Global perspective Human stories

Annan says International Civil Service Commission must work to improve UN system

Annan says International Civil Service Commission must work to improve UN system

Kofi Annan
As part of the United Nations continuing overall reform, an independent expert panel overseeing the UN’s staff employment conditions must work to improve the world body’s pay and benefits system, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

In an address to a meeting in New York of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), Mr. Annan said the panel had the potential to be a “real driving force” for change.

“Your actions can contribute immensely to improving staff morale and commitment,” he said. “It is no exaggeration that the entire UN community is expecting you to rise to this challenge – and that the very credibility of the Commission is at stake.”

The Secretary-General voiced disappointment that the ICSC had not made progress at its last session, held in April, and that the very need for fundamental changes in the pay and benefits system had been questioned.

“If the organizations of the UN system are to be competitive employers, they must offer improved conditions of service so that they can attract, nurture, motivate and retain the highest quality personnel,” he said. “We therefore need a Commission that can develop, and gain acceptance of, sound recommendations on conditions of service.”

Mr. Annan said the ICSC must address the need to build staff skills and managerial capacity, increase staff mobility, tackle problems of recruitment and retention, and “do its part in creating a system that is simpler to administer and easier for staff to understand.”

Pledging his commitment to the UN-ICSC partnership, the Secretary-General said he looked forward to “continuing to work closely with you so that we can realize the full potential of the UN system, and bring real, positive change into the lives of people throughout the world.”