Statement by Ms. Eriko Yajima

First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations


Agenda item 135: Human resources management


Fifth Committee

Sixty-seventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly

21 November 2012


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


At the outset, my delegation would like to express its gratitude to Mr. Yukio Takasu, Under Secretary-General for Management, Ms. Joan Dubinsky, Director of the Ethics Office, Mr. Collen Kelapile, chairperson of the ACABQ, and Inspector Gerard Biraud of the Joint Inspection Unit, for introducing their respective reports. We also welcome Ms. Paulina Analena, Vice-President of the Staff Management Committee, for coming to this meeting to offer her view regarding this agenda item.


Mr. Chairman,


Human resource management is a core element of the effective and efficient operation of this organization. If it is not functioning properly, the organization suffers. Good human resource management can be characterized as a system that ensures that the right people are in the right position at the right time, based on a fair and merit-based recruitment system which provides a diverse, multi-skilled and versatile staff who work together toward an efficient and effective delivering of mandates.


In this context, my delegation supports the Secretary-General’s emphasis on the importance of mobility for the Organization. We agree with the ACABQ observation that “a better managed organizational mobility programme has the potential to contribute to improving the delivery of mandates and also to respond better to the career aspiration of staff”, and welcome the submission of this mobility framework.


However, my delegation also shares the concern expressed by the ACABQ about the potential effect of the current proposal on external recruitment and, by extension, on merit-based selection and geographical representation. If the capacity of the Organization to bring in new talent is constrained by the need to place internal candidates first, there is a high risk that the organization will be closed to external candidates. We believe that it is of fundamental importance that the United Nations be able to obtain new ideas, new talent and new people from around the world in order to assemble a global, dynamic and adaptable workforce, which is the ultimate goal of the proposed framework.  


Moreover, my delegation is of the view that a thorough analysis of the total costs for the proposed mobility framework is very important for our consideration. While appreciating the effort by the Secretariat to provide ‘indicative costs’, we strongly hope that the Secretary-General will submit a detailed accounting of the full costs of the proposed mobility framework. We concur with the ACABQ, which emphasizes the importance of a robust monitoring mechanism to track the actual costs of the framework.


In order to deliver better human resource management and improve productivity, a balance between sanctions and rewards is needed. My delegation would like to express our concern about the shortcomings of sanctions for underperformance in the current performance management system, and therefore, to request the Secretary-General to take appropriate measures to address those shortcomings and report on the results in his next report on human resources management.


Mr. Chairman,


My delegation would like to stress that speeding up the recruitment and staffing process is important to ensure timely and flexible human resource management. My delegation would like to express its appreciation for the efforts of the Secretariat to “right-size” the national competitive recruitment examination roster and to streamline the YPP selection process. We request that the remaining candidates on the roster will be placed as soon as possible . 


Resolving the issue of the non-representation and under-representation of Member States in the Secretariat has been a long-standing challenge for the Secretariat. As one of the main under-represented countries, my delegation also requests the Secretary-General to develop a comprehensive strategy to improve geographical representation, based on an in-depth analysis of the real causes of the current imbalance, as recommended by the ACABQ.


Finally, Mr. Chairman, my delegation would like to reiterate once again that good human resource management is of fundamental importance to the Organization. Policy in this area, in particular, the proposed mobility framework has significant implications for staff composition and affects how they work and how they intend to work. My delegation is willing to contribute constructively to discussion on this very important item on our agenda.


I thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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