Speakers in Fifth Committee Welcome Decreased Price Tag of Nairobi Office Upgrade, Yet Concerned by Potential Cost Overrun for Project at Asia-Pacific Commission

Speakers in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today welcomed a 5.2 per cent reduction in the projected cost of replacing semi permanent office blocks at the United Nations Office at Nairobi that date back to the 1970s, but expressed concern that a seismic mitigation retrofit and life cycle replacements project at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) premises in Bangkok is running the risk of going over budget.

The Committee also took up reports on the administration of justice at the United Nations and the activities of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services, with delegates emphasizing the value of a fair, effective and efficient system for resolving staff disputes at a time when the Secretary General’s reform agenda is being put into place.

Uganda’s representative, speaking on behalf of the African Group, welcomed the revised cost of $66.26 million for the replacement of office blocks A J at the United Nations Office at Nairobi and encouraged the Secretary General to take measures to avoid delays and escalation of costs. Recalling previous General Assembly resolutions on construction projects, she said the African Group hopes that the Secretary General will take into consideration the need to use local capacity during the Nairobi project’s implementation.

The representative of Kenya, noting that Nairobi hosts the global headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), said his country has invested significantly in ensuring a good environment for the United Nations in its capital city. The gravest concern, however, is the semi permanent buildings’ non compliance with security requirements. Kenya appreciates the financial support to implement the project and its accelerated construction schedule and it will do all it can to ease the importation of building materials and equipment, although it encourages local sourcing.

Singapore’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said ASEAN is encouraged by assurances that the ESCAP project is on schedule with no change to its $40.02 million budget. However, it is concerned that the project is at significant risk of going over budget, according to the report of the first Monte Carlo risk analysis. The Secretary General must ensure that risk mitigating measures are adopted in a timely manner, she said, adding that the project team should continue to take into account the lessons learned and best practices from other United Nations capital projects.

The representative of Thailand, which has hosted ESCAP � the most comprehensive regional development arm of the United Nations � for nearly seven decades, said it is imperative to ensure the ESCAP project’s successful completion. Thailand hopes that due regard has been paid to cost benefit analysis and operational feasibility for the project’s timely completion, particularly within the approved cost plan. Thailand welcomes an expanded United Nations presence on its territory, he said, adding that it is the country’s policy to promote Bangkok as the Geneva of Asia.

Patrick Carey, Officer in Charge of the Office of Central Support Services, introducing the Secretary General’s progress report on the ESCAP project, said 2018 has been a successful year, with the project team now working on the final design with the lead design consultancy firm. During the design phase, the seismic mitigation retrofit design will continue to be refined as will the planned life cycle replacement scope of the project, with the aim of addressing health and safety issues. It is recommended that the Assembly take note of the Secretary General’s report and the revised cost plan; approve the establishment of two temporary positions; and appropriate $4.48 million for the project for 2019, he said.

Hanna S. Tetteh, Director, United Nations Office at Nairobi, speaking by video teleconference from Nairobi, attributed the reduced project cost to the repurposing of an existing publishing services building, thus cancelling the need to construct a separate service block. Emphasizing the project’s modular design, she said the current proposal is to build two new office blocks, although if required, it could be adjusted to build as few as one or as many as four. The proposed United Nations Office at Nairobi project is extremely good value for the money, she said, anticipating that, once completed, there would be no need for major upgrades or refurbishments for 20 years.

Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), introducing its related reports, said it expects the Secretary General to take all necessary measures to ensure that the ESCAP project is delivered within the scope, budget and timeline approved by the General Assembly. Welcoming the refined project proposal for the United Nations Office at Nairobi, he said it would be good practice for the Secretary General to provide comparative information and explanations relating to the original and revised cost plan in his report.

Speaking on the administration of justice and the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman, the representative of Switzerland said the Organization must put in place a system where the whole workforce has an effective remedy, irrespective of their internal qualifications as staff or non staff members. It is problematic that half of the Organization’s workforce has no access to the internal justice system, she said, strongly welcoming the Secretary General’s proposal for a pilot project that would explicitly offer non staff personnel access to informal dispute resolution services through the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman.

