On the Implementation of OSCE Recruitment Policies | Statement to the PC

An OSCE flag and a gavel before the start of a meeting at the Hofburg in Vienna. (OSCE/Mikhail Evstafiev)

We would like to thank the Secretary General and his team for the presentation on the implementation of OSCE recruitment policies in 2015.

The United States continues to support transparent, merit-based, unbiased recruitment policies and practices.

An organization’s greatest asset is its employees and we applaud the OSCE’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its recruitment processes to attract the best candidates. We welcome initiatives such as the introduction of Talent Management, succession planning, improved outreach to participating States, and the increased use of low- or no-cost online recruitment tools and other technologies.

We commend the OSCE for maintaining broad geographic diversity in 2015. We also note the Organization’s continued attention to gender equality. Today, 46% of all OSCE staff, and 35% of all OSCE senior managers, are women – a significantly higher percentage compared to previous years. However, more remains to be done to ensure women are adequately represented across all critical areas of the OSCE. It is the responsibility of the OSCE to create and maintain a safe, professional environment where all staff members, regardless of gender, feel equally valued and respected.

Despite welcome progress in many areas, recruitment challenges remain to ensure transparent, merit-based, unbiased hiring. We would, for example, encourage broadening staff diversity in other ways beyond geography and gender, including the hiring of staff with disabilities. We note that the number of qualified nominations for seconded positions remains low, and we are concerned that difficult economic times have, in many cases, eliminated the ability of participating States to provide salaries for their secondees. The United States welcomes initiatives to improve the secondment system. We also welcome continued OSCE efforts to address the problem of long vacancies and in some cases, long average recruitment times.

In closing, we commend the Secretary General and the Department of Human Resources for continuing to think creatively about all aspects of OSCE employee recruitment and retention despite the need to keep costs in check. We recognize that people are the Organization’s most valuable resource.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Deputy Permanent Representative Kate Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna