Remarks at a Meeting of the Fifth Committee on Agenda Item 141: Human Resources Management

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
Minister Counselor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 26, 2017


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation to Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, Ms. Martha Helena Lopez, and the Chair of the ACABQ, Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu for presenting their respective reports.

Since its inception, the United Nations has played a crucial role in forging the path to a more just and peaceful world. The Organization has no greater asset than the dedicated women and men who serve the United Nations and we recognize with gratitude their tireless efforts in carrying out the important work of the Organization, often in very difficult and austere environments.

At the center of an effective Organization is a well-run human resources management component. Over the years, we, Member States, have endorsed many reform initiatives to drive the Organization to most optimally manage its workforce through a strong performance management system, but also to recruit, develop and retain high-performing individuals based on Article 101 of the UN Charter. As this Committee awaits the introduction of the Secretary-General’s report on management reform this session, as well as the update of the HRM framework in the 73rd General Assembly, we should keep focus on the goal of these discussions – to ensure that the UN is as effective, efficient, and as nimble as it can be.

In parallel to the broader reforms Member States will consider, the United States believes that the Secretariat can do a lot to improve the UN Human Resource Management system. Talented people have many options for employment, and the UN must move faster in its recruitment efforts to remain a viable option for many of its candidates. At the same time, the Organization must make greater efforts to recognize and reward outstanding performance and address underperformance. Strong and empowered leadership is essential to these goals.

We also believe that more can and should be done to increase the number of women staff members as well as address the continuing challenge of underrepresentation, including our own.

We further ask that UN leadership carefully and continually review the resources at its disposal to ensure that they are optimally configured for mandate delivery. This is one of many ways in which the UN can take efforts now to ensure that the Organization remains relevant.

Mr. Chairman, in closing, there’s still much work ahead of us this session. My delegation looks forward to moving this agenda item forward to conclusion in a timely way.

Thank you.