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UN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
PATTERN OF CONFERENCES
In 1974 the 29th General Assembly, had established a 22-member Committee on Conferences Ito act for it between sessions on requested departures from the approved calendar of conferences, to make recommendations on improving the pattern of conferences and conference servicing, and to develop for approval by the Assembly an annual calendar of conferences.
The Committee, which is in permanent session, met 37 times between February 25 and September 29, 1975. It concentrated on, and took a number of decisions regarding, proposed departures from the schedule of conferences approved by the Assembly; drew up a proposed calendar for 1976 and a provisional calendar for 1977; reviewed and developed recommendations on policy aspects of the overall pattern of conferences; and considered guidelines for more effective use of the conference servicing capacity of the United Nations. The Committee recommended, inter alia, that the Assembly make the cycle of meetings and conferences coincide with the budgetary financial period by adopting in future years a biennial program of conferences.
The Fifth Committee of the 30th Assembly, at six meetings between December 3 and 8, 1975, considered the report of the Committee on Conferences, together with related reports by the Secretary General, ECOSOC, and the ACABQ. The Fifth Committee recommended to the General Assembly a draft resolution approving both a calendar of conferences and meetings for 1976 and a tentative calendar for 1977, deciding that the cycle of meetings and conferences will henceforth coincide with the biennial budgetary period, and requesting the Committee on Conferences to include in its future reports the administrative and financial information on which its decisions and recommendations were based. On December 15, the Assembly in plenary session, adopted the resolution without objection.
In 1974 Austria had offered to provide additional space in the Donaupark project, which would become available in 1978, for UN conferences and units of the UN Secretariat. The 29th Assembly had welcomed the Austrian offer and requested the Secretary General to look into the financial and administrative implications. At the 30th Assembly, the Fifth Committee, which had
7/Algeria, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, India, Kenya, Mongolia, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, U.S.S.R., United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia.
before it the report of the Secretary General and the comments of the ACABQ, considered the question of including Vienna in the pattern of conferences at two meetings in mid-December. Without objection, the Committee recommended to the General Assembly a draft resolution, sponsored by Austria and 21 other states, authorizing the Secretary General to inform the Government of Austria that the United Nations was willing to consider its offer of space (in effect establishing Vienna as a third UN city, along with New York and Geneva), expressing the opinion that no additional office space in New York or Geneva should be acquired until consideration had first been given to the use of available space in Vienna, and requesting the Secretary General to submit to the General Assembly at its 31st session a comprehensive report on the optimum utilization of space in Vienna.
The General Assembly adopted the draft resolution without objection on December 16.
PUBLICATIONS AND DOCUMENTATION
At the 29th session of the General Assembly the Fifth Committee had requested the Secretary General to prepare a report on the types of records of proceedings employed by all UN bodies financed under the regular budget, on the authority under which records were issued, and on criteria that would be helpful in evaluating the usefulness of records and the kinds of records most appropriate for each body.
The Secretary General's report was discussed by the Fifth Committee of the 30th Assembly at six meetings between October 31 and November 24, 1975. On the latter day, the Committee, by a vote of 83 (U.S.) to 0, with 3 abstentions, recommended to the General Assembly the adoption of a resolution which endorsed 10 criteria proposed by the Secretary General, as modified by the comments of the ACABQ; requested the Secretary General to apply the criteria on an experimental basis in the biennium 1976-77; invited the Security Council, ECOSOC, and the Trusteeship Council to consider the application of the proposed criteria to their meeting records and to ensure that the meeting records of their subsidiary bodies conformed to the criteria; and requested the Committee on Conferences to monitor and report on the application of the criteria.
The criteria were designed to provide better control over meeting records, and as a result to reduce their volume and cost and the administrative burden of producing them.
The General Assembly on December 8 adopted the resolution by a vote of 92 (U.S.) in favor, with no votes against and no abstentions.
INTERNATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
Established by the 29th General Assembly, the ICSC held its first, organizational, session at UN headquarters in New York, May 19-30, 1975. The 15-member body, including a full-time chairman and vice chairman, replaces the former International Civil Service Advisory Board. Raúl Quijano (Argentina) was appointed chairman and A. L. Adu (Ghana) vice chairman. Robert E. Hampton, Chairman of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, is a member of the ICSC.
