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Statement by Ms. Eriko Yajima

First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations


Agenda item 141: Administration of Justice


Fifth Committee

Sixty-seventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly

5 November 2012


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, United Nations Ombudsman, and Mr. Collen Kelapile, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing their reports. 


Mr. Chairman,


My delegation shares the general observations of the ACABQ that the new system of administration is no longer in a start-up phase and an interim independent assessment of all functioning aspect of the system is required. We would like to show the concern for the growing number of cases proceeding to formal adjudication. Resolving a dispute through informal mechanisms should be more 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. We also evaluate the effectiveness of the Management Evaluation Unit for facilitating resolution of cases before they proceed to the tribunal. Moreover, we believe that it is important for Secretary-General to strengthen to deliver good management practices in order to reduce underlying problems which give rise to disputes in the workplace.


   My delegation supports the provision of legal advice and guidance to staff of Office of Staff Legal Assistance, as it can be also effective to resolve dispute before tribunal. However, the legal representation should be arranged by staff themselves. In this connection, we are willing to engage in further discussion in the mandate of the OSLA.


   My delegation is concerned about the permitting of the mechanism for expedited arbitration procedures for consultants and individual contractors from the point of the feasibility, especially costs. Regarding the access to the system of administration of justice for non-staff personnel, we concur with the ACABQ to show its concern about not only the resource implications due to an expansion of the scope of the internal justice system but also the increased complexity to be created in the system.


      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.


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