Statement by Mr. Yasuo KISHIMOTO
First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations

Agenda Item 125: United Nations Common System
Fifth Committee
Sixty-first Session of the United Nations General Assembly
25 October 2006

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like at the outset to express our gratitude to Mr. Bel Hadj Amor, Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), the Representatives of the Secretariat, the Vice-Chairman of the ACABQ and the President of the FICSA for introducing the reports and comments.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation has always extended its full support to the function of Common System, which not only allows each participating organization to avoid otherwise burdensome administrative arrangements, but also ensures equal and consistent conditions of service throughout the system and thus eliminates unnecessary competition.

Mr. Chairman,

Because of the tremendous volume of work we labored at the last session of the Assembly, we were forced to defer deliberations on several proposals contained in the report of the ICSC for 2005. This year, the situation seems on the whole to be even tougher and more complex, in light of the additional need to consider the proposals on human resources management reform. Some of the ICSC's proposals, however, can be considered for action without further delay so that the Common System will continue to be able to carry out its primary functions. On the other hand, some of the achievements and ongoing work of the ICSC need to be scrutinized with a view towards creating a more coherent and reliable system in the context of the proposed human resources policy. The contractual arrangements and entitlements of international staff serving in the field are such subjects.

Mr. Chairman,

I believe the ICSC can play a significant role in deepening our discussion in the Fifth Committee on the issue of staff in the field. The decision the Commission made at its sixty-third session to establish the Working Group can be expected to make a substantive contribution in this regard. My delegation is of the view that the Commission's very professional work, based on its objective analysis and manifold insights, will be indispensable if we are to properly address the issues before us. In order for us to take full advantage of the Commission's skills and wisdom, we hope that the Working Group and ICSC at its next session will analyze the nature of the work being carried out by the international staff in each Common System participating organization, study salaries and recruitment systems, and carry out a similar study for non-international staff in these areas to enable us to make a comparison.

Mr. Chairman,

Turning to the other review, the decision and recommendation of the ICSC on the level of basic salary and allowances are in line with the approved methodology, and the creation of the new arrangement relating to mobility and hardship allowance will be helpful in making the system more transparent and clearer.

Mr. Chairman,

We are encouraged by the diligence shown by the ICSC in its ongoing effort to implement the pilot study on a broadband pay scheme, salary comparisons under the Noblemaire principle and gender equity. We take note of the fact that the ICSC will continue this work and extend its outreach to all leave entitlements, the methodology for determining the education grant, and several of the other systems listed in the Annex of the report. In this regard, we expect that such future reviews and the outcome of the work of the Commission will be valuable and cost-effective in order to improve the productivity and reliability of the Common System.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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