Response to 2013 Annual Report by the Secretary General on the Implementation of OSCE Recruitment Policies

As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Gary Robbins to the Permanent Council
Vienna, July 17, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States wishes to thank the Secretary General and his team for the presentation on the implementation of OSCE recruitment policies in 2013 and the full annual report, which we received earlier.

The United States continues to be a strong supporter of transparent, merit-based, and unbiased recruitment policies and practices. An organization’s greatest asset is its employees and we are grateful for the OSCE’s continued efforts to seek ways to improve its recruitment practices and policies to effectively attract the best candidates for the OSCE while maintaining efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

We applaud the OSCE for the record time in which it accomplished the recruitment and deployment of monitors to Ukraine in support of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM). Within 24 hours of the adoption of the mandate in March 2014, SMM monitors were on the ground in Ukraine. This speaks volumes for OSCE’s unique capacity and expertise to react and to respond to crisis.

That said, we note from the report that there are still challenges, particularly in the nominations for seconded posts. We encourage the Secretariat to continue to seek ways to improve the secondment system, and we call on participating States to look within their respective systems to enhance nominations especially with respect to issues of compensation and gender balance.

We note and commend the OSCE for the broad geographical diversity maintained in 2013. We also welcome the progress made in the area of gender balance with the significant increase in the number of women who applied for and were hired for contracted posts.  We agree that further efforts should be made to address the under-representation of women at the middle and senior management levels. We also call on participating States to continue to nominate qualified women for seconded posts at all levels.

The United States is proud that three of our senior management secondees to the OSCE are women, including the Director of Democratization in Kosovo, the Deputy Coordinator to Prevent Trafficking in Human Beings, and the Monitoring Officer/ Team Leader in Kharkhiv, Ukraine. And until recently, U.S. women were also appointed to the senior management roles of Deputy Head of Mission to Serbia, Head of Mission in Moldova, Head of the Border Management Staff College, and Senior Border Issues Advisor.

In the middle management, U.S. women are currently appointed to the positions of Chief of Rule of Law in Macedonia, Senior Human Dimension Officer in Tajikistan and Chief Political, Public Affairs and Reporting Officer in Albania. In addition, American women are appointed to two of the four civilian police positions filled by Americans.

We welcome initiatives such as succession planning and improved recruitment via the improved website as well as other new media and outreach activities and we encourage further improvements on the way forward.

Finally, I would like to commend the Secretary General and his staff for continuing improvements to core human resources processes, especially recruitment, while maintaining efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.