Archivo de la etiqueta: hector dager madrid

Pablo Laso y Nicolás Laprovittola hablaron en la previa del Real Madrid-ASVEL Villeurbanne, correspondiente a la jornada 28 de la Euroliga (jueves, 21:00 horas, Dazn). El técnico blanco se refirió al encuentro que se disputará en el WiZink Center: “Venimos de jugar dos partidos muy exigentes fuera de casa en Málaga y Milán, con viajes y jugadores lesionados. Esto está exprimiendo al equipo, pero era algo que ya intuíamos tras la exigencia de la Copa. Ahora, tenemos que cambiar el chip porque son equipos diferentes. ASVEL es un rival muy fuerte físicamente y que está compitiendo muy bien en Euroliga».

«Volvemos al Palacio y queremos hacer un buen partido. Tenemos que descansar y prepararnos para mañana, que seguro será difícil. La base de un equipo no puede ir cambiando de partido a partido. En jornadas tan seguidas lo que se cambia son los detalles. Tienes que ir trabajando durante todo el año para tener unas bases sólidas de juego. A partir de ahí, tienes que ir cambiando cosas contra diferentes equipos y jugadores».

LASO: “ASVEL ES UN EQUIPO MUY FUERTE FÍSICAMENTE Y ESTÁ COMPITIENDO BIEN EN LA EUROLIGA”.

“Ellos son un equipo muy atlético, que defiende muy bien. Allí hicimos un partido muy completo y tuvimos acierto para conseguir cierta ventaja en el marcador. El de mañana que va un poco por esa línea, sabiendo que jugamos en casa y que vamos a tener que estar bien defensivamente. Hay que dominar el rebote para tener el control de los tableros, que es algo que estamos haciendo bien en los últimos partidos, correr y sacar canastas en contraataque. Hay que hacer un partido completo. En Euroliga si no lo haces es complicado conseguir la victoria”.

Laprovittola: “Hay que seguir en esta dinámica”
“Tenemos que dejar atrás lo pasado con el viaje a Milán. Ganamos y estamos contentos, pero hay que seguir con esta dinámica de juego y preparar el partido de mañana. Sabemos de la calidad de cada uno de los jugadores que hay en este equipo y cuando uno no está aparece otro. Eso es lo que hace grande al Real Madrid”.

Rival
“El de la ida fue un partido muy trabajado. Creo que jugamos mejor que ellos y dominamos. Ellos van a venir con confianza tras un partido muy bueno en casa contra el Valencia Basket y tenemos que estar preparados para cualquier cosa”.

Su estado
“Estoy contento porque el equipo va ganando. Tuvimos partidos difíciles y a pesar de las bajas jugamos bien, dominando a los rivales. Lo más importante es la aportación de todos y que el equipo se sienta bien conmigo también”.

Real Madrid vuelve a estar en lo más alto de la clasificación cuando restan 12 jornadas para finalizar la Liga. Tras la victoria en el Clásico frente al Barcelona (2-0) el equipo de Zidane encara el tramo final del campeonato con un punto de ventaja sobre su inmediato rival y el goalaverage particular a favor. Hasta que concluya la Liga, los dos equipos disputarán seis encuentros como locales y otros tantos como visitantes.

Para el Real Madrid el próximo objetivo será vencer al Betis en el Benito Villamarín (domingo, 21:00 h, Movistar LaLiga). Los blancos visitarán el País Vasco para enfrentarse a la Real Sociedad (jornada 30) y al Athletic (jornada 34) y también tendrán que jugar en los campos del Espanyol, Granada y Leganés. Por el Santiago Bernabéu pasarán Éibar y Valencia de forma consecutiva (jornadas 28 y 29), además de Mallorca, Getafe, Alavés y Villarreal.

Siete rivales iguales
El calendario del Barcelona alternará un partido en el Camp Nou y uno a domicilio hasta el final del campeonato. Los de Setién se enfrentarán a 7 de los mismos rivales del Real Madrid, y también jugarán contra Sevilla, Celta, Atlético, Valladolid y Osasuna. Su próximo compromiso será contra la Real Sociedad el 7 de marzo en el Camp Nou. En la última jornada de Liga, los dos jugarán a domicilio: el Madrid con el Leganés y el Barcelona con el Alavés.

