Statement by Mr. Takashi Kanamori
First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda item 136: United Nations Common System
Sixty-fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly
26 October 2010
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My delegation would like at the outset to express its gratitude to Mr. Kingston Papie Rhodes, the Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission, Ms. Sharon Van Buerle, the Director of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, and Mr. Collen Kelapile, the Vice-Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their reports.
My delegation has expressed support for the goal of the Common System, namely, ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of conditions of service for all participating organizations. This year, the ICSC is proposing several measures aimed at harmonizing conditions of service for staff serving in non-family duty stations in the Common System. In considering these proposals, my delegation would like first to explore in depth the similarities and differences in the situation on the ground between those staff members in non-family duty stations serving in peacekeeping and special political missions and those serving in funds and programmes and specialized agencies. In addition to the differences in the nature of their mandates, for example, my delegation suspects there is a difference in the mobility policies staff members of the UN Secretariat are obliged to follow, as opposed those followed by the staff members of funds and programmes.
Also, we would like to determine whether the UN Secretariat, funds and programmes and specialized agencies actually compete against each other for personnel of similar profiles. In this connection, we would like to be informed of how many personnel have moved from peacekeeping or special political missions to funds and programmes or specialized agencies since the discontinuation of mission subsistence allowance for PKO/SPM staff members in 2009.
Furthermore, my delegation has doubts about whether monetary incentives can persuade staff members to accept assignments at non-family duty stations. In this regard, we would like to know what the experience has been in funds and programmes with respect to changes in vacancy rate in non-family duty stations before and after the introduction of the special operations approach.
As for the proposal to introduce an additional hardship allowance, we would like to scrutinize the rationale for the proposed level, taking into account the existing arrangement under the Common System for staff members serving in non-family duty station, that is, offering a hardship allowance, a mobility allowance and hazard pay, where applicable.
In relation to the proposal on rest and recuperation (R&R), my delegation takes note of the fact that the cycle differs by duty station, so that in one duty station R&R is awarded after four weeks of service and in others it is awarded after sixteen weeks. We would like to look into the factors that have been deemed to determine these decisions and whether there is an adequate rationale for the current cycle.
Finally, my delegation would like to express again its sincere support for the ICSC and the hope it will continue to play a key role in guiding all the entities under the Common System towards more coherent and effective management. We would like to be kept informed of any and all challenges it faces, and we intend to participate actively in all constructive discussions on how to surmount them.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.