and that important questions still have to be addressed.

We must acknowledge that partnership is happening, is growing, is a fact. This is even truer today than it was when I first called for adequate United Nations capacity  to engage in partnerships more than two years ago

The goal of the proposal for the Partnership Facility is to strengthen the United Nation’s capacity to bring greater accountability, coherence, efficiency and scale to UN partnership activities.

With fewer than 700 days left to accelerate progress on the MDGs and with a post-2015 development agenda on the horizon, it is imperative that we match our ambitions with concrete ways to achieve them.

Harnessing the strength of the partnerships, including with private sector, civil society and philanthropic organizations will help the United Nations to deliver on your priorities and mandates.

That is why I look forward to continuing our discussions on this proposal and achieving an agreement that allows the United Nations to harness the strengths of external partners and to take a coherent and accountable approach to partnerships.

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.

These goals are shared by the Member States and our staff, who serve each day with dedication, many under difficult and dangerous conditions.

I thank you for the progress we have achieved so far. The decisions the Assembly has taken are fundamental to the ability of the United Nations to adapt to the changing global landscape.

Let us take the successes we have achieved here as a sign of our power to reach consensus on key issues and let us tackle the challenges ahead with even greater faith in our collective ability to strengthen the United Nations.

I thank you for your leadership and commitment.