Statement at the 78th General Assembly Sixth Committee Agenda Item 144: Administration of Justice

Dorothy Patton
United States Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 11, 2023


Thank you, Chair.

The United States thanks the Secretary General, the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services, and the Internal Justice Council for their thoughtful reports on their work in 2022.  In particular, the United States joins the Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services in marking its 20th anniversary.  Over the past two decades, the approximately 25,000 cases that the Office has handled have yielded important lessons learned on continually improving the workplace for UN personnel.  Over the past year, as the exigencies of the COVID-19 pandemic waned, the challenges of in-person work and increased travel have re-surfaced.  The Office wisely recognized the mental health challenges that can accompany other concerns and that require attention over the long term.  The Office is to be congratulated for its steadfast commitment to the “informal first” approach to resolving workplace conflicts before they spiral out of control.  The United States applauds the Office’s response to the General Assembly’s request to increase its outreach online and in-person to promote awareness of its services.

The United States also commends the continued improvements in judicial and operational efficiency under the case disposal plan. These improvements resulted in the Dispute Tribunal and the Appeals Tribunal significantly reducing their pending caseloads. The United States looks forward to seeing the impact of efforts to increase the utilization of mediation, which would likely reduce the caseload of the Tribunals and resolve workplace disputes. The U.S. delegation applauds the improved access to justice and transparency that the caselaw portal, e-filing capabilities, and virtual courtrooms have brought.

The U.S. delegation thanks the United Nations’ staff and non-staff personnel for their continued work and commitment to creating a work environment of dignity and respect among people of different genders, cultures, and languages. Their efforts reflect some of the highest aspirations of the community to which we all belong.

Thank you, Chair.