An exchange of views took place at the meeting of the Inter-Agency HR Network in June 2001.  The Network reports as follows:

“This area which had been identified by HLCM as a priority project focussed primarily on the identification and introduction of “new” employment models (i.e. no more a lifelong job with the same employer) and the consequences thereof inter alia for conditions of employment, contractual policy and exit strategies. Organizations increasingly requiring greater workforce flexibility were increasingly resorting to time-limited contracts; at the same time, social and demographic trends pointed to significant changes in the relationship between the younger workforce and the workplace.  These trends were, however, more acute in certain regions than others.

“The meeting confirmed that there were a number of impediments in UN system workplaces to realizing sustainable (a.k.a. transferable) employability; yet, remedial steps could be taken. 

“Some of these were more fundamental and related to the overall reform of human resources management in general and the reform of the system that underpinned pay and benefits in particular.  A whole new set of tools was required to reward, motivate and organize employees along with the introduction of approaches which would improve the image of organizations as places where individuals acquired skills and competencies which were highly valued in other work environments (e.g. adaptability to diverse and multi-cultural environments and relational skills in work relationships with a range of interlocutors and ‘clients’).  The new paradigm demanded that the employer and the employee achieve mutual success.


No detailed record of the discussion on this topic was recorded.


The Committee:

Took note of the recommendations made to it, inter alia, by the Human Resources Network with regard to pursuing this topic, including:

  • Undertaking an analysis of current policies and practices regarding job titles throughout the system and exploring the feasibility of moving towards titles that are more comparable, compatible and — to the world outside the United Nations family — meaningful;
  • Requesting organizations to undertake consultations on a new policy for considering all candidates for vacant posts from United Nations system organizations on a par with applicants from within the organization posting the vacancy and reporting the results of these consultations to the Committee at its next session

Concurred with the approaches being pursued by the secretariat within the framework of the Committee’s overall work programme;

Requested the secretariat also to include, within the framework recommended by the Human Resources Network, consideration of:

  • The recognition of promotion while on secondment;
  • Job design specifications, which should be more results-orientated;
  • The reason why inter-agency mobility was not more highly prized.