(1) At its thirteenth session (CEB/2007/HR/8, paras. 65-67), in the context of the High Level Panel Report’s concern for spouse employment as a key element in staff mobility:
o The HR Network agreed to report to HLCM that this initiative have been launched in July 2004 to support spouses:
(i) A website and newsletter had been created; and
(ii) 32 countries had established Local Expatriate Spouse Associations (UN/LESA).
o Six organizations had participated in the initiative and the HR Network would seek HLCM support for:
(i) making this initiative more inclusive;
(ii) greater commitment from RC’s to establish LESA in their countries;
(iii) the need for agencies to establish LESA at HQ;
(iv) a cost-sharing approach to finance these activities.
The HR Network also agreed to further work to harmonize spouse employment policies throughout the UN system and to prepare a document for HLCM on this matter.
HLCM was also briefed (CEB/2007/3, paras. 84-85) on the recent conclusions of the HR Network regular session of 14-16 March that encompassed the following key issue, among others:
o UN Dual Career and Staff Mobility. The Network sought HLCM support for the Local Expatriate Spouse Associations (UN/LESA), in order to make this initiative more inclusive
(a possible cost-shared project); obtain greater commitment from the Resident Coordinators to establish LESA in their countries of assignment; and establish LESA at Headquarters. The HR Network agreed to harmonize spouse employment policies throughout the UN system and to prepare a proposal for the next meeting of HLCM.
The Committee endorsed the above substantive priority of the HR Network.
(2) At its 14th session (CEB/2007/6, paras.127-128), HLCM supported the UN Dual Career and Staff Mobility programme, its continuation on the basis of voluntary contributions from organizations and its move to the CEB Secretariat in Geneva as of 1 January 2008.
The CEB Secretariat accepted the proposal pending confirmation of the financial commitments declared by organizations, limited to a scaled-down version of the programme outlined in document CEB/2007/HLCM/21, in a measure compatible with the resources that organizations would commit.
(3) At its fifteenth session (CEB/2008/HLCM), HLCM thanked the HR Network for the work undertaken and supported the continuation of the DCSM programme under the CEB Secretariat.
(4) At its sixteenth session (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 86-87), the HR Network:
o Urged all organizations to contribute to the programme DCSM, whether they have field presence or not and to reserve funds for this programme in their 2010-2011 budgets. Organizations were asked to indicate their interest as soon as possible in order to facilitate a sound cost-sharing mechanism for the next biennium;
o Noted that the proposed budget for 2010-2011 will be forwarded by August 2008 and an evaluation of the programme and its impact will be undertaken in 2009.
(5) At its sixteenth session in New York (CEB/2008/5, para. 120), HLCM endorsed the 2010 – 2011 proposed work plans and corresponding financial requirements (on an extra-budgetary basis) for the UN Cares and the Dual Career & Staff Mobility programmes, as outlined in document CEB/2008/HLCM/20 and CEB/2008/HLCM/22, respectively, in order to allow current and potential member organizations to budget for and set aside the necessary funding for the 2010-2011 biennium. Organizations would review their current level of engagement with the two programmes and inform the respective coordinators in due time of their planned level of participation for the next biennium.
(6) At its seventeenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/27, para. 55), the HR Network noted the developments of the Dual Career & Staff Mobility. It stressed the need for sound management of expectations, because some staff members and spouses are seeing placement and the unlimited use of Special Leave Without Pay as an entitlement; Requested that the programme be as flexible and inclusive as possible, in order to support and encourage mobility. Coming to a common definition of ‘spouse’ was not deemed feasible, but the programme was urged to be as inclusive as possible in this regard; Welcomed a communication strategy and suggested to focus on seeing spouses and partners as a value added; And urged organizations to participate in the programme so that the cost could be shared among a larger group of members.
(7) At its eighteenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/46/Rev.1, paras.61-62), the HR Network expressed their support for the programme DCSM though it did not yet fulfil all the requirements staff had regarding support for mobility and spouse employment. Access to work permits was the main hurdle and had to be addressed through the country host agreements. HR Network members had to raise this issue within their organizations when the country host agreements were reopened for negotiation.
The HR Network awaited the outcomes of the evaluation that would be available by the end of the year and requested that the terms of reference be shared in order to provide comments; Suggested that the programme carefully manage expectations so that staff and their spouses/partners do not interpret this as an entitlement to a job within the UN system; Requested that country information for hardship duty stations be developed and provided on the website, including data on the nearest Administrative Place of Assignment (APA); Urged organizations to commit the assessed funding to this programme and noted that the UN Secretariat would re-visit its contribution with the aim to increase it to the full cost-share and that UNICEF had not yet reached agreement on its contribution but would revert on this as soon as possible.
(8) At its eighteenth session (CEB/2009/6, paras.59-62), HLCM encouraged members to positively consider funding to the UN Cares and Dual Career & Staff Mobility Programmes, to facilitate project management decisions for both Programmes and ensure a sound return on the investments already made.
(9) At its nineteenth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/18, paras.94-95), the HR Network thanked the Programme Coordinator for the update on DCSM; Welcomed the Evaluation of the Programme and urged organizations to discuss the findings with a view to prioritize some of the actions; Took note of the intention to review the Joint Guidance Note, which will be presented at the Network’s summer session and urged organizations that have committed themselves to the implementation of the Dual Career & Staff Mobility Programme to ensure they continue to fully fund the programme.
(10) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/35, paras.95-98), the HR Network concluded that it supported the proposed approach presented by the Dual Career &Staff Mobility (DC&SM) Secretariat staff in the programme report as well as the implementation of the Obtaining the Right to Work strategy regarding the negotiation of work permits.
The Network also agreed to the pilots in Italy (with FAO as the lead); and in one or two further duty stations in the field (Malaysia had since been confirmed as the second pilot, with WHO as the lead). The programme proposed to pilot this approach and its accompanying Joint Negotiation Position in 2-4 countries that biennium.
The Network further indicated its concern regarding the financial situation and requested those organizations that had not yet contributed to urgently do so.
(11) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/5, paras.122-130), HLCM took note of the briefing from the HR Network and strongly urged all those organizations that had not yet provided their contribution to the HLCM-approved budgets of the UN Cares and Dual Career & Staff Mobility programme to do so.
(12) At its videoconference of 18 November 2010 (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/41, para.11), the HR Network strongly urged all those organizations that had not yet provided their contributions to the HLCM-approved budgets of UN cares and Dual Career & Staff Mobility Programmes to do so. Funding was still awaited from the UN Secretariat.
(13) At its twenty first session (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/9, paras.61-64), the HR Network thanked the DC&SM Programme Coordinator for the good work and the achievements to date; Requested that a medium-term strategy be developed for the programme and how to mainstream it into the Resident Coordinator and other systems; Agreed to add the DC&SM programme to the letter of support it will be writing for Ms. Pollard.
(14) At its twenty second session (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/19, paras. 26-30), the HR Network agreed that the budget endorsements for DC&SM will be conducted via email.