The representative of the United States noted that even though the number of cases coming before the Dispute Tribunal remained stable in 2017, there was a drop in the number of adjustments issued by the Dispute Tribunal, the lowest level since the system’s inception in 2009. Noting that the Advisory Committee attributed that trend to the Tribunal’s decreased agility, she said her country looks forward to additional information in that regard. She also commended the creation of a pilot programme to provide access for non staff to some dispute resolution tools.

AlayneFrankson-Wallace, Executive Director of the Office of Administration of Justice, introduced the Secretary General’s report on the administration of justice at the United Nations, and Shireen L. Dodson, United Nations Ombudsman, presented her report on the activities of her Office. Mr. Ruiz presented the Advisory Committee’s related report.

Also speaking today were representatives of Egypt (on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China) and Japan, as well as the European Union.

The Fifth Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 22 October, to continue its work.

Construction and Property Management

PATRICK CAREY, Officer in Charge, Office of Central Support Services, introduced the Secretary General’s progress report on the Seismic mitigation retrofit and life cycle replacements project at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) premises in Bangkok (document A/73/327). The report was submitted pursuant to section XIII of General Assembly resolution 72/262. He said this has been a successful year for the project. The project team completed the planning phase towards the end of 2017 and is now working on the final design with the lead design consultancy firm. During the design phase, the seismic mitigation retrofit design will continue to be refined as will the planned life cycle replacement scope of the project, with the aim of addressing health and safety issue. The host country continues to play an active role in the project and the ESCAP team continues to engage with the Technical Advisory Group on lessons learned and to ensure local knowledge and best practices are incorporated. By changing the construction methodology, the need for off site swing space has been avoided in favour of on site swing space. This will minimize the disruption and provide business continuity, he said. It is recommended that the Assembly note the report and note the revised cost plan, approve the establishment of two temporary positions and appropriate $4.48 million for the project for 2019.

HANNA S. TETTEH, Director General, United Nations Office at Nairobi, speaking by video teleconference from Nairobi, introduced the report of the Secretary General on the progress on the replacement of office blocks A J at the Office (document A/73/344). She said the report includes an update on progress made during 2018 and a refinement of the project proposal, which reduced the project cost by 5.2 per cent from $69.88 million, as indicated in the Secretary General’s previous report, to $66.26 million. She attributed the decrease to the repurposing of the existing publishing services building instead of building a separate service block. That approach has several extra advantages, she explained, including the avoidance of temporary swing space, and an accelerated construction schedule.

Providing some context to Committee members, she recalled that office blocks A J comprise office space, medical and security facilities, warehousing, contractors’ workshops, a canteen, and other operational facilities. The blocks are nearing the end of their service life and, despite some interior upgrades over the years, they do not comply with building codes. In fact, they are no longer safe and do not meet current United Nations security requirements, she said, noting that the Strategic Capital Review determined that investing more in office blocks A J would, over time, cost more than replacing them. She emphasized that the Secretary General’s reform efforts, with their focus on decentralization, will likely make the United Nations complex in the Gigiri district of Nairobi an ideal location for increased operational activity. In that regard, the refined proposal is sufficiently flexible to accommodate future changes in demand, she stated.

Emphasizing the project’s modular design, she said the current proposal is to build two new office blocks, although if required, it could be adjusted to build as few as one or as many as four. Flexible workspace strategies and upgrades will be applied across all existing office space, in line with experience and best practice at Headquarters. She emphasized the wider role of Nairobi, the only duty station in the Global South hosting the headquarters of United Nations entities as well as regional offices for several agencies, funds and programmes, in addition to country and project offices. Africa is a vast, dynamic and fast changing continent with lots of talent and potential, she said. Nairobi is part of that changing narrative and the Secretary General is making it a personal priority to strengthen Africa’s place in the Organization and vice versa. She recalled that the Office is the United Nations only global service provider in Africa, managing annual extrabudgetary revenue of more than $1 billion, with the Government of Kenya donating the land on which it stands and investing in supporting infrastructure.

