STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR BOUBACAR DIALLO, G-77 COORDINATOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 145: UNITED NATIONS COMMON SYSTEM, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 16 November 2021)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 145, entitled "United Nations Common System".
2. The Group wishes to thank Ambassador Larbi Djacta, Chair of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and Mr. Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong Chair of the Advisory Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their respective reports. We also thank Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller, 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 thanks the Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission for presenting the annual report as contained in document A/76/30 and takes note with appreciation the work of the Commission and supports the recommendations therein.
4. The Group reaffirms its commitment to a single, unified United Nations common system and to the crucial role of the ICSC as a cornerstone for the regulation and coordination of the conditions of service of the United Nations Common system as stipulated in article 1 paragraph 1 of its statute.
5. The Group would like to restate its long-standing position regarding the exclusive mandate of the Commission to continue to establish post adjustment multipliers system wide, under article 11 of the Commission's statute, as reaffirmed by General Assembly resolution 74/255.
6. The Group welcomes the significant progress made by the Commission in response to the request of the General Assembly, in its resolutions 74/255 and 75/245, in addressing the situation of the post adjustment system particularly in Geneva, through the adoption of new operational rules, the establishment of an appropriate statistical methodology and consequently, the timely launching of the new round of cost of living surveys. The Group looks forward to the outcome that would provide an optimal balance between competing desirable compensation goals, including accuracy, transparency, simplicity, consistency and stability of net remuneration and predictability of its periodic adjustment.
7. The Group would like to single out the importance of the Education grant including the detailed review of the sliding scale and the level of the boarding lump sum as requested by the General Assembly, the revised education grant scheme as presented and recommended in the report appears more streamlined, simple and cost-effective than the previous scheme.
8. The recommendation of the Commission to extend the pilot measure of granting a reduced amount of the non-family service allowance in the amount of $15,000 per year to staff members with eligible dependants at duty stations with a hardship classification of E in lieu of the option to install eligible dependants at the duty station, warrants approval by the General Assembly. This measure should also be extended to category D duty stations not designated as non-family.
9. The Group also recognizes the value of multiple working groups in collectively and constructively developing proposals for the Commission's consideration, as well as the importance of enhanced consultations with stakeholders in reaching its decisions.
10. The Group acknowledges that, while answerable to the General Assembly, the Commission's sometimes complex policies and decisions are more sustainable and better implemented when they have the buy-in of Organizations and Staff. It is highly recommended that a bigger effort is made in investing in better communications with staff and demystifying the Commission's methodologies and practices, reaching out to stakeholders, identifying concerns well in advance and collectively identifying policy solutions. In this regard, the Group is looking forward to consider with all the attention required the recommendations of the Commission to strengthen it in terms of staff allowing it to perform better and more harmoniously.
11. Finally, the Group is especially pleased with the efforts being made by organizations to introduce policies to enhance the gender parity between women and men as well as the disability inclusion, but also the need for equitable geographical representation system-wide and therefore looks forward to the implementation, by the organizations, of the recommendations contained in the report.
12. In conclusion, Mr. Chair, the Group stand ready to engage constructively on this item towards a timely consensual conclusion.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.