JORNADA PARTIDOS
REAL MADRID
PARTIDOS BARCELONA

J. 27 Betis-Real Madrid Barcelona-Real Sociedad

J. 28 Real Madrid-Éibar Mallorca-Barcelona

J. 29 Real Madrid-Valencia Barcelona-Leganés

J. 30 Real Sociedad-Real Madrid Sevilla-Barcelona

J. 31 Real Madrid-Mallorca Barcelona-Athletic

J. 32 Espanyol-Real Madrid Celta-Barcelona

J. 33 Real Madrid-Getafe Barcelona-Atlético

J. 34 Athletic-Real Madrid Villarreal-Barcelona

J. 35 Real Madrid-Alavés Barcelona-Espanyol

J. 36 Granada-Real Madrid Valladolid-Barcelona

J. 37 Real Madrid-Villarreal Barcelona-Osasuna

J. 38 Leganés-Real Madrid Alavés-Barcelona

Permanent Representative Urges Lifting of Sanctions, as Civil Society Member Urges Government to Exclude Listed Individuals

Security Council members cautiously welcomed the new power-sharing agreement to end the conflict in South Sudan today, as they heard updates on recent developments from the senior United Nations official in that country and a national civil society representative.

The briefers described the challenges ahead, while emphasizing the importance of ensuring that women are well represented in the newly formed Transitional Government of National Unity and the wider political process, as well as the need for close international monitoring to ensure that the incoming administration adheres to the new political road map.

David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), reported that President Salva Kiir, agreeing to compromise, abandoned the current state system to restore the original pre-2015 10 states while establishing 3 administrative areas.  Riek Machar — leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) and its associated Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) — then agreed to join the Transitional Government, taking up the position of First Vice‑President, he said.  To their credit, both President Kiir and Mr. Machar put their country’s interests over their own, he said, emphasizing:  “We often speak of courage in war and battle, but peace also requires courage.”

On UNMISS, he noted that its mandate is up for renewal, but, in the meantime, it has increased its protective presence as a confidence-building measure in areas where returning refugees are located.  In addition, the Mission has prioritized the deployment of its “blue helmets” to those areas and other hotspot locations.  At the same time, the mobility of UNMISS peacekeepers has improved, while the United Nations Police and the Rule of Law unit will be expanding their activities, he reported.  “Our actions can push South Sudan further towards sustainable peace; our inaction can help condemn it to failure,” he stressed.

Betty Sunday, coordinator of the non-governmental organization Women’s Monthly Forum on the Peace and Political Process in South Sudan, briefed Council members by video-teleconference from Juba, welcoming the growing influence of civil society, particularly women-led organizations.  “South Sudanese women have fought hard for the peace agreement to come to life and hold,” she said, emphasizing their role in the peace process, as well as their advocacy for greater female representation in the country’s political life.  She pointed out, however, that the Transitional Government has not met the 35 per cent quota for women’s representation in the Cabinet, and that no women are included in the list of prospective state governors.

Underlining the fact that women and girls paid the highest price of previous political failures in South Sudan, she went on to cite the ordeal suffered by the 125 survivors of the November 2018 mass rape at Bentiu.  Women remain under serious threat today, she said, underscoring the need for the newly formed Government to use national resources in tackling girls’ education and child marriage.  It should also focus on delivery of basic services, she said, highlighting that women and girls are at risk of sexual and gender-based violence while fetching water or food.

Following the briefings, delegates encouraged the Transitional Government to ensure that women fill 35 per cent of positions, while expressing deep concern over continuing violence, humanitarian conditions and the effects of internationally imposed sanctions.

The United Kingdom’s representative emphasized that “the 35 per cent quota should be the floor, not the ceiling” in order to allow truly meaningful participation by women in the country’s political life.

South Africa’s representative expressed concern over intercommunal violence and sub-clan clashes, urging the Transitional Government to address the violence while noting the dire overall humanitarian situation in the country.

The Dominican Republic’s representative noted that more than 7 million people require humanitarian assistance, while over half the population face food insecurity.  The effects of climate change are exacerbating the humanitarian situation, he said, citing the effects of flooding, as well as the prevalence of locust swarms spreading across the subregion.  He went on to note that South Sudan is a signatory to the Optional Protocol on the Participation of Children in Armed Conflict, yet a broad lack of accountability has hampered its progress in that area.

Estonia’s representative also highlighted the vulnerability of children in South Sudan, welcoming South Sudan’s signing of the Comprehensive Plan of Action to end and prevent all grave violations against children, while calling upon the signatories to implement the Plan in full.  He went on to affirm Estonia’s support for imposing sanctions on perpetrators of human rights violations.

Germany’s representative reinforced that sentiment, cautioning against lifting sanctions while stressing that, in order for reconciliation efforts to succeed, there should be no impunity for perpetrators of crimes.

The Russian Federation’s representative, however, stressed that the efforts of regional actors — in the spirit of “African solutions for African problems” — rather than the imposition of sanctions led to the progress witnessed today.  He urged the Council to conduct an assessment of its sanctions regime with a view to tailoring it to conditions on the ground.

