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STU Flash, 12 November 2021

Human Resources: Oral Statement by the STU, 41st Session of the General Conference


STU/69th Council/21/032
12 November 2021


41st Session of the UNESCO General Conference




Thank you Mr. Chairperson, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

In the first place, the STU regrets the very late finalization and publication of the documents 41C/43 and 41C/47 related to human resources. Receiving these documents on the eve of the discussions constitutes a practice contrary to transparency and hinders the smooth running of the discussions by preventing the staff associations from publishing their addenda on time. This way of acting by the Administration goes against good governance practices of UNESCO and is of great concern.

In addition, STU notes that the decision of the Director-General to delete rule 102.2 of the Staff Regulations and Rules, which allowed staff members to request a reclassification of their post, has, as the STU feared, generated demotivation and frustration. The Organisation is more frozen than ever and career development has stalled.

With regard to the revised Statutes of the Appeals Board, STU notes that since their application, the Administration continues, despite several judgments condemning UNESCO in this regard, to delay excessively the submission of its response to detailed requests, thus preventing staff members from exercising their right of appeal within a reasonable timeframe.

In terms of recruitment, STU once again requests the re-establishment of internal recruitment before external publication if necessary. The IOS report on the recruitment policy indicates that the delays are due to a large number of applications and not to a two-step process that gave staff members a real prospect of career development.

In terms of recruitment as well, STU notes that the Appointment Review Boards (ARB) only serve to endorse the choices of the Administration, without ensuring that the rules are respected. The staff members are again deprived of any recourse.

Finally, STU is concerned about the still opaque nature of the managed geographical mobility exercise. In the document 41 C/43, the Administration proposes a different and less precise option than the one adopted by the Member States at the last Executive Council concerning the possibility of applying for a higher grade. STU takes due note and will carefully ensure that, as promised to Member States, the amended provisions of the Staff Rules clearly and unequivocally allow staff members to apply within the framework of geographic mobility for posts of higher grade.

The IOS evaluation of the First Managed Mobility Programme ended as follows: “A revised MMP should be strategic, focus less on processes and more on people and provide clear incentives and support. It should build its approach around empowering staff to take the right career choices, build capacities for future career moves, including short-term assignments and placing staff in the right place, both from the perspective of the staff member and the Organization.” It is certain that the current exercise, as opaque and unfair as the previous one, will not achieve these objectives

Thank you for your attention.