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Wednesday, 09 March 2022
Ms. Marivil Villa Valles, Philippine Delegate/Fifth Committee Expert, Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York
CR 2-1-3, United Nations Headquarters, New York


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

At the outset, I would like to thank ASG Martha Lopez[1] and ACABQ Chair Abdallah Bachar Bong[2] for their respective reports.

Our delegation aligns itself with the statements of ASEAN and the G77 and China on agenda item 143, Human Resources Management. We would also like to highlight the following points in our national capacity:

  1. The Philippines thanks the Secretary General for his efforts to strengthen the UN’s human resources management, in particular efforts to bolster organizational resilience. The Philippines acknowledges that such efforts are geared toward ensuring an accountable and effective implementation of mandates.
  2. We take note of the Secretary General’s previous presentation of the human resources strategy for longer-term outcomes in the UN system, his current report on the composition and staff demographics of the Secretariat and the improvements made to ensure innovative global management strategies and policies for an inclusive workforce. The prevailing reports of the SG’s reform initiatives affirm, more than ever, the necessity for an agile and responsive UN organization. Unfortunately, no agreement was reached on the pertinent issues in the recent years despite exhaustive discussions.
  3. Mr. Chair, on the current report of the SG, our delegation welcomes the increase in the overall number of staff of the Secretariat by 0.7% from 2019 to 2020, driven by the inclusion in the Secretariat of 609 staff from the Resident Coordinator System (RCS)[3] under the development system reforms of the Secretary General. We hope that improvements on human resource mobilization in the RCS will continue to make the UN more relevant to the development needs of the countries concerned as well as to ensure a coherent United Nations response, especially in view of the lingering effect of the pandemic to our people.
  4. Amidst all these efforts, our delegation underscores the importance of an inclusive workforce, which has always been a key element of the Secretary General’s reform initiatives. The Philippines acknowledges the improvements made on gender parity of the organization, especially at the senior level positions for the past years. For example, the increase in the ratio of women to total staff in the Professional and higher, and Field Service categories from 37.6% to 40.9% during the period 2016-2020; and the launching of the talent pool initiative to better leverage female workforce within the United Nations common system. We look forward to hearing updates on these initiatives especially in terms of measuring their performance levels and delivery of outcomes.
  5. Notwithstanding the improvements made on strengthening female workforce in the UN Secretariat, the Philippines encourages the Secretary General to step up his efforts to ensure a gender-balanced, world-class international workforce.  
  6. Our delegation is of the view that the commitment to gender parity should encompass female staff not only in the UN headquarters but also in the field. Peacekeeping has evolved through the years to protect the increasing population it serves in various regions. Women participation has truly made a positive impact on peacekeeping environments, specifically in building peace, protecting women's rights, and making peacekeeping operations more effective and robust.
  7. We note that the current percentage of women participation in the field increased by 0.1% from 2019 to 2020 at 24.3% women against overall participation in peacekeeping operations and special political missions, as can be gleaned through the Secretary-General’s most recent report.[4] The present level of participation among women in the field service can further be enhanced in accordance with Article 101 of the UN Charter.
  8. In this regard, the Philippines supports various measures to enhance women’s participation in the field and looks forward to hearing the updates on the SG’s relevant initiatives that promote the role of female peacekeepers, and effectively recruit and retain them in the service.
  9. Our delegation also accords priority to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs).  We have expressed support for the SG’s initiative to include PWDs in his reform efforts through the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy, which aims to achieve equality for people with disabilities and foster an inclusive culture. We hope to hear updates on this initiative, especially those affecting employment policies and strategies to attract, recruit and retain persons with disabilities.
  10. Further, the Philippines continues to call for measures that may be put in place by the Secretary-General to avoid the overlapping of duties and responsibilities due to the establishment of several high-level positions without sufficient justification for their need.
  11. On UN internships, the Philippines requests the Secretary General to implement more concrete measures to ensure diversity among UN interns as well as a conducive and hostile-free work environment, with coherent quality standards and protection mechanisms against any possible harassment and abuse in the office. 

The Philippines looks forward to having constructive discussions on the above issues in the hope of achieving a consensual outcome this session.

I, thank you, Mr. Chair.


[1] Ms. Martha Helena Lopez, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management

[2] Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)

[3] A/76/570

[4] A/76/570, table 1