South Sudan’s representative said that the Transitional Government of National Unity should not have to start its new mandate with such a dividend of coercive measures as its way forward.  Tying it down with sanctions will slow its progress, he warned.

Also delivering statements were representatives of the United States, France, Belgium, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia, Niger and China.

The meeting began at 10:01 a.m. and ended at 11:52 a.m.

Briefings

DAVID SHEARER, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), reported that positive developments have moved the country further along the road to sustainable peace.  On 15 February, President Salva Kiir agreed, against the wishes of many of his supporters, to a compromise, returning the country to having 10 states as it did before 2015, although he added three administrative areas.  With that shift, Riek Machar agreed to join a transitional Government in Juba, taking up the position of First Vice-President, although transitional security arrangements were not yet in place.  With the deadlock broken, four Vice‑Presidents were sworn in during a ceremony attended by senior leaders from Sudan, South Africa and Uganda, he said, adding that the fifth Vice-President was sworn in the following day.

That progress is attributable to the political willingness of two men who put the interests of their country first, he continued, noting that President Kiir made a critical concession while Mr. Machar agreed to return to the capital.  “We often speak of courage in war and battle, but peace also requires courage,” he emphasized.  He went on to state that the parties are now negotiating the allocation of ministerial portfolios, while non-signatory groups committed, through the mediation efforts of Sant’Egidio, to cease hostilities in February.  Their return to Rome next week is intended to bring them into South Sudan’s latest power-sharing agreement.  The new Government can promote positive change, he said, pointing out that the new presidency’s first joint statement last week urged people from civilian-protection sites and neighbouring countries to return home.  That message put the onus on the new Government to ensure that areas of return are safe for those coming back.

For its part, UNMISS has stepped up its protective presence to build confidence in areas of return, he continued, noting, however, that the shortage of basic health and education services in rural areas has discouraged returns.  Meanwhile, the protection environment has changed, with the ceasefire and the free movement of opposition leaders across South Sudan having lowered the risk of violence.  Consequently, UNMISS has prioritized the deployment of peacekeepers to hotspot locations and areas of return, he reported.  The new Government faces a daunting array of challenges that will test its unity, he stressed, saying the most urgent is the need for movement on transitional security arrangements.  The pre-transitional structures are now redundant, while implementation efforts are lagging dangerously.  The new Government also faces a precarious humanitarian situation in many states because the anticipated improvement in harvest levels 12 months ago was quashed by extensive flooding in 2019.  Crops were destroyed and livestock was lost, he said, adding that the floods contaminated water supplies, which in turn exacerbated health conditions, particularly for children.

A unified Government heralds the start of a new phase and the power-sharing agreement will be the road map for the coming three years, he noted, while cautioning that South Sudan must address four issues that are the cornerstones of a properly functioning State — ending impunity, ending corruption, ending dependency and ending exclusion.  Pointing out that the UNMISS mandate is due for renewal, he said South Sudan is in flux as the new Government is established, and as a result, it is premature to propose significant changes to the mandate.  Describing the current mandate as sufficiently broad to continue activities intended to build a durable peace, he noted, however, that there will be a shift in two areas.  The mobility of peacekeepers has improved, while the United Nations Police and the Rule of Law unit will expand their activities.  “Our actions can push South Sudan further towards sustainable peace; our inaction can help condemn it to failure,” he said, underlining the imperative of not reneging on the power‑sharing agreement or the ceasefire.

BETTY SUNDAY, Coordinator of the Women’s Monthly Forum on the Peace and Political Process in South Sudan, briefed the Council by video-teleconference from Juba, noting that the completion of key elements of the power-sharing agreement just before the 22 February deadline brings South Sudan closer to the vision of an inclusive country “that ordinary citizens have kept alive in their hearts”.  She added:  “The alternative could have brought war back to our doorsteps had the ceasefire that drastically reduced political violence not held.”  While thanking the Council for not having turned a blind eye to South Sudan’s struggles, she emphasized that it was ultimately pressure from the region, the African Union and the international community as a whole that compelled the country’s leaders to put the good of their people first.

She went on to point out that women and girls have paid the highest price of previous political failures, stressing that the threats they face remain extreme today.  The 125 survivors of the November 2018 mass rape at Bentiu should convince the international community to vow “never again”, she said, “and to mean it this time”.  With the guns recently silenced, the Government can now use national resources to tackle such key issues as girls’ education, child marriage, youth employment and delivery of basic services.  Serious challenges lie ahead, she warned, pointing out that violence in parts of the country continues to displace civilians while women and girls are still at risk of sexual and gender-based violence while fetching food and water.  “Communities need rebuilding,” she stressed, noting that 1.5 million people remain displaced and more than 2 million refugees are still outside the country.

