Rome, 8 - 12 May 2000
Annual Reports of the ICSC and UN Joint Staff Pension Board to the General Assembly, and Summary of the Decisions taken
1. A summary of the decisions of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 54th session (1999) with respect to the annual reports of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board (UNJSPB) for 1999 and which have an impact on the conditions of service of staff is provided below.
2. The General Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to a single unified United Nations common system and reaffirmed the central role of the Commission in the regulation and co-ordination of conditions of service of the United Nations common system.
3. The General Assembly reaffirmed the continued application of the Noblemaire principle and reaffirmed the need to continue to ensure the competitiveness of the conditions of service of the common system .
4. The UNGA had previously requested the Commission to continue its review of the relationship between the net remuneration of the United Nations staff in the Professional and higher categories in New York and that of the comparator civil service (the United States federal civil service)employees in comparable positions in Washington, D.C. (referred to as the margin). It had also requested the Commission to include in its work a review of the differences between the United Nations and the United States net remuneration at individual grade levels. It further considered that the Commission should address the imbalance in the United Nations/United States remuneration ratios in the context of overall margin considerations. The UNGA noted the view of the Commission that, bearing in mind the imbalance in the margin levels, a recommendation for a differentiated salary increase by grades would need to be submitted to the General Assembly at the time of any future recommendation for a real salary increase. Also it noted that the margin between net remuneration of United Nations staff in grades P-1 to D-2 in New York and that of officials in comparable positions in the United States federal civil service for 1999 is 114.1. as compared to 114.8 for 1998.
5. The UNGA approved with effect from 1 March 2000 the revised base scale of gross and net salaries for staff in the Professional and higher categories. The increase of 3.42 per cent is not intended to be an increase in the remuneration as the increase is to be offset by a corresponding decrease in the post adjustment classification world-wide.
6. There would, however, be financial implications for FAO due to this adjustment which for the 10 months of 2000 are estimated at US$ 257 222 taking into account the following elements: duty stations with post adjustment that would otherwise fall below the level of the base/floor; the mobility/hardship allowance; and the scale of separation payments.
7. The UNGA had previously requested the Commission to establish a pilot project designed to simulate the operation of the proposals of the Commission in a limited number of duty stations in the field where valid housing comparisons were difficult or impossible and noted the decision of the Commission not to pursue further the issue of the separation of housing from post adjustment at small field duty stations.
8. The UNGA endorsed the decision of the Commission, that the social benefit approach for the payment of the children's allowance should continue to be maintained and noted the intention of the Commission to review the floor formula under the above-mentioned approach in 2001.
9. The UNGA had requested the Commission to study expatriate entitlements with a view to harmonizing the practices of the organizations with those of the United Nations and to make recommendations thereon. It has now requested the Commission to complete the review of the methodology for the education grant as well as a review of the purpose, scope, application of and controls for the education grant, and to report to the UNGA at its fifty-fifth session and to report specifically on harmonizing the education grant practices with those of the United Nations.
10. The UNGA emphasized that the review process should be impartial and transparent and that the Commission shall fully participate in the process and decided to revert to consideration of the modalities of the review of the Commission subject to the submission by the Secretary-General of information including the following elements: concrete and specific reasons, if, any for such a review; identification of specific problems, if any, to be addressed; objectives to be achieved by the review; possible impact of such a review on the common system; and information on progress achieved resulting from previous reviews of the working methods and functioning of the Commission.
11. There are no decisions to report. The Pension Board will meet in Geneva in June 2000.