The Commission, which will meet twice a year, has as its mandate "the regulation and coordination of the conditions of service of the United Nations common system." Its second session, August 11-29, in Geneva, was largely concerned with the problems involved in reviewing the UN salary system, a task that the 29th General Assembly had requested it to undertake as a matter of priority. At this session the Commission also prepared its first annual report to the General Assembly, in which it commented on its task and on the UN salary system, expressed its intention of making the fullest possible report on the salary system to the 31st Assembly, and made recommendations on a few specific problems that had been referred to it.
The Fifth Committee of the 30th General Assembly considered the ICSC report at four meetings between November 20 and December 2, on the latter day approving without objection a resolution noting with appreciation the ICSC report and requesting that final recommendations on the UN salary system be submitted to the 31st session of the Assembly. The General Assembly in plenary session adopted the resolution without objection on December 8.
The Fifth Committee of the 30th General Assembly considered personnel questions at nine meetings between November 18 and December 9, recommending two resolutions which were subsequently adopted by the General Assembly.
The first resolution, regarding the employment of women in the UN Secretariat, was approved by the Committee on December 1 by a vote of 83 (U.S.) to 0, with 2 abstentions, and adopted by the plenary Assembly on December 8 by a vote of 101 (U.S.) to none. Noting the limited progress made in the recruitment and promotion of women in the senior and policy-making positions and
the declining percentage of women professionals in the Secretariat, the resolution (1) urged member states to intensify their efforts to recommend qualified women for professional posts in the Secretariat; (2) requested the Secretary General to make every effort during the 1976-77 and 1978-79 biennia to fill a number of posts subject to geographical distribution, equivalent to 5% of the midpoint of the desirable range of each region, with qualified women, priority being given to those from unrepresented or under-represented countries; (3) requested the Secretary General to intensify recruitment missions in order to increase the number of women candidates for professional posts; and (4) recommended that the Secretary General pay special attention in the Staff Development Program to training which would assist women, particularly from developing countries, to increase their career opportunities.
The second resolution, concerning the composition of the Secretariat, had two parts. Part A, which was based, in the U.S. view, on the faulty premise that nationals from developing countries are inadequately represented in senior Secretariat posts, requested the Secretary General to correct this situation and to report on the results of his efforts to the next General Assembly. It was approved by the Committee on December 2 by a vote of 61 to 14 (U.S.), with 15 abstentions, and adopted by the plenary Assembly on December 8 by a vote of 80 to 13 (U.S.), with 10 abstentions. Part B, which was adopted by both Committee and plenary Assembly without objection, requested the Secretary General to take all necessary measures to recruit the staff members subject to geographic distribution from the countries un represented and under-represented in the Secretariat, in particular from the developing countries, in accordance with Article 101 (3) of the UN Charter. This is the paragraph emphasizing that the paramount consideration in the employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, with due regard being paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographic basis as possible.
EMPLOYMENT OF AMERICANS
The total number of professional employees in the United Nations and its specialized agencies rose from 6,611 in 1974 to 6,891 in 1975. The number of U.S. nationals increased numerically from 959 to 995, but declined slightly in terms of percentage of total from 14.50% to 14.44%.
In the UN Secretariat during this period, the number of Americans rose from 465 (19.40%) to 498 (19.46%). In the agencies, the percentage of American
professionals increased in the ILO, IMCO, and WHO; remained the same in the UPU; and declined in FAO, ICAO, ITU, UNESCO, WMO, and IAEA. For the most part, the changes were minimal, representing the gain or loss of less than a percentage point.
The total number of UNDP-financed experts employed by the United Nations and its specialized agencies increased from 5,161 at the end of 1974 to 5,346 at the end of 1975, while the number of American experts increased from 484 (9.38%) to 501 (9.37%).
With respect to senior posts, Rudolph A. Peterson was replaced as Administrator of UNDP by another American, F. Bradford Morse, who was, in turn, replaced as Under Secretary General for Political and General Assembly Affairs by another American, William B. Buffum.