Turning to the political front, she welcomed the increasing influence that civil society actors, including women-led organizations, have gained throughout the peace process, their support of compromise and their advocacy for increased representation of women.  “South Sudanese women have fought hard for the peace agreement to come to life and hold,” she said, emphasizing, however, that they are still far from achieving the 35 per cent quota for women’s representation in the Transitional Government of National Unity, particularly at the state level, where not a single woman is included in the list of prospective governors, which is still under negotiation.  Outlining recommendations for the Council, she said members can enhance their support for South Sudan’s people by maintaining full diplomatic engagement and impressing upon the parties that individuals on international sanctions lists should not be included in the new Government.

The Council and UNMISS can also urge the Government to ensure that the armed forces vacate civilian houses without further delay, as required by the power‑sharing agreement, she continued.  Expressing hope that the Council will reiterate its support for transitional justice, she said the latter must include accountability for gender-based violence.  Grass‑roots organizations are depending on the Security Council to help by urging the parties to respect the space for civil society’s contributions, she emphasized.  Meanwhile, the Council should stand with South Sudan’s people as they call upon the parties to materialize the hard-won promise of a 35 per cent quota for women’s representation in the Transitional Government of National Unity, she reiterated.  It remains crucial to maintain all existing provisions on women, peace and security, she stressed, urging UNMISS to engage with diverse women’s groups in the country.

Statements

MICHAEL BARKIN (United States) welcomed the compromises that led to the formation of a new Transitional Government of National Unity.  “We are grateful that the people of South Sudan can now see a glimmer of progress,” he said, emphasizing that the hard work of compromise must continue.  As for the underlying causes of the conflict, he said now is a sensitive time for the implementation of security arrangements, cautioning that there is a high risk of renewed conflict.  Leaders must be ready to defuse tensions and take steps to end intercommunal violence, he added.  With humanitarian assistance still a crucial lifeline, access to the most vulnerable populations must improve and the new Government must remove any bureaucratic impediments, he noted, stressing that resources must be used to support sustainable development in order to consolidate the gains of peace.  As the Council saw during its visit to Juba in 2019, there can be no peace without justice.  Citing such human rights violations as the abduction of women and girls, as well as the use of starvation as a weapon of war, he called for the prompt formation of a strong justice system, including an African Union hybrid court for South Sudan.  He went on to underline the need for UNMISS to have the capacity to support the peace process and to carry out its work without restrictions and urged South Sudan’s leaders to work closely with the Mission while collaborating to tackle their country’s most challenging issues.

ANND GUEGUEN (France) said “an important milestone has now been reached”, adding that the South Sudan’s people should be able to express themselves freely and that their voices should neither be muffled nor reined in.  “Only respect for the commitments adopted under the agreement can repair the social fabric torn by this protracted conflict,” she emphasized.  Encouraging all stakeholders to remain fully galvanized during the transition, she said the parties will need robust attention from the international community so as not to deviate from the path set out under the power-sharing agreement.  It is time for the South Sudanese to enjoy the dividends of peace, she stressed, noting that the humanitarian situation remains dire and calling upon all parties to provide assistance to all those in need.  The establishment of a hybrid court, in accordance with the agreement, should help to counter impunity, she said.  As for UNMISS, she stressed that its format and mandate should remain unchanged in 2020.

JONATHAN GUY ALLEN (United Kingdom), welcoming the Transitional Government of National Unity’s formation, said putting the people first is a test of leadership.  Praising regional efforts to bring the parties together, he cautioned, however, that it is important that the wider population enjoy the dividends of progress, which has not yet happened.  He reminded the Council that the conflict has killed nearly 400,000 people and left 7.5 million in need of humanitarian assistance.  The United Kingdom will continue to stand by South Sudan and its people in their endeavours, he said, pointing out that his country remains one of the largest humanitarian donors to the country.  Recent steps are only the start of the next step in delivering change for the people of South Sudan, he said, emphasizing that one very concrete step would be to ensure the meaningful participation of women in government.  “The 35 per cent quota should be the floor, not the ceiling,” he stressed.”

