U.S. Statement – As Prepared for Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate – Agenda Item 11b – Staffing of the Agency’s Secretariat and Women in the Secretariat
Vienna, Austria, September 14, 2023
Thank you, Chair.
We thank the Secretariat for its updates on the progress implementing the relevant General Conference resolutions. Regarding general Staffing of the Agency, we commend the Secretariat’s new recruitment initiatives and efforts to identify potential barriers to the recruitment of qualified candidates. We also appreciate the analysis of the underrepresentation of certain geographic regions and women in the Secretariat.
To help further identify gaps, the United States would like to reiterate its request that future reports also clarify specific Member States that are underrepresented or not represented in the Secretariat, as well as provide the number of additional appointments necessary for those Member States to achieve representation commensurate with their assessed contribution levels.
The United States also commends the Secretariat for its commitment to addressing gender equity challenges and promoting inclusivity, as demonstrated by the very encouraging progress in the Director General’s report. We would also like to thank Director General Grossi for his personal commitment to these crucial goals. In particular, we commend the Agency for achieving notable milestones in women’s representation across the organization—reaching 50.5 percent of the total staff and 42.5 percent in Professional and higher categories, the highest in the organization’s history. That 75.1 percent of new appointments were women is also a promising development towards addressing historic gender imbalances in hiring through selecting highly qualified women.
We appreciate all efforts by the Secretariat to create enabling and safe workplace environments, including flexible working arrangements and consideration for care responsibilities, as a decisive step toward achieving gender equality. We encourage these efforts to not only continue but also to be made stronger. Continuous improvement in the quality of the experience of all staff, particularly women, in their work environment is a key factor in the sustainability of the Agency’s gender equality efforts.
We appreciate the Secretariat’s continued efforts to align the Agency’s gender representation efforts with UN activities and the UN Strategy on Gender Parity. We look forward to the Office of Internal Oversight Services’ report on the Agency’s progress towards achieving gender parity targets. We encourage the Secretariat to continue prioritizing these efforts and to close the remaining gaps in recruiting and retaining qualified female employees and achieve the performance improvements that derive from diverse and equitable workforces. The United States remains committed to supporting the Secretariat in achieving these important goals.
Thank you, Chair.