On the Implementation of OSCE Recruitment Policies

Response to the Report to the Permanent Council on the Implementation of OSCE Recruitment Policies

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Kate Byrnes
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 13, 2017

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

We thank the Department of Human Resources (DHR) for the presentation on implementation of OSCE recruitment policies in 2016.

The United States continues to support transparent, merit-based, unbiased recruitment policies and practices throughout the OSCE. An organization’s greatest asset is its employees, and we applaud the OSCE’s ongoing efforts to attract the best candidates. We welcome initiatives like Talent Management, succession planning, and improved outreach to participating States.

We also welcome the increased use of low- or no-cost online recruitment tools and other technologies to reduce the resources required to conduct interviews. We hope, however, that with these tools come precautions to ensure that all candidates enjoy an equal opportunity to present themselves, and that technological difficulties do not preclude qualified candidates from serious consideration.

We commend the OSCE for maintaining broad geographic diversity in 2016 and note the Organization’s attention to gender balance. However, more remains to be done to ensure that women are adequately represented across all areas of the OSCE. It is the Secretariat’s responsibility to help create and maintain a safe, professional environment where all staff feel equally valued and respected. We encourage all participating States to increase the number of qualified women nominated for seconded posts, especially at the management levels, and urge the Secretariat to continue to take gender balance into consideration when selecting among qualified candidates.

The United States encourages broadening conceptions of staff diversity and inclusivity beyond geography and gender to include, for example, individuals with disabilities. We also 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 and continued efforts to address the problem of prolonged vacancy periods and average recruitment times.

In closing, we thank everyone in the Department of Human Resources for the excellent cooperation my delegation has enjoyed with DHR over the past year. We applaud DHR’s priority areas, including attracting top talent, and providing responsive and timely support to other stakeholders in the recruitment process. Transparent, unbiased, and truly merit-based selection decisions and a working environment that is consistently professional and non-discriminatory in all organizational structures are critical for the integrity and well-being of the OSCE. We encourage you to continue to think creatively about all aspects of OSCE employee recruitment and retention, while mindful of the need to keep costs in check. Dedicated, motivated people are the Organization’s most valuable resource.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.