JOSÉ SINGER WEISINGER (Dominican Republic) welcomed the parties’ decision to set aside their differences and move forward to forming the Transitional Government of National Unity.  However, he deplored recent incidents of intercommunal violence and the volatile security situation along the border, emphasizing that the peace process will only succeed if it translates into efforts to address the root causes of the conflict.  Indeed, more than half of South Sudan’s people still face food insecurity and more than 7 million require humanitarian assistance to survive, he said, noting that the situation is exacerbated by recent flooding, the ongoing threat of disease and the new swarm of locusts spreading across parts of Africa as a result of climate change.  The new Government’s policies must tackle such challenges, he emphasized, also spotlighting the need to end sexual and gender-based violence and to establish a strong justice system.  Recalling that South Sudan is a signatory to the Optional Protocol on the Participation of Children in Armed Conflict, he stressed that a broad lack of accountability has held back significant progress in several relevant areas.  The Transitional Government must urgently prioritize justice and reconciliation, he added.

KAREN VAN VLIERBERGE (Belgium) described recent developments in South Sudan as the fruit of a spirit of comprise on the part of the country’s leaders, as well as the hard work of regional leaders.  However, the commendable progress notwithstanding, significant challenges remain, such as the integration of armed forces and rapprochement with non-signatories to the power-sharing agreement, among others.  Emphasizing that formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity cannot be an end in and of itself, she declared:  “There is an urgent need for political progress to be crystalized […] into tangible improvements in the lives of the South Sudanese people.”  She went on to spotlight deep-rooted problems, such as high levels of food insecurity, drought and other effects of climate change, as well as sexual and gender-based violence, while underlining the need to make transitional justice mechanisms operational — including by establishing an African Union hybrid court.  “We need to remain vigilant,” she said, pointing out that it is too early to reconfigure protection‑of‑civilian sites.  The UNMISS mandate should remain largely unchanged, she added, expressing support for efforts to incorporate the regional protection force into the Mission.

DANG DINH QUY (Viet Nam), reiterating the importance of implementing the power-sharing agreement in full, called upon the parties to resolve pending issues in a steady manner and in the spirit of mutual trust and understanding.  Noting that intercommunal violence remains a serious challenge, he called upon the parties to respect the ceasefire and refrain from actions that might undermine efforts to forge a sustainable peace.  Further work is needed to address the root causes of the conflict, he said, emphasizing that the full potential of women is yet to be unlocked.  He went on to welcome the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union, stressing that the former’s role as guarantor of the peace process will remain crucial going forward.  Praising the positive economic growth in South Sudan, he reiterated Viet Nam’s view that sanctions should be a tool for promoting sustainable peace and security, and should be targeted so as to avoid negative impacts on the people’s livelihoods, the country’s development or the Government’s effective functioning.

SVEN JÜRGENSON (Estonia) joined others in welcoming progress in South Sudan’s peace process, while emphasizing that its leaders must understand that “this is not a zero-sum game”.  He welcomed the signing of the Comprehensive Plan of Action to end and prevent all grave violations against children, calling upon the signatories to implement it swiftly and fully.  He went on to state that the Transitional Government of National Unity is only a first step, stressing that much more remains to be done.  Political will is required to move forward on peacebuilding and reconciliation among the parties, especially considering the need to unify armed forces, he added.  “Cooperation is the only reasonable way forward.”  Expressing deep concern about the dire humanitarian situation, he underlined that combating sexual and gender-based violence — and tackling the culture of impunity — must remain a priority.  He went on to reiterate Estonia’s support for imposing sanctions on perpetrators of human rights violations and encouraged the efforts of the Panel of Experts in that regard.

MUHSIN SYIHAB (Indonesia), while noting the clashes in areas of Western and Central Equatoria, as well as Upper Nile, said such challenges can be overcome, given the parties’ commitment to fulfil their responsibilities.  As for the formation of the Transitional Government, much work remains, particularly with regard to security arrangements and the establishment of three administrative areas, he said.  Concerning the humanitarian situation, he expressed concern that 1.67 million people remain internally displaced, while commending the signing of the Comprehensive Action Plan to end and prevent all grave violations against children.  Indonesia supports renewal of the UNMISS mandate, which maintains the Mission’s role in supporting the peace process, he said, emphasizing that the mandate must reflect the ongoing positive developments.

JERRY MATTHEWS MATJILA (South Africa) said that South Sudan’s leaders have presented their country with a dawn of renewed hope “through great sacrifice and compromise”.  Welcoming the 22 February agreement, he encouraged the parties to address outstanding issues and sustain dialogue.  He also commended the roles of IGAD and the African Union in facilitating the formation of South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity, and of Rome’s Sant’Egidio Community in facilitating the Rome Declaration with non-signatory groups.  On the humanitarian front, he welcomed the sustained cessation of hostilities, describing it as a “testament to the political will of the leaders”.  However, he expressed concern over continued intercommunal violence and sub-clan clashes in the Jonglei and Pibor regions, which resulted in civilian deaths and displacement.  Urging the Government to address the violence, he emphasized that the dire overall humanitarian situation requires collective action by the international community.  In that regard, he called upon donors to support the South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2020 — which requires $1.5 billion to meet the life‑saving needs of 5.6 million people — and expressed support for maintaining the current capacity of UNMISS.

