I have the honour today to speak on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. At the outset, CANZ wishes to express its appreciation to Mr. Andrei Terekhov, Executive Director of the Office of Administration of Justice, for presenting the report of the Secretary-General; Mr. Johnston Barkat, UN Ombudsman, for presenting the report on the activities of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services; Ms. Susan McLurg, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for presenting the related report of the ACABQ; and Ms. Paulina Analena, Vice-President of the Staff-Management Coordinating Committee, for presenting the views of the staff on this agenda item.
CANZ has been a long-standing advocate for a fair and effective system of internal justice for the United Nations. We believe that a properly functioning system of internal justice is an essential element of our collective efforts to strengthen accountability, oversight, and human resources management in the United Nations.
We are pleased to note that the new system of administration of justice at the UN has been up and running now for over a year. CANZ appreciates the progress made in putting the new system into operation, as well as the work done by the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and United Nations Appeals Tribunal in managing the transition from the previous internal justice system. We also acknowledge the efforts made by the Office for the Administration of Justice over this period.
We believe it timely that we look at lessons learnt from the system’s first year of operation, and to consider what adjustments may be needed to ensure it continues to operate smoothly. In this connection, we note that the Secretary-General has identified a range of issues on which he considers further decisions, guidance and resources from member states are required.
Among other things, the Secretary-General has proposed the establishment of 27 new posts to provide additional support to the new system. While we will consider this proposal in more detail, we note that many of these and other resources being requested are linked, directly or indirectly to the caseload of the UNDT and UNAT – which is still in the process of stabilizing. We believe it critical that any significant changes to the system are based on a careful analysis of trends over time.
CANZ looks forward to engaging constructively with all delegations to ensure that our consideration of this agenda item is as productive as possible – and that the new UN system of administration of justice is the fair, effective and efficient system we intended it to be.
Thank you Mr Chairman.