STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY FIRST SECRETARY, MR. JIBRAN KHAN DURRANI, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 149: ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE AT THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 10 November 2022)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and would like to express appreciation to Ms. Alayne Frankson-Wallace, Executive Director, Office of Administration of Justice, Ms. Shireen Dodson, United Nations Ombudsman and Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for their respective reports. The Group also welcomes the related report of the Internal Justice Council.
2 Administration of Justice remains significant importance to the Group of 77 and China as an independent, transparent and professionalized mechanism for effective human resource management of the Organization. The Group is of the firm belief that it is necessary to explore the resolution of work-related disputes and guarantee accountability and respect for the rights and obligations of staff members.
3 The Group reiterates that a sustainable, adequately resourced and decentralized system of administration of justice, consistent with the relevant rules of international law, the principles of the rule of law, and due process is necessary for effective management of the human resource which is the most valuable asset of the Organization.
4. The Group of 77 and China notes that Management Evaluation Unit received 248 more in 2021 as compared to 2020. We also note that the overwhelming majority of requests for management evaluation in the Secretariat (85 per cent) did not proceed to the United Nations Dispute Tribunal, which indicates that the management evaluation function continues to play an important role in providing resolution to staff members. The Group also acknowledges the progress made to reduce the backlog of cases by the Dispute Tribunal and encourages the Secretary-General to continue these efforts to ensure the realization of the disposal of cases and work-related disputes within the stipulated time frame. However, we note an increase in the new applications in the office of Dispute Tribunal in the year 2022, which will be discussing in more detail later on.
5 The Group reiterates its support for the Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services as an informal resolution mechanism and encourages maintaining this positive trend of informal dispute resolution, when appropriate. The Group looks forward to engaging and discussing the strengthening of the Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services to execute its mandate.
6. The Group of 77 and China notes with great concern the high turnover rate of staff and unfilled posts at some regional offices due to recruitment freeze which impacted planned outreach and engagement activities of the Ombudsman's Office. The Group looks forward to further discussion on this important issue.
7 The Group also takes note of the report of the Internal Justice Council which incorporates recommendations aimed at enhancing performance and improving the operational efficiency and transparency of the administration of the justice system at the United Nations. We will thoroughly asses and analyze this report and look forward to considering the recommendations therein.
8 In conclusion, Mr. Chair, the Group of 77 and China assures you of our commitment to engage constructively to foster substantive progress with a view to concluding this important agenda item.
I thank you.