New resolution on mobility
Published on Thursday, 29 May 2014
As you may be aware, the General Assembly has approved a new mobility policy for the UN. On paper, key features are:
The resolution requests that mobility be implemented for one job network in 2016, one in 2017 and two per year thereafter. We understand, to be confirmed, that the first job network will be political and peacekeeping, followed by security.
In order to address concerns by the US and the EU over the costs of mobility, the number of geographical moves in 2016 and 2017 may not exceed the number of geographical moves in 2014 and 2015. In order to smoothen the transition, member states agreed that staff who have completed maximum post incumbency when mobility is implemented for their job network, may have another year before they are reassigned. Thus no-one will be required to move until one year after the term of the current Secretary-General ends. We believe this timing is intentional.
If this policy is implemented as requested, and history shows that such policies rarely last long in their original form, massive changes will be required to the staff selection system and how the organization manages itself. What we see as areas of uncertainty or flaws in the system will need to be addressed. These include:
There clearly is a need to address problems faced by many of our colleagues stuck in some of the world's toughest and most dangerous locations. Furthermore, many of you in the survey and focus groups two years ago expressed a desire to have a system in which it would be easier to move around with incentives to encourage it.
However, we do believe that the pressure exerted by the Secretary-General on member states and his own administration, because of the limited time remaining, has forced through a mobility policy that in its design and application will struggle to deliver on its objective of promoting career development, relieving hardship and strengthening the organization. Staff will be unnecessarily penalized. In this regard it should be noted that we were not consulted on the latest version of this policy. We are also concerned that the financial implications of mobility have yet to be properly calculated.
These issues and more will be on the agenda at the upcoming meeting of the Staff-Management Committee. In advance of that meeting, we will be holding townhalls with you on the subject. We invite you to read the policy, as submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly and the resolution concerning it.