The proposed United Nations Office at Nairobi project is extremely good value for the money, she said, underscoring the Office’s track record for delivering on large projects and anticipating that, once completed, there would be no need for major upgrades or refurbishments for 20 years. She went on to note the Secretary General’s request that the General Assembly approve the proposed scope, revised lower maximum overall cost and related implementation strategy; approve the establishment of seven positions for project management support and coordination; appropriate $6.595 million for the project for 2019; and approve the establishment of a multi year construction in progress account for the project.

CARLOS RUIZ MASSIEU, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), introduced its report on ESCAP’s seismic mitigation retrofit and life cycle replacements project (A/73/425), and said the modified swing space strategy would include new construction of 1,200 square meters to enable all swing space to be provided on site. The Advisory Committee expects that more detailed information on the proposed modifications, and the proposed future use of the swing space, will be provided to the Assembly when it considers the present report. The Advisory Committee recommends the approval of the establishment of the two temporary positions. Regarding risk management, the ACABQ notes the results of the Monte Carlo risk simulation and expects the Secretary General to take all necessary measures to ensure the delivery of the project within the scope, budget and timeline approved by the Assembly.

He then introduced the Advisory Committee’s report (document A/73/426) on the progress in replacing office blocks A J at the United Nations Office at Nairobi. The ACABQ welcomes the refined project proposal, including the cost saving of 5.2 per cent of the overall budget. The Advisory Committee believes it would be good practice for the Secretary General to provide comparative information and explanations relating to the original and revised cost plan in his report. It recommends such comparative information be provided for all future construction project reports. Given the costs associated with the flexible workspace requirements, the ACABQ recommends the pilot project incorporate an updated cost benefit analysis.

MOHAMED FOUAD AHMED (Egypt), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, said the demands of regional member States on ESCAP have intensified as they redouble their efforts to tackle domestic economic, social and environmental challenges to meet various internationally agreed upon development goals. It is imperative that the Organization ensure the Commission project is completed on time and within budget. This would let the Commission perform its functions effectively and service its members in the best way. The Group trusts that ESCAP will implement the eight recommendations included in the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) audit report and commends the Organization’s extensive outreach to attract qualified female candidates to the project team. The Group is concerned that the project may not be completed within the approved budget of $40.2 million. The Group urges the Secretary General to ensure the prompt finalization of the project design and the timely and effective adoption of relevant risk mitigation measures.

Turning to the replacement of office blocks at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, the Group is pleased that the Secretariat has proposed a revised maximum overall project cost of $66.26 million, a 5.2 per cent reduction from the previous project cost of $69.88 million, he said. The Group welcomes the recruitment of an independent risk management expert to support the Office of the Central Support Services in fulfilling its project role. It stresses the need for the Secretary General to review lessons learned and best practices on matters of project governance as it implements this project. It is also important to bring on board pertinent authorities of the host country whose roles will make the project a success. In addition, the Group emphasizes the collective need to address health and safety issues across all United Nations premises. It urges all Member States to support the timely and complete implementation of other projects under strategic capital reviews, including the United Nations Office at Nairobi, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, and Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago.

JO-PHIE TANG (Singapore), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and associating herself with the Group of 77, reaffirmed ASEAN’s support for ESCAP, stating that the Commission has been pivotal in providing technical assistance and capacity building to the 53 member States and 9 associate members that it serves. Noting that ESCAP has implemented, or is implementing, the eight recommendations contained in the OIOS audit report of 5 June, she said ASEAN supports the Secretary General’s recommendation to hire, on a temporary basis, one Information Technology Assistant at the local level and one Logistics and Coordination Office at the national level for the on site swing space. She commended efforts by ESCAP and the Office of Central Support Services to attract qualified female candidates to the project team. She also welcomed the establishment of an advisory committee, supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Thailand, to provide technical advice and offer local expertise and best practice during construction. ASEAN is encouraged by the Secretary General’s assurances that the project is on schedule with no change to its $40.02 million budget, but it is concerned that the project is at significant risk of going over budget, according to the report of the first Monte Carlo risk analysis. The Secretary General must ensure that risk mitigating measures are adopted in a timely manner, while the project team should keep taking into account the lessons learned and best practices from other United Nations capital projects.