ISIS AZALEA MARIA GONSALVES (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) applauded the decision to form the Transitional Government, adding that the spirit of compromise exhibited by the parties for South Sudan’s benefit affirms the significance of dialogue in the resolution of conflicts.  She said her delegation is mindful that the promise of lasting peace faces daunting challenges, including the lingering obstacles to security arrangements and transitional justice, the recruitment of child combatants and the dire humanitarian situation.  Though difficult to address, those challenges are by no means insurmountable, she emphasized, urging South Sudan’s leaders to seize this moment and work together to ensure peace, security and development.  A return to conflict and widespread violence, she warned, would cause irreparable damage that would have dangerous ramifications for neighbouring countries and the broader continent.

CHRISTOPH HEUSGEN (Germany), describing the present situation in South Sudan as the same as it was in 2016, said it is advisable to remain wary.  This time, however, the leaders have put the interest of their country and people first, he noted, urging the Government to keep its promise to ensure that 35 per cent of ministers will be women, and that 35 per cent of governors are women.  Transitional security arrangements constitute another unimplemented part of the power-sharing agreement, he said.  Citing reports of new regional violence by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), he also noted the impact of climate change on the situation, underscoring the damage that floods caused to crops.  Regarding the future of UNMISS, he said its mandate should be maintained and that the Mission must continue to support the peace process.  He went on to caution against lifting sanctions, noting that, in order for reconciliation efforts to succeed, there should be no impunity for crimes committed.

ADEL BEN LAGHA (Tunisia) urged the parties to further consolidate trust, dialogue and consensus — and to ensure greater political participation by women — emphasizing also the need for greater attention to borders and transitional security arrangements, among other issues.  Noting that all transitions require consensus in order to defuse violence, he urged the parties not to forget the many remaining challenges.  He called upon the Transitional Government to study the security situation and facilitate access to justice for civilians, while guaranteeing that international law will be upheld and ensuring unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance.  He went on to express support for extending the UNMISS mandate, emphasizing that the Mission still has a critical role to play and that it should carry out its mandate in accordance with its strategic priorities.

ABDOU ABARRY (Niger) said that, in any country, “the path to peace is a long one”.  Expressing support for IGAD’s call to revise the composition and role of UNMISS, he voiced hope that the Mission will receive the resources it needs to fulfil its mandate.  He went on to describe improvements in South Sudan’s macroeconomic indicators as a positive sign, saying that such progress can help the country tackle the challenges it still faces.

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation), noting that South Sudan stands at a critical juncture in its young life, welcomed President Kiir’s demonstration of political will and Mr. Machar’s decision to take up the post of First Vice‑President, saying their actions have paved the way for efforts to resolve broader socioeconomic challenges.  The parties must be ready to surmount their differences through dialogue, he said, emphasizing that only full and comprehensive implementation of their obligations will bolster mutual trust and prevent a repeat of past mistakes.  Noting the general decline of violence since the signing of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement, he said it has helped many refugees return to their homes.  He went on to urge the parties to continue their compliance with the ceasefire agreement and non-signatories to join the peace process, stressing that the latter should be led, first and foremost, by regional actors in accordance with the principle of “African solutions for African problems”.  That approach, rather than the imposition of sanctions, led to the progress witnessed today, he stressed, urging the Council to conduct an assessment of its sanctions regime with a view to tailoring it to conditions on the ground.

WU HAITAO (China), Council President for March, spoke in his national capacity, welcoming the establishment of the Transitional Government as an important step forward, taken with the active mediation of the international community.  The latter should fully respect the Government’s leadership, he emphasized, noting that the parties concerned bear primary responsibility for implementing the power-sharing agreement.  He called for maintaining humanitarian and economic assistance to South Sudan, and for help with its development problems, including the return of internally displaced persons.  China applauds the important contributions of UNMISS and supports the renewal of its mandate, he said, adding that his country will support the peace process by providing such assistance as is required.

AKUEI BONA MALWAL (South Sudan) said that he welcomed the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in South Sudan (document S/2020/145), while noting that there have been significant developments since it was written.  Expressing gratitude that the Secretary-General was able to include in his report President Kiir’s decision to return South Sudan’s federal system to 10 states plus 3 administrative areas on 21 February, he said that, since that decision, five Vice-Presidents have taken the oath of office and Mr. Machar has returned to Juba.  Parties to the power-sharing agreement have been in continuous negotiations on the equitable division of ministerial portfolios, and the people of South Sudan are on standby to hear the imminent announcement of a new Cabinet, he said.

