STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. KARIM ISMAIL, FIRST SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 143: UNITED NATIONS COMMON SYSTEM, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 2 November 2018)
1- I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 143, entitled "United Nations Common System".
2- The Group wishes to thank Mr. Kingston Rhodes, Chair of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and Mr. Carlos Ruis Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their respective reports. We also thank Mr. Chandru Ramanathan, Acting Controller, Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts for presenting the statement of the Secretary-General on the administrative and financial implications of the decisions and recommendations contained in the report of the ICSC.
3- The Group of 77 and China would like to reaffirm its support for the important role of ICSC in regulating and coordinating the conditions of service of staff in the United Nations Common System. We firmly believe that the staff of the Organization is its most valuable asset. Therefore, establishing and maintaining conditions of service that can attract and retain a highly capable, dynamic and motivated workforce is at the forefront of our priorities.
4- The Group also wishes to reaffirm the role of the General Assembly in determining the conditions of service for all staff. We firmly believe that all staff serving under similar conditions should receive fair and equal treatment across the United Nations common system.
5- We take note with appreciation of the report of the Commission. We also appreciate the update provided in the report regarding the implementation of resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Assembly in its previous Sessions, particular regarding the results of the 2016 cost of living survey and mandatory age of separation. We intend to follow up on these issues in the informal consultations ahead of us.
6- We also take interest in the important recommendations contained in the report regarding pensionable remuneration for both categories of staff; end-of-service grant; remuneration of the Professional and higher categories of staff; children's and secondary dependent's allowances and conditions of service in hardship duty stations. We will examine these recommendations carefully with a view to ensure that the United Nations remains a socially responsible employer.
7- Furthermore, we note the work done by the Commission in updating the human resources management framework to ensure that the workforce of the organization reflects equitable geographical distribution and gender balance, as well as cultural, generational and multilingual perspectives as well as the perspectives of persons with disabilities.
8- In this connection, I wish to underscore that the Group of 77 and China has always been a major advocate for gender balance and equitable geographical distribution within the UN system. We also believe that a lot more work needs to be done on equitable geographical distribution across the whole United Nations system, and not just on a smaller subset of posts, and we encourage the Commission to give particular attention to this aspect.
9- We also welcome the Commission's attention to the welfare of staff with disabilities, including increasing accessibility in all its aspects and the provision of individualized reasonable accommodation in the workplace. The Group welcomes the plans to improve the Inspira recruitment platform and the UN careers portal in order to make them more accessible to applicants with disabilities. We also encourage continued attention to this important issue.
10- In conclusion, Madam Chair, the Group stand ready to engage constructively on this item towards a timely conclusion.
I thank you, Madam Chair.