CAROLINE NALWANGA MAGAMBO (Uganda), speaking on behalf of the African Group and associating herself with the Group of 77, said the African Group welcomes the revised cost of $66.26 million for the replacement of office blocks A J at the United Nations Office at Nairobi. It encourages the Secretary General to take measures to avoid delays and escalation of costs. Recalling previous General Assembly resolutions on construction projects, she said the African Group hopes that the Secretary General will take into consideration the need to use local capacity during the Nairobi project’s implementation. She went on to emphasize that the African Group will continue to monitor the handling of health and safety issues at all United Nations premises, particularly at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, ECA in Addis Ababa, and ECLAC in Santiago.

VITAVAS SRIVIHOK (Thailand), associating himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said Thailand has hosted ESCAP for nearly seven decades. The Commission is the most comprehensive regional development arm of the United Nations, with 53 member States and 9 associate members. The Commission has worked diligently to deliver on its mandates in Asia and the Pacific, a region which is home to 60 per cent of the world’s population. Thailand supports efforts to address health and safety issues through the implementation of the seismic mitigation retrofit and life cycle replacement project. It is imperative to ensure the project’s successful completion. Thailand believes close coordination between the Organization and the host country is key to the project’s success. Thailand is pleased with the project’s progress and welcomes the decision to use the on site swing space and refine the construction methodology. It hopes that due regard has been paid to cost benefit analysis and operational feasibility for the project’s timely completion, particularly within the approved cost plan. The efficient use of space will accommodate more United Nations entities in the complex. The country welcomes an expanded United Nations presence in the country. It is Thailand’s policy to promote Bangkok as the Geneva of Asia.

ANTHONY ANDANJE (Kenya), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said as host of the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya highly values the presence of the duty station. It plays an important role in Africa as it is the only duty station in the Global South that hosts the headquarters of two United Nations organizations: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat). Nairobi also hosts peacekeeping operations and country, regional and project offices of several United Nations agencies, funds, programmes and other entities. Kenya has invested significantly in ensuring the environment is conducive for the United Nations to carry out its important mandates. Kenya repeats its commitment to honour its obligations and responsibilities in conformity with the Headquarters Agreement.

The presence of United Nations offices in Nairobi has expanded over the years and office blocks A J, constructed in the 1970s initially as semi permanent buildings, have reached the end of their design life, he said. They no longer comply with important standards and codes. The gravest concern is non compliance with security requirements as they are located near the main avenue. Kenya welcomes the steps taken by the Secretary General to initiate a project for the replacement of office blocks A J at the Nairobi office. Kenya fully supports the Advisory Committee’s recommendation that the Assembly ask the Secretary General to provide updates on pilot projects in his future report on the Nairobi construction project. Kenya appreciates the financial support to implement the project and the accelerated construction schedule. It will do whatever is possible to ease the importation of construction materials and equipment for the project though it encourages local sourcing. His delegation believes that additional investment in Kenya is a prudent financial decision to help address the Organization’s future requirements.

Administration of Justice

ALAYNE FRANKSON-WALLACE, Executive Director of the Office of Administration of Justice, introduced the report of the Secretary General on the administration of justice at the United Nations (documents A/73/217 and A/73/217/Add.1). Noting that concerted efforts were made to streamline the presentation of information, she said the report signals that, almost 10 years on, the Organization’s internal justice system is, overall, functioning well. It requests the General Assembly to create three permanent judicial positions in lieu of ad litem judges; to consider whether measures should be instituted to monitor the timely management and adjudication of cases; to indefinitely extend the voluntary supplemental funding mechanism for the Office of Staff Legal Assistance; and to reaffirm the important role of the independent Office of the Administration of Justice in the internal justice system.

Going into detail into each of those requests, she said creating three permanent judicial positions is justified by the size of the Dispute Tribunal’s workload and the need to avoid undermining its independence through repeated extensions of ad litem positions not envisaged under the Statute. Given a decrease in the Dispute Tribunal’s productivity, the Assembly may wish to consider whether further monitoring of its outputs � either by the Assembly or by the Internal Justice Council � is necessary, she added.

She noted that funding for the Office of Staff Legal Assistance has, since 2014, been supplemented by voluntary contributions from staff members, through an experimental mechanism approved every year by the Assembly. That mechanism, which enables the Office to hire much needed additional lawyers, should be extended indefinitely, without prejudice to a final decision as to whether the Office’s expenditures constitute expenses of the Organization to be borne by Member States in accordance with the United Nations Charter. She went on to say that reaffirming the role of the independent Office of Internal Justice will help make the system more efficient and allow its different elements to direct their respective efforts and resources to their assigned mandates.

She added that, through his reports, the Secretary General also requests an amendment to the Statute of the Appeals Tribunal concerning the Tribunal’s assistance over decisions of the Standing Committee of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board, as well as approval of an amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Appeals Tribunal. He also proposes that all reports on the administration of justice be submitted biennially once the Assembly decides on the status of ad litem judges.

SHIREEN L. DODSON, United Nations Ombudsman, presented the report of the Secretary General on the activities of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services (document A/73/167). Remarking that it was her first appearance before the Committee since her appointment, she said the Office handled 3,247 cases in 2017, an increase of 23 per cent from the previous year. Eighty per cent of the cases emanated from the Secretariat, with nearly 82 per cent of those from field operations, field offices and offices away from Headquarters. Globally, an estimated 440 outreach activities were carried out within the Secretariat, raising awareness of the Office’s services � a challenge in the deep field � while providing managers and staff with the tools they need to manage conflict effectively.

Recalling the General Assembly’s request that the Office keep up its efforts in the area of informal dispute resolution, she said that the resolution rate of the 101 cases mediated and closed in 2017 across all three pillars of its work � the Secretariat, United Nations funds and programmes, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) � remains high at 84.9 per cent, with 89.7 per cent of Secretariat cases having a successful outcome. She went on to say that while the Office’s mandate does not cover Secretariat non staff personnel, it has used its good offices to try to help. Thus, in 2017, the Office handled 225 cases from non staff personnel, she said, emphasizing that more resources might have to be requested if the number of cases per year reaches or surpasses 350.

She added that the predominant concerns addressed by the Office centre on job and career, compensation and benefits, and evaluative relationships. There is also an upward trend in sub issues related to service delivery, organizational values and restructuring. My team and I stand ready to continue to be the pressure valve which contributes to a harmonious workplace, she said, adding that, given the Secretary General’s reform efforts, the Office will also give top priority to resilience and change management.

Mr. RUIZ, introducing the Advisory Committee’s report on administration of justice and the activities of the Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services (document A/73/428), commended the Secretary General’s efforts to streamline and improve the presentation of his report. On the functioning of the United Nations Tribunals in 2017, he said additional measures may be necessary to deal with the reduced number of judgements delivered by the Dispute Tribunal and the resulting decrease in the number of appeals before the Appeals Tribunal. Those measures could include a backlog reduction plan with a real time case tracking dashboard as well as performance indicators. He said the Advisory Committee recommends that the General Assembly approve the addition of two permanent full time judges in lieu of the two existing ad litem judges to the Dispute Tribunal in Geneva and Nairobi, effective 1 January 2020. It also recommends extension of the two ad litem judge positions in Geneva and Nairobi up to 31 December 2019.

He said the Advisory Committee recommends against the extension of the ad litem judge position in New York beyond 2018, thus reducing proposed resource requirements for 2019 by $277,400. As for staffing requirements in Geneva and Nairobi, the Advisory Committee recommends approval of two new Legal Office posts and two Legal Assistant posts in lieu of general temporary assistance positions. The two positions in New York should remain under general temporary assistance. He went on to reiterate the Advisory Committee’s recommendation that the General Assembly regularize the voluntary supplemental funding mechanism for the Office of Staff Legal Assistance. Concerning the Secretary General’s report on the activities of the Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services, he said the Advisory Committee recommends that the General Assembly approve the proposed pilot project to offer access to informal dispute resolution services to non staff personnel. It should request the Secretary General to undertake the pilot project within existing resources. The Assembly should also ask the Office to provide quantitative and qualitative analysis of the workload arising from its services to non staff personnel.

