(As delivered)

Statement by Mr. Toshiro Ozawa, Ambassador of Japan
At the Informal Consultation of the Plenary of the UN General Assembly
On Secretariat and Management Reform

7 February 2006

Mr. Co-Chair,

My delegation has commented on the issue of management reform in a fairly comprehensive manner at the last session on 30 January. We believe that the priorities are: (1) to give the S-G the authority and capacity to redeploy staff and resources in order to meet new requirements promptly and to be able to carry out complex operations; (2) to establish an effective, performance-based system of management which would serve the purpose of providing better accountability to the Member States; (3) to promote greater mobility of staff between departments and duty stations; and (4) to review procurement practices and rules particularly those in PKO. We expect that these priorities will be addressed in the forthcoming report, and look forward to constructive discussions with Member States on realizing these priorities.

Mr. Co-chair,

Allow me now to make some specific comments concerning the 'outline' as explained by the Deputy Secretary-General.

First, in the area of financial regulations, rules and policies, we look forward to receiving further details from the Secretariat on what is meant by "strengthening the management at the top of the Organization," including the idea of a Chief Operating Officer function for the DSG. In this regard, we would like to see an organizational arrangement which ensures that appropriate use is made of the financial resources entrusted to the Organization by each Member State's taxpayers and which also ensures that responsibility is assumed by responsible individuals in the leadership in the event of any misconduct or mismanagement.

Second, regarding the "provision of up-to-date and timely financial performance information throughout the course of a biennium," we look forward to receiving good proposals. We believe that this would be a very important measure to enhance transparency in the Organization, and as such, should be implemented immediately. We strongly hope that reports on financial performance are issued in a timely manner with updates rather than once close to the end of the year.

Third, we welcome the inclusion in the 'outline' of the intent to "simplify administrative processes." If we are successful, this would help us redirect our limited resources towards substantive programmes which should be enjoying higher priority.

Mr. Co-Chair,

In the area of human resource management, my Government believes that the issue of mobility needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner rather than in a selective way. Mobility should also be promoted within the headquarters, between departments and sections. As we mentioned in our previous statement, lack of mobility often leads to lower staff morale. Moreover, the possibilities of conflict of interest can be nurtured in a situation of little or no mobility. It is with such considerations in mind that we urge the Secretariat to address the issue of mobility. Mobility is one of the most important elements in overall human resources management, and as such, it should be addressed in a thorough and comprehensive manner.

We note with interest the notion to "integrate the management of headquarters and field staff into a coherent system." We look forward to seeing this idea being elaborated. We assume that the present arrangements to ensure transparency, fairness and openness of human resources management for headquarters staff would also be applicable in the coherent system to be proposed. Also, it should not be forgotten that the activities of the PKO missions are intended to be for a limited period of time, and that their staff are recruited based on that assumption.

Finally, with regard to "adjusting the recruitment and placement system in favour of a more proactive approach and accelerated procedures," we look forward to its further elaboration. We do expect that the principles of transparency, fairness and openness will be upheld and that the principle of "recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible" will be promoted.

Thank you.

Related Information (United Nations Reform)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Site other site

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