Response to 2014 Annual Report by Secretary General on OSCE Recruitment Policies: Statement to the PC

I would like to thank the Secretary General and his team for the presentation and report on the implementation of OSCE recruitment policies in 2014.

The United States appreciates the Secretariat’s continued efforts to improve recruitment policies and practices, with the goal of attracting and retaining the most suitable employees for the OSCE.  An effective and efficient recruitment system is an important element of any organization, and as such, we welcome the introduction of the OSCE Competency Model in 2014, which integrates recruitment, performance management and training into the human resource process.  We look forward to hearing more about the progress of this initiative in the coming year.

We are pleased to see in the report that enhancing diversity remains a priority for the OSCE, and that more participating States are represented in contracted posts and nominated to seconded posts than in previous years.  We also note that contracted posts attracted more applications than ever, and commend the Secretariat for its outreach efforts.  That said, we regret that the number of women in contracted positions dropped to 28 percent in 2014.  We encourage the Secretariat to pay particular attention to gender balance, especially at the middle and senior levels, where there are currently no women represented at the contracted Director-level posts.

The United States continues its commitment to gender balance in all workplaces, including the ranks of high-level management and senior staff at the OSCE.  We are proud to say that we have two women seconded to senior management positions – a Team Lead in Odessa and the Deputy Coordinator for Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings in the Secretariat.  In middle management, we have three women – a Human Dimension Officer in Moldova, the Chief of Rule of Law in Skopje, and the Chief of Political, Public Affairs and Reporting in Albania.

We are encouraged to see that the secondment system has worked well as a means to respond quickly to the staffing needs of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), ensuring a sufficient number of the monitors and specialized staff who are critical to the success of the mission.  However, we note with concern further reductions in the overall number of nominations of secondees to the Secretariat and Institutions in 2014.  We call on all participating States to continue to put forth qualified nominations, particularly women, for seconded posts at all levels.

Finally, we are pleased to see in the report that the OSCE remains a highly attractive destination for young professionals, with broad representation from participating States, and a high ratio of female nominations.  We agree that the Junior Professional Officer Program offers a unique opportunity for young professionals to gain valuable OSCE field knowledge and experience, and we are encouraged to see that a number of them have been recruited into the OSCE.  We encourage the Secretariat to continue to support and invest in initiatives such as the Junior Professional Officer Program.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna