I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
I would like to thank the Chair of the International Civil Service Commission, Mr. Kingston Papie Rhodes, for introducing the addendum to the report of the ICSC, the Deputy-Controller, Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan for his introductory remarks on the SG statement on financial implications, and the Vice-Chair of the ACABQ, Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, for introducing the related report of that Committee.
At the outset, allow me to stress that the Member States of the European Union are committed to providing the staff of the United Nations with the appropriate support to allow them to work effectively and safely, especially those working in the most dangerous circumstances. However, after the decision the General Assembly took in December 2011, contained in resolution 66/235 (section C), we would like to express our surprise at finding this item on the agenda of this Fifth Committee’s session.
The Member States of the European Union are concerned by the fact that the information on which we based our decision at the end of last year does not seem to be accurate with regard to the potential financial implications of the introduction of danger pay and its effect on the Rest and Recuperation Framework.
Paragraph 56 in the Summary of financial implications of the decisions and recommendations of the International Civil Service Commission for the United Nations and other participating organizations of the common system – which is part of the report of the International Civil Service Commission for 2011 (A/66/30) – stipulates clearly that “the financial implications of the Commission’s recommendations with respect to the payment of danger pay resulted in savings of approximately USD 19.6 million, owing to a reduction in eligible duty stations when compared with duty stations that were eligible for the former hazard pay.”
It was, inter alia, under this assumption that the Member States of the European Union joined the consensus on Resolution 66/235, which takes note of the financial implications specified in paragraph 56 of the report of the International Civil Service Commission for 2011.
The Member States of the European Union would therefore like to know what the detailed and comprehensive financial implications are in case the General Assembly would decide to adopt the conclusions and recommendations by the Secretary-General, contained in his report A/66/394/Add.1, taking into account resolution 66/235 of 27 January 2012.
The Member States of the European Union believe it is very unfortunate that the General Assembly had to work with incomplete information and therefore find itself in this situation. We will ask more detailed questions during the informal consultations on this matter. However, as stated before, any solution will have to take into account what has been stated in the report of the International Civil Service Commission for the year 2011 and reiterated in the corresponding resolution.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.