Background

The Chairman of HLCM briefed CEB on the outcome of the Committee’s discussions on the report of the Secretary-General containing the views of the organizations of the United Nations system on the findings and recommendations of the High-level Panel on the Strengthening of the International Civil Service, and on the comments of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) itself on the Panel’s report.

 

CEB was informed that HLCM:

  • Considered and endorsed the Secretary-General’s report containing the system-wide comments on the report of the Panel;
  • Expressed its deep disappointment over the position taken by ICSC on the report of the Panel. This, in the view of the Committee, casts doubt as to the Commission’s real commitment to reform and change. With this kind of response from the Commission, improvement and change were not likely to come from within. Any real progress can come only if Member States actually supported the Panel’s recommendations;
  • Expressed the hope that the General Assembly would see the Panel’s recommendations as constructive and forward-looking, aimed at enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of the common system.

 

Discussion

CEB members considered that the Commission’s negative response to the recommendations of the Panel raised strong doubts about its commitment to reform and change and put into question the value of dialogue with the ICSC Chairman. In the absence of progress in the reform of ICSC, the organizations and bodies of the United Nations system may find it necessary to review their participation in the work of the Commission and the unity of the common system was at risk.

CEB members expressed their deep disappointment to the Chairman of ICSC, with regard to the position taken by the Commission on the report of the Panel. In particular, they found it incomprehensible that the Commission would oppose the Panel’s recommendations concerning adherence to the ICSC statute and the competencies of its members. Executive Heads also expressed dissatisfaction at the position taken by the Chairman, who as an ex-officio member of the Panel, fully supported its recommendations, but later presided over the Commission’s deliberations leading to the rejection of the same recommendations. The Secretary-General requested the Chairman to convey the views expressed by members of CEB to the Commission.
 

Action

CEB members endorsed the conclusions of HLCM and decided to convey to the Commission their strong disappointment over ICSC comments on the Panel’s report and their expectation that the outcome of the General Assembly’s discussion would be positive with regard to the key recommendations of the Panel.