KARIM ISMAIL (Egypt), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, said the Group acknowledged that several components of the internal justice system of the Organization have experienced a steady increase in their workload over the past several years, particularly over the last year. This situation is bound to continue owing to a number of downsizing exercises and the current large scale reforms. The Group is keen to ensure the system is adequately staffed and funded to meet its increasing duties. The Group welcomes the Secretary General’s proposal to establish three permanent full time judge posts, in lieu of the ad litem judges, to the Dispute Tribunal and convert related temporary support staff into posts.

The Group also is interested in creating a formal roster of fully qualified and suitable candidates for judicial positions, which should take into account equitable geographic representation, especially from candidates from developing countries, he said. The Group will also give its due consideration to the Secretary General’s proposal to extend, on an indefinite basis, the voluntary supplemental funding mechanism for the Office of Staff Legal Assistance. Yet it stresses that the expenses of the Organization should be borne by its Members, as stipulated in Article 17 of the United Nations Charter. It recalls the conclusion of the Interim Independent Assessment Panel that the Office is underresourced and its budget is insufficient, even if supplemented by the voluntary funding mechanism. The informal resolution of disputes remains an essential pillar of the internal system of justice to avoid unnecessary recourse to litigation. The Group encourages efforts to increase its use when appropriate. It also welcomes the Secretary General’s proposal to initiate a pilot project to offer access to informal dispute resolutions services to non staff personnel by the Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services as part of the Office’s mandate.

TAULANT ZEQIRI of the European Union attached great importance to the efficient and effective functioning of the system of administration of justice at the United Nations. The system must embody the principles of independence, impartiality, transparency and confidentiality. The Organization must ensure that individuals and the Organization are held accountable for their actions in accordance with the Organization’s rules. The European Union considers the informal resolution of disputes a crucial element of the administration of the justice system, as it improves access to justice while reducing the need for costly and time consuming litigation. It is pleased to see the increased number of resolved cases in the formal system through informal means and the outreach activities aimed at raising awareness of the informal system. On the cusp of its tenth anniversary, the internal justice system is being enhanced in a constructive way and the European Union welcomes recommendations to improve the system’s internal operations and efficiency.

CRISTINA VERONES (Switzerland), also speaking on behalf of Liechtenstein, said a fair, effective and efficient internal justice system for all categories of personnel of the United Nations is crucial to ensure high motivation and morale and, ultimately, for the Organization to achieve its ambitious objectives. Investing in an effective and efficient justice system will lead to fewer cases and faster processing, benefitting the personnel and the Organization. The United Nations must put in place a system where the whole workforce has an effective remedy, irrespective of their internal qualifications as staff or non staff members. Today, nearly half of the workforce has no access to the internal justice system, which is problematic. She strongly welcomes the Secretary General’s proposal to initiate a pilot project that would explicitly offer non staff personnel access to informal dispute resolution services as part of the mandate of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services.

ANCA S. DIGIACOMO (United States) strongly supported an active administration of justice system that provides independent redress to an array of cases. She supported the Office’s efforts to increase outreach, both at Headquarters and in the field, to improve the collective understanding of the tools available when disputes emerge. She echoed the Advisory Committee’s view on the informal system’s importance and notes that solving a dispute at its inception is the most effective and efficient way to create a harmonious work environment. She noted that even though the number of cases coming before the Dispute Tribunal remained stable in 2017, there was a drop in the number of adjustments issued by the Dispute Tribunal, the lowest level since the system’s inception in 2009. The Advisory Committee attributed this to the decreased agility of the Tribunal. The United States looks forward to additional information on this trend. It also commends the creation of a pilot programme to provide access for non staff to some of the system’s dispute resolution tools.

DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI (Japan) said the administration of justice system is an important foundation for a fair workplace and essential for a good relationship between staff and management. As the foundation of fairness, the justice system needs stability. Japan would like to address the need to stabilize the voluntary supplemental funding mechanism to cover the activities of the Office of Staff Legal Assistance. All staff members must be made aware of the importance of their financial contributions so they have equal access to the justice system’s services. The justice system has contributed to the accountability and credibility of the United Nations. To maintain its positive impact, the system should work efficiently. He noted the number of applications received by the Dispute Tribunal and emphasized that the structure should be commensurate with its case load. Japan will examine the Dispute Tribunal’s situation regarding the request for new permanent judges and the optional request for an extension of the ad litem judges.

Source: United Nations