Background

The Chairman of the High-level Committee on Management (HLCM) briefed CEB on the outcome of the fourth session of the Committee and on the work being pursued by task forces led by one or another CEB member agency between sessions of the Committee. Currently, the work programme of HLCM focused on five areas, namely: (a) information and communication technologies where significant progress has been achieved; (b) the security and safety of staff, and in particular, the establishment of minimum operating security standards; (c) the impact on management and programmes of the changing relationship between regular and voluntary funding, with a view to developing common approaches to the establishment of minimum standards for the receipt and management of voluntary funds and conditions for earmarking; (d) emergency preparedness and the development of business contingency plans, including inter-agency cooperation in the identification of collective assets, in order to maximize mutual support among United Nations organizations in the event of disasters; and (e) the reform of the pay and benefits system being pursued by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), which had been the subject of a statement adopted by HLCM on behalf of CEB for presentation to the General Assembly.

 

Discussion

CEB heard statements from, and exchanged views with, the Chairman of ICSC and a representative of the Federation of International Civil Servants’ Associations (FICSA). It also received a written statement from the Coordinating Committee for International Staff Unions and Associations of the United Nations System.

In relation to the statement adopted by HLCM on behalf of CEB, which the Deputy Secretary-General had delivered to the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, CEB members expressed the hope that Member States would respond positively to the ICSC proposals to reform the pay and benefits system and to restore the margin between the United Nations remuneration and that of the comparator to its desirable midpoint.

 

Action

CEB took note of the report of HLCM and expressed appreciation for the progress the Committee had achieved, especially in the areas outlined by its Chairman. In particular, CEB underlined the importance it attached to compliance with minimum operating security standards, and with aviation safety and security standards. CEB reaffirmed its strong support for the proposals being put forward by ICSC to reform the pay and benefits system and commended the Commission for the progress made. It encouraged the Commission to play an active role in pursuing these proposals, which should be given the highest priority in the Commission’s work. CEB members also expressed appreciation to FICSA for its positive reaction to the ICSC reform proposals and concurred with the emphasis placed by the Federation on making careers in the international civil service more rewarding.