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Statement by Ms. Eriko Yajima
First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda item 143: Administration of Justice
Sixty-eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly
18 October 2013
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
At the outset, my delegation would like to express its gratitude to Ms. Linda Taylor, Executive Director of the Office of the Administration of Justice, Mr. Johnston Barkat, the Ombudsman, Assistant Secretary-General, and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their reports.
My delegation would like to emphasize that resolving a dispute through informal mechanisms should be encouraged, as it is more efficient, less cumbersome, and less emotionally stressful for both staff members and administrations than litigation. In this context, my delegation would like to support the informal resolution at an early stage and commend outreach efforts by the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Service. Moreover, we believe that it is important for the Secretary-General to strengthen the dissemination of good management practices in order to reduce or prevent underlying problems which give rise to disputes in the workplace.
We share the view of the ACABQ that an interim independent assessment of the formal system of the administration of justice to evaluate the functioning of the system to date and to ensure it is meeting its objectives as a mechanism to effectively resolve labour disputes within the Organization is desirable at this juncture. In this connection, we are willing to be engaged in further discussion towards the implementation of the interim independent assessment of the formal system.
My delegation also supports the provision of legal advice and guidance to staff by the Office of Staff Legal Assistance, as it could be effective resolving disputes before proceeding to a tribunal. However, legal representation for the staff should generally be arranged by staff themselves. In this context, we are willing to engage in further discussion not only in the financing but also in the mandate of the OSLA.
In closing my statement, I would like to reiterate that my delegation will participate constructively in the discussions during the informal consultations on all aspects of this agenda item.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.