16 countries not represented among UN staff, Annan reports

22 October 2002

While most United Nations Member States are within the range of acceptable staffing limits, citizens from 16 countries did not occupy any positions within the UN Secretariat while 11 other nations are underrepresented among its personnel, according to a report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan released today.

While most United Nations Member States are within the range of acceptable staffing limits, citizens from 16 countries did not occupy any positions within the UN Secretariat while 11 other nations are underrepresented among its personnel, according to a report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan released today.

The text, which is based on information as of 30 June, follows an annual request by the UN General Assembly for the Secretary-General to report on the composition of the Secretariat's staff by demographic characteristics and geographical distribution.

According to the report, the number of un-represented countries is down from 18 in the previous year, and includes Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, Palau, Moldova, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

In contrast, the report says 20 Member States, including Argentina, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, India, the Russia Federation, Nigeria and Pakistan, are over-represented among the UN staff.

On gender representation, the number of women in senior policy-making levels increased 39 per cent, from 79 to 110, between 1998 and 2002. Comparing data from 1992 with those from 2002, the report says the percentage of female staff in posts subject to geographical distribution rose to 41 per cent, from 30.6 per cent, over the decade. Of a total of 2,492 staff in such positions, 1,022 are women, the first time the number surpasses 1,000.

Overall, the report says the gender distribution of Secretariat staff shows an almost balanced division at 50.9 per cent to 49.1 per cent, in favour of women. But "the nearly evenly balanced overall gender situation disguises differences in gender representation by category, department or office," the report says, adding that the number of women in the most senior positions - Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General - fell 1.6 per cent from 2001 while the number in the Director category went up by 1.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, staffing in 14 departments and UN offices grew by 5 per cent or more since 1 July 2001, with the most significant increases occurring in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which rose 24.9 per cent. The Economic Commission for Africa grew by 35 per cent last year due to "the targeted recruitment exercise aimed at bringing down the high vacancy rate and the turnover resulting from the ageing ECA staff population."

 

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