United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The Director-General addresses the 62nd session of the FICSA Council

On 2 February 2009, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, opened the 62nd session of the Federation of the International Civil Servants’ Associations (FICSA), being hosted by UNESCO from 2 to 6 February 2009.

The Director-General began his opening remarks by welcoming the participants to UNESCO. “I do hope that you will find this venue – a house of dialogue and consensus building – conducive to your deliberations”, Mr Matsuura said. Recalling his previous meeting with the President of FICSA, Mr Edmond Mobio (WHO), which took place in March 2008, Mr Matsuura noted with satisfaction that “our agreement then to hold this meeting at UNESCO has come to fruition today”.

Mr Matsuura went on to emphasize the important role played by FICSA over the decades, in defending international civil servants before inter-agency bodies and the legislative organs of the United Nations on common system issues. “In December 2005 I had the honour to present to FICSA the prestigious René Maheu International Civil Service Prize [...] This was well deserved”, he added (see Flash Info N°217-2005*). Mr Matsuura underscored that “at a time when profound UN reforms are taking place, continuing and constructive dialogue between staff and management, guided by mutual respect, is indispensable. Here at UNESCO, management is committed to facilitating and broadening this dialogue, so that staff representatives remain fully informed on matters affecting conditions of service and are consulted on issues related to personnel and human resources policies and practices”.

The Director-General said that he fully supports and encourages FICSA’s aims of fostering development of the international civil service in accordance with the principles set out in the UN Charter and the constitutions of the specialized agencies. “In the coming days you will discuss a wide range of issues on the agenda of staff associations throughout the system: conditions of service, staff security, HIV/AIDS policies in the workplace, and staff/Management relations. Be assured that I pay personal attention to these important elements of the integrated human resources policies which I put in place in UNESCO”, Mr Matsuura stated. He underlined that the “the Chief Executives Board (CEB), under the leadership of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also paying renewed attention to ensuring that the UN system as a whole maintains its status as a good employer, not only in terms of general working conditions, but also as concerns security, especially in the Field”.

Mr Matsuura concluded by highlighting the positive example set by FICSA in its daily activities and on the wider strategic stage. “It exemplifies the ways in which international civil servants demonstrate, over and above their official duties, their commitment to our common cause. It is a commitment which both honours the international civil service and contributes to its success”.

FICSA is a federated group of 29 staff associations/unions from organizations belonging to the United Nations common system.

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Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 015-2009 -  Publication Date: 03-02-2009

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