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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2012

67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Sixth Committee- Agenda item 141 Administration of Justice at the United Nations

Statement on behalf of CANZ by Ms Alice Revell Second Secretary/Legal Adviser, 15 October 2012

Mr Chairman

I have the honour of speaking today on behalf of Canada, Australia and my home country, New Zealand.  We thank the Secretary-General and the Internal Justice Council for their latest reports.

CANZ has been pleased with the progress of the new system of administration of justice at the UN and the work of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal over the last three years.  It is vital that the United Nations continues this process of developing and refining its internal justice system to reflect the Organization’s own core values of respect for the rule of law, and equality of access to an independent and transparent system of justice.

Mr Chairman

CANZ considers it important that we continue to learn from experience as the new system evolves and that we consider what developments may be needed to ensure the system continues to operate according to its goals.  In this respect, we thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report in response to our request for further information.  The Secretary-General has put forward a number of proposals for further strengthening certain aspects of the system, in particular an increased role for the ombudsman and informal mechanisms in dealing with high case-loads, and providing alternative solutions for consultants and contractors.  These will require our close attention together with our colleagues in the Fifth Committee. 

We further note the Secretary-General has requested our approval of proposed amendments to the rules of procedure for both Tribunals.  From a legal perspective, the proposed amendments are aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the system; however, they carry with them financial implications.  As such, they too will need to be carefully considered by our colleagues in the Fifth Committee.

We also thank the Internal Justice Council for its valuable contribution to the development of the administration of justice within the UN.  We welcome its latest report, which has raised a number of areas for further consideration including the Internal Justice Council’s concerns regarding resources in the new system. We wish to avoid a situation where the new system becomes plagued by the very problems and delays it was intended to avoid.

We will examine all of these proposals carefully, with a view to ensuring the UN system of justice is the effective, efficient and fair system we intended it to be. 

Thank you.

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