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Letter to staff from the International Civil Service Commission Chair

New York

Larbi Djacta (right), Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission, with Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway at the session of the Commission in March 2019

Dear Colleagues

As I end my first year in the position of Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and approach 2020, I would like to reflect on the progress made in a number of areas and the work we have ahead.

In 2019, I promised and delivered on two-way dialogue and continuous open lines of communications on some aspects of staff employment conditions, particularly in light of several important items on the ICSC’s agenda. These included but were not limited to a review of the post adjustment system, to make it more stable and predictable and a review of compensation for locally­ recruited staff, recognizing the increasingly requirements and technicality of the system and the nature of work; monitoring the conditions of work and life in duty stations with extreme hardship; a review of the parental leave entitlements so as to support organizations balance the objectives of optimal performance in delivering mandates with duty of care towards the family commitments of staff, to name a few.

I remain constantly aware of the high expectations of the ICSC and its continued relevance which depends on the support, not only of Member States, but also of staff and organizations.

The guiding principle and significance of the ICSC's role as an enabler for the organizations in the delivery of their mandates, was one of the key drivers of the revised ICSC Framework for Human Resources Management that was adopted in 2017. The fundamental values of the UN common system endure and the principles that govern the practice of human resources management continue to be relevant. The framework recognizes that the most valuable resource of the United Nations common system is its staff. Therefore, the key elements of this framework are defined as follows: Governance, Leadership and Enabling Work Environment.

Today, a significant proportion of the contexts where the United Nations operates is in some of the most difficult and dangerous places. I met with many staff in the field and in headquarters during the year and recently deployed a fact-finding mission to some of these difficult duty stations. The ICSC Secretariat have also met and communicated with the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services Office, with organizations and staff in headquarters duty stations and from your feedback and ideas there is still more work to be done.

As we approach the New Year, I look forward to working with you in building a modern, forward looking civil service that supports the achievement of the sustainable development goals and one that has a significant impact on the duty of care for staff members and their families.

I wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday and the very best in the coming year!


Larbi Djacta Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission 20 December 2019

Posted on 20 December 2019