STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. RICHARD TUR DE LA CONCEPCIóN, SECOND SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 142: UNITED NATIONS COMMON SYSTEM - JURISDICTIONAL SET-UP, AT THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 8 November 2023)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. The Group wishes to thank all briefers for introducing their respective reports.
2. We note with appreciation the work of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and reiterate our commitment to a single, unified United Nations common system. At the same time, we reaffirm the crucial role of the Commission as a cornerstone for the regulation and coordination of the conditions of service of the UN common system as stipulated in article 1 paragraph 1 of its statute, which is why we defend that ICSC must be properly funded and staffed.
3. The Group would like to reiterate its long-standing position and reaffirm the mandate of the Commission to continue to establish post adjustment multipliers under article 11 of the latter's statute. In this regard, we recall resolution 77/256 A-B, by which the General Assembly decided to amend the statute of the ICSC to reaffirm the authority and competence of the Commission to establish post adjustment multipliers for duty stations in the United Nations common system. We note that as of September 2023, several organizations under the jurisdiction of the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) have accepted the amendments.
4. With regard to a joint chamber of the ILOAT and the UN Appeals Tribunal (UNAT) to issue preliminary rulings in cases involving recommendations or decisions of the Commission, we look forward to a comprehensive and productive discussion in our Committee with a view to making positive progress on this complex matter related to the cohesion of the common system and highlight the need to ensure full impartiality in its work in the context of a joint chamber.
5. We believe that greater exchanges between the Tribunals, as appropriate, would be beneficial. The proposal to designate one tribunal with exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases related to the implementation of the Commission's recommendations or decisions would require support among the organizations of the UN common system.
6. In the case of the proposal to establish an appeal mechanism with limited jurisdiction over cases arising from the ICSC recommendations and decisions, we concur with the ACABQ that this would imply a significant change in the jurisdictional set-up of the UN common system and, therefore, it needs to be analyzed in detail.
7. The Group takes note of the detailed outline of the approach for reviewing the compensation package, in response to General Assembly resolutions 76/240 and 77/256-A. The Group notes with appreciation the expressed determination of the Commission to fully take into account the concerns of the General Assembly in the process, and the fact that the Assembly will be kept abreast of the entire process.
8. In this regard, we would like the Commission to look at the trend of the expanded use of remote working arrangements vis-à-vis the applicability of the post adjustment multiplier. In our view, it is not consistent that a staff member benefits from the post adjustment when it doesn´t reside at the relevant duty station.
9. On another matter, the Group appreciates the Commission´s support for the need to examine the issues regarding National Professional Officers, including their nomenclature, salary comparability, benefits, and career development and progression to the international Professional category.
10. The Group emphasizes the importance for the organizations to continue to introduce policies to enhance the gender parity as well as the disability inclusion, but also the need for equitable geographical representation system-wide. We look forward to receiving a comprehensive information on the progress made in this direction.
11. Finally, the Group wishes to assure you, Mr. Chair, that it stands ready to engage constructively on this important agenda item towards a timely conclusion.
I thank you.