UN civil service panel has crucial role in ensuring success of reform

“Executive Heads look to you for help in compensating staff at competitive rates, strengthening management, encouraging mobility around the UN system, and addressing problems such as the recruitment and retention of staff at difficult duty stations,” he told the 60th session of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) in Bangkok.”Executive Heads are also looking forward to the General Assembly’s forthcoming discussion on the report of the panel on strengthening the international civil service and the functioning of the Commission,” he said in a message delivered by the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), noting the recent decision granting paternity leave.”As you know, this is a crucial year for the United Nations. The General Assembly will hold a Summit meeting in September, at which it is hoped that world leaders will enact far-reaching reforms. The issues that fall within the Commission’s purview are of central importance to that effort,” he added.”Just as I have been urging Member States to rise to the occasion, so do I call on you to meet this challenge and do your utmost to create for the staff of the United Nations system, at the more than 500 duty stations at which they serve the world’s people, the conditions they need to succeed.”The 15-member ICSC is an independent expert body established by the General Assembly, charged with regulating and coordinating the conditions of service of staff in the UN common system, while promoting and maintaining high standards in the international civil service.Its mandate covers all facets of employment conditions, but the type of action it is empowered to take in a specific area is regulated under its statute. On some matters such as establishment of daily subsistence allowance, cost-of-living element and hardship entitlements, it may take decisions itself.In other areas, it makes recommendations to the General Assembly which then acts as the legislator for the rest of the common system. Such matters include professional salary scales, the level of dependency allowances and education grant.On still other matters, the Commission makes recommendations to the executive heads of the organizations, in particular concerning human resources policy issues.

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