I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this statement.
At the outset let me thank the Vice-Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), Mr. Wolfgang Stöckl for introducing the Commissions annual report for 2009. We would also like to thank the Director of the of the Programme Planning and Budget Division, Ms. Sharon Van Buerle, for introducing the Statement submitted by the Secretary-General in accordance with rule 153 of the Rules of procedure of the General Assembly. Furthermore we wish to extend our thanks to the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), Ms. Susan McLurg, for presenting the report of that Committee.
We also thank the staff representatives from the Federation of International Civil Servants Associations (FICSA), the Coordinating Committee for International Staff Unions and Associations of the United Nations System (CCISUA) and the United Nations International Civil Servants Federation (UNISERV) for their statements.
The European Union supports the significant role of the ICSC. The work of the Commission is invaluable for the purpose of harmonising the conditions of service of the United Nations system to enhance the effective functioning of the organisations of the common system. The work of the ICSC also supports the efforts to deliver as one.
The European Union notes the programme of work for 2010-2011 as outlined by the ICSC in Annex I of its report. We welcome the continued efforts of the ICSC as it considers the items before it.
The European Union also notes the decisions and recommendations of the ICSC contained in its report. As regards the review of separation payments, including termination indemnity, repatriation grant and death grant, the European Union supports the efforts to streamline the practices within the common system. As for the recommended end-of-service severance pay for fixed-term staff, we will carefully examine this proposal and its administrative and financial implications in the light of the ongoing implementation of the contractual reform and the overall economic situation, bearing in mind that it is an entirely new concept.
The European Union looks forward to discussing these issues further with all other Member States and the ICSC as well as the Secretariat in informal consultations.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.