11 October 2016
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 145 entitled "Administration of Justice at the United Nations".
2. At the outset, the Group would like to thank the Executive Director of the Office of Administration of Justice, Ms. Linda Taylor, for introducing the reports of the Secretary-General on administration of justice at the United Nations, and on findings and recommendations of the Interim Independent Assessment Panel, as contained in documents A/71/164 and A/71/163 respectively. We would also like to thank the Director of Mediation, Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services, Ms. Deborah Mendez, for introducing the report of the Secretary-General on activities of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services, as contained in document A/71/157, as well as the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, for introducing the Advisory Committee's related report. The Group would like to extend our appreciation to the Interim Independent Assessment Panel, the Internal Justice Council and the Joint Inspection Unit for their related reports.
3. The issue of administration of justice continues to be one of the key priorities of the Group, as a parameter of an effective human resources management and an accountability tool.
4. Following the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 69/203, the Interim Independent Assessment Panel on the system of administration of justice at the United Nations was appointed to examine the system of administration of justice in all its aspects, with particular attention to the formal system and its relation with the informal system, including an analysis of whether the aims and objectives set out in resolution 61/263 were being achieved in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
5. The Group welcomes the report of the Panel which covers the major aspects of the system of administration of justice. We share the view expressed by the Panel that the current system has made a good start and is better than its previous system. The objectives of the justice system set out in resolution 61/261 have been met to a very large extent. However, as the system is still evolving, some areas of its functioning could be improved. The Group notes that the Panel made a total of 58 recommendations in this regard.
6. The Group also notes that the Secretary-General has submitted his comments and recommendations, including the proposed revised estimates in the amount of $2,502,800 relating to the implementation of these recommendations.
7. The Group will consider each recommendation as well as the views and comments of the Secretary-General in light of the resolution 61/261 which intended to establish an independent, transparent, professionalized, adequately resourced and decentralized system of administration of justice, consistent with the relevant rules of international law and the principles of the rule of law and due process, to ensure respect for the rights and obligations of staff members, and the accountability of managers and staff members alike.
8. The Group also welcomes the report of the Join Inspection Unit (JIU) which examines the role of the ombudsman services in the United Nations system organizations. We will consider the JIU's eight recommendations in their own merit which, from our view, will complement the recommendations of the Panel.
9. The Group also looks forward to the letter of the Chair of Sixth Committee related to the legal aspects of the administration of justice.
10. With regard to the functioning of the administration of justice, the Group notes a continued increase of applications of the system. In light of the transformations which are under way in the Organization, such as the implementation of the common system compensation package, which may affect staff over the coming years, we reiterate our appeal of fostering a dialogue-oriented culture across the Organization, in order to prevent potential conflicts.
11. Regarding the responses to the requests of the General Assembly in its resolution 70/112, the Group notes with satisfaction that the revised terms of reference and guidelines for the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services have finally been promulgated. It is also our satisfaction that a single code of conduct for all legal representatives has been proposed for consideration, and that the Dispute Tribunal and Appeals Tribunal have adequate courtrooms.
12. The Group will seek more information and clarification, during our informal consultations, on these issues and others, such as the voluntary supplemental funding mechanism for additional resources for the Office of Staff Legal Assistance, which was established on an experimental basis.
13. In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation to all the stakeholders in both the formal and informal parts of the system for their valuable contribution to the administration of justice at the United Nations since the current system has entered into force in 2009.
14. The recommendations of the Panel give us the opportunity to build an improved and stronger system of administration of justice for the benefit of the Organization.
15. The Group of 77 and China will engage constructively during our deliberations with the aim to reach a successful conclusion of this agenda item.
I thank you Madam Chairperson.