Statement by UNISERV to the 5th Committee

Mr. Chairman,

Delegates and distinguished members of the Fifth committee,

We are grateful to be given to opportunity to address the UN’s member states on issues related to the UN common system which affect the UN Personnel which the United Nations International Civil Servants Federation’ member Unions and Staff associations jointly represent globally. As is often stated, our staff are our organization’s greatest asset, the fact is that without UN Staff there would not be an organization. So being able to engage with you all directly is of great importance to us as the voice and representatives of these greatest assets of ours.

We wish to congratulate Mr. Mher Margayan with his election as Chairperson of the 5th committee, and we equally wish to congratulate all other members of the bureau with their appointments.

A large proportion of UNISERVs constituencies serve the United Nations at the front lines, in field operations. We wish to pay homage those that have given the ultimate sacrifice in serving the United Nations and the peoples of the world. We must also stand still and recognize that the Covid19 Pandemic is still far from over and recognize the tremendous suffering this situation has added to a complex set of global challenges, the loss of lives in the countries you represent here at the United Nations is truly tragic. As United Nations staff globally many have been affected badly by this pandemic, however despite it all the UN’s greatest assets have been continuing to deliver on their mandates to the best of their abilities.

If the pandemic and more recently efforts at the COP26 have taught us anything it is that global problems need global solutions for which the United Nations and the multilateralism it aspires to deliver is still the best mechanism to deliver solutions by working together.

In examining the ICSC report A/76/30 and during our interactions with the ICSC secretariat and its commissioners we noted one important thread throughout. There seems to be a lack of adequate and accurate data on Human Resources and other matters. We find this concerning and hope therefore that greater efforts will be made to ensure that member  organizations accelerate their digital transformations and that in particular data related to Human Resources will be put front and center in the development and implementation of future HR strategies, data driven HR has and continues to be a key driver for the development and implementation HR Strategies globally in many organizations and businesses and yet the UN common system seems to be lacking in this area.

The report under item “D” Paragraph 94, states inter-alia “reliable data remained a critical component.” For the ICSC to carry out its important work, increasingly access to up to date and accurate data should be the driver to inform proposals for changes to common system benefits and entitlements.

UNISERV joins FICSA and CCISUA regarding the recommendation about the adjustment of the sliding scale of the education grand. The education grant scheme continues to be an important element of the compensation package, particularly in attracting and retaining a workforce that is field based and mobile and motivated to continuing the delivery of the UN’s mandates.

UNISERV furthermore fully appreciates the recommendations made under item 4 of the report, “Payment of amount in lieu of settling-in grant at category E duty stations that are not designated as non-family” The results of the pilot have proven to be very favorable, and UNISERV therefore strongly encourages the committee to approve the recommendation made to formalize the measure and that the inclusion of “D” duty stations under this scheme be included. We believe strongly that this will have a very positive effect on the  organizations’ abilities to attract and retain staff to “D” and “E” hardship locations which continues to prove challenging as evidenced from the ICSC research data which indicated that the top 3 reasons from 36% of respondents to the ICSC survey stating that they would NOT consider an assignment to a “D” or “E” duty station were related to family and not compensation elements.

UNISERV wishes to draw the attention of the committee to UNISERV’s interventions related to the age diversity within the United Nations and the proposals made to support balancing age diversity as outlined in paragraph 137 of the report, in particular reviewing the existing staffing structures and the utilization of the full breadth of various staffing categories, in particular the entry levels to attract younger staff.

We thank you for your attention and wish you success in your continuing discussions and deliberations.

Statement by UNISERV to the 5th Committee