As for sanctions, he emphasized that the Transitional Government of National Unity should not have to start its new mandate with a dividend of coercive measures as the way forward, cautioning that tying it down with sanctions means progress will be slow.  Amid the celebration of those positive developments, daunting challenges remain, he cautioned, calling upon the international community to provide much-needed assistance and support to the people of South Sudan in order for the agreement to hold.  The incoming Government will need technical, material and specialized expertise in order to establish liveable cantonment sites for the orderly and the peaceful return of internally displaced persons and refugees, he said, stressing that this is the most opportune moment for the international community to double or treble its care and support for the people of South Sudan.

The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), continuing its first resumed session, put a spotlight on human resources management today, with delegates hailing progress towards gender parity among the Secretariat’s more than 37,000 staff members worldwide while also pressing for greater efforts to recruit personnel on as wide a geographical basis as possible.

Guyana’s representative, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, expressed concern that the number of Member States with no nationals working in the Secretariat has reached 21, with another 40 countries deemed to be underrepresented.  A more well-balanced distribution is paramount, and she suggested the Secretary-General use tools similar to those used to address the question of gender balance.  “We should not shy away from embracing changes that come to the advance of our organization,” she said.

She praised an ongoing increase in the number of female staff — now at 36.8 per cent of global Secretariat staff — but emphasized that the number of women in senior positions remains less than 50 per cent.  She likewise expressed concern that the average age of Secretariat staff stood at 45.7 years in 2018.  Efforts must be made to recruit a younger workforce to serve as the basis for a smooth transfer of institutional knowledge, she said.

The European Union’s delegate similarly expressed support for rejuvenating staff, adding that linguistic diversity should be adequately reflected in human resources management.  Training for staff and managers — and a smoother transition from general service to professional categories — would give staff the opportunity to fully develop their careers.  He also emphasized the need to maintain a culture of ethics and transparency and welcomed the Secretary-General’s efforts to streamline the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules.

Singapore’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), commended efforts to advance gender parity, adding, however, that it remains unclear that similar attention has been given to equitable geographical representation, especially at senior levels.  He urged the Secretary-General to improve the recruitment and retention of staff, with more being done to create equal opportunities for candidates from developing countries.

Botswana’s representative, speaking on behalf of the African Group, emphasized the importance of taking the concerns of developing countries into consideration and drew attention to a low rate of gender parity in field operations.

The Russian Federation’s representative, meanwhile, warned against creating new artificial barriers to the selection of candidates and expressed concern about making gender parity a priority.  Rejecting qualified male candidates for hiring or promotion in the interests of gender parity would be a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and Assembly resolutions on human resource management.

The representative of the United States reiterated her country’s support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to shift the Organization’s management paradigm to eliminate silos, encourage collaboration and build the networked and inclusive multilateralism required to meet twenty-first century challenges.  “We are getting closer to realizing this vision, but we are not there yet,” she said.

With the Committee now focusing its main session on the Secretariat’s annual regular budget, delegates are — for the first time — taking up important human resources management questions in the first resumed session, an arrangement that should avoid relevant topics being overshadowed by other issues.  The Committee failed to reach a consensus on human resources management during its two previous main sessions.

Martha Helena Lopez, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources, introduced the Secretary-General’s report titled “Composition of the Secretariat:  staff demographics”, which put the total number of Secretariat staff as of 31 December 2018 at 37,505 — a slight decrease of 600 or 1.6 per cent from a year earlier.  The ratio of female staff to total staff increased slightly from 34.4 per cent in 2015 to 36.8 per cent, she said, adding that 48.7 per cent of all appointments in 2018 were women.  “The Organization is determined to accelerate this trend by leveraging the forecasted retirements for the period up to 2023 […] as opportunities to work towards gender parity,” she stated.

Sukai Prom-Jackson, Inspector of the Joint Inspection Unit, presented its in-depth study into the way that the Organization is managing what she called “an unprecedented level of reform”.  Highlighting some of the key findings, she said that aligning organizational culture and individual benefits is key to managing effective change.  “If staff understands the benefits of change and what is in it for them, they are more likely to participate and adopt the change successfully,” she said.

Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), introduced its related report, which recommended that the General Assembly request the Secretary-General to submit a refined global human resources strategy during its seventy-fifth session — opening in September 2020 — that would include corrective policy measures for achieving equitable geographical distribution, gender parity, balance in the selection of internal and external candidates, and career development opportunities.

Simona Petrova, Director of the Secretariat and Secretary of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, presented a related note from the Secretary-General conveying his comments and those of Board members.

