Remarks at a Meeting of the Fifth Committee on the Administration of Justice (via VTC)

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 6, 2020


Mr. Chairman,

The United States wishes to thank all who contributed to the wide-ranging and informative reports of the Office of Administration of Justice, UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services and report of the ACABQ. The United States places great importance on the issue of the Administration of Justice at the United Nations. An effective internal justice system must be fair and impartial in resolving human resource management disputes arising from staff members.

In terms of the formal system, the report of the Advisory Committee acknowledged the progress made in reducing the backlog of cases. We commend the Office of the Administration of Justice for their efforts to increase the efficiency of the UN Dispute Tribunal as exemplified by case disposals increasing by 36 per cent in 2019. The Tribunal has made good progress on the number of cases disposed of in 2019, it is the second highest amount in a decade. The Dispute Tribunal also issued more judgments compared with 2018, which resulted in a 24 per cent increase in 2019. We support the continued implementation of the case disposal system.

Regarding the Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services, we thank the Ombudsman for her continued work and dedication to providing an informal resolution mechanism for UN staff. We, also, note the pilot project to service non-staff is ongoing. My delegation remains supportive of the pilot project and looks forward to an update during the course of our deliberations on access to dispute resolution tools.

Lastly, we look forward to receiving the letter from the Sixth Committee conveying the legal substance of their consideration of the reports and proposals for work going forward. We believe there are reform and process related items that bear thorough consideration this session.

While we are conducting our work during a challenging time of a global pandemic, this session offers an important opportunity to continue to strengthen the system, enhance its effectiveness and improve the working conditions of all United Nations staff. The United States looks forward to working with all member states in reaching consensus on this important agenda item.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.