UN management prepared to hold dialogue with Staff Union over concerns

19 November 2004

United Nations management will meet next week with a body representing UN staff members to deal some of the concerns raised over the handling of a recent incident, a UN spokesman said today.

The meeting was prompted by the Staff Union's dissatisfaction with the results of a report submitted earlier this week by the Department of Management to Secretary-General Kofi Annan on allegations about the UN's own watchdog body, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

Original media reports indicating that the Staff Union would hold a vote of no-confidence today misconstrued what was taking place, spokesman Fred Eckhard said in response to questions at the daily press briefing in New York.

Staff Union President Rosemarie Waters "assured us that that was not the intent, although they are dissatisfied with senior management, particularly in the way this whole OIOS matter was dealt with," he said.

Mr. Eckhard said that when the Department of Management submitted its report on the OIOS allegations, Staff Union members were also briefed and given additional details about the Secretary-General's conclusions. The Staff Union, he noted, was not happy with the results.

UN management was prepared to talk to Ms. Waters and the Staff Union next week to deal with their concerns. "The idea is to keep dialogue going to sort out our differences so that it isn't necessary to adopt resolutions saying they have no-confidence in senior management," he said. "We'd certainly like them to have more confidence in us and we hope that we can achieve that through dialogue."

The spokesman acknowledged that it has been "an up and down relationship," but that it is UN management's intention to work with the Staff Union.

Asked why the Staff Union wasn't consulted during the OIOS investigation, the spokesman said that would be an issue for discussion next week. He noted that, in the OIOS investigation, one of the things brought forward initially had been an unsigned letter, and no one came forward to explain further.

 

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