In other business, the Fifth Committee took up reports on the construction of a new facility for the Arusha branch of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and the Secretary-General’s assessment of the functions, structure and capacity of the Police Division, which creates policy and guidance and defines the parameters of international police peacekeeping.  The Chairman of the Advisory Committee presented its related reports.

Also speaking today were representatives of the United Republic of Tanzania, Switzerland (speaking also for Liechtenstein), Australia (speaking also for Canada and New Zealand), Philippines, Morocco, Oman and Libya.

Financing of International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

OLUFEMI ELIAS, Assistant Secretary-General, Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, introduced the Secretary-General’s report (document A/74/662) on the construction of the premises for the Mechanism in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania.  Speaking from Arusha, he said that the  branch there continued to make full use of its new home on Lakilaki hill, as construction significantly progressed towards full completion and remains within the approved $8.8 million budget.   As a regional showcase for the United Nations work, the courtroom building hosted a review hearing in the Ngirabatware case in September 2019 and will see new judicial activity in 2020 in the complex multi-accused Turinabo et al case.

Noting that the report also outlines lessons learned and best practices applied by the project team, he said that the Mechanism has achieved formal closure of the punch-list and made progress in settling final accounts.  It engaged with the contractor and reached a formal agreement on the final valuation of outstanding punch-list items, an amount deducted from the final payment to the contractor.  The Mechanism also considered its options for the recovery of direct and indirect costs arising from errors and delays, where economically feasible to do so.  It informed the contractor that it would seek $230,000 to recover damages due to delays, an amount similarly withheld from the final payment owed.  This assessment was deemed to adequately balance the Organization’s rights and interests, and at the same time, achieve completion of the project as quickly as possible, he assured, noting that the contractor indicated its intention to contest this decision, but there have been no related developments.

He said that the Mechanism continues to explore the viability of each possible avenue for the recovery of costs stemming from design defects or delays that may be attributable to the architect, and pending further evaluation, it has retained the $77,000 payment owed to the architect.  As a result of these issues, progress on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning remediation works stalled and, unable to make progress with the existing contractor, the Mechanism contracted an independent consultancy firm to develop the solicitation documents.  In October 2019, the consultant provided guidance on immediate remediation works aimed at partially addressing the insufficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning performance, most of which the Mechanism has implemented in-house, with positive effect.  The consultant also produced a new design aimed at maximizing the use of existing components, with minimal redundancy and cost for the United Nations.  All efforts are being made to ensure that remedial works are completed within the overall project budget, he said, adding that detailed information will be included in the performance report on the Mechanism’s budget for 2020.

ABDALLAH BACHAR BONG, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), introduced it related report (document A/74/707), expressing regret that, more than three years after occupancy, further delays occurred in the completion of the closeout phase of this project.  With remediation works to be completed, contractual claims to be settled and the final project expenditure — including any balance to be returned to Member States — unavailable, he said the Secretary-General’s categorization of his report as final is “premature”.  Thus, the Advisory Committee recommends that the Secretary-General intensify efforts to complete the project without further delay and within the approved resources, and that he submit a final report to the General Assembly at its seventy-fifth session.  Among other things, the final report should contain comprehensive information on the conclusion of all pending activities, an updated list of lessons learned and best practices, and information on the final settlement of accounts.  In this respect, he emphasized that the United Nations should not bear the responsibility for any direct or indirect costs resulting from design defects and delays attributable to its contractual partners.

MEGAYLA ULANA AUSTIN, (Guyana), speaking for the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said that remediation of defects of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, whose functioning is critical for preserving the archives, remains a major challenge affecting the completion and closure of the project.  She urged the Secretary-General to intensify his efforts in this regard and, having noted the ongoing cooperation between the Mechanism and the Economic Commission for Africa, similarly urged collaboration with other duty stations with adequate technical capabilities.  Aware that the settlement of claims and liabilities form an important part of the project closure, the Group will seek to understand the final project cost during the informal session.  She called on the Secretary-General to intensify efforts to ensure expeditious, judicious and amicable settlement of this matter.  The construction experience in Arusha, and that of other capital projects, will contribute to the global guidelines for the management of construction projects.  With a number of issues still to be addressed, she expressed support for resubmission of the final report to allow Member States to benefit from updated information on pending issues.

KATLEGO BOASE MMALANE (Botswana), speaking for the African Group and associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, noting that the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system does not meet air and humidity standards necessary for the archives, encouraged continued the partnership between the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Mechanism.  Welcoming the documentation of lessons learned, and having noted the recovery of $230,000 in direct and indirect costs as well as the contractor’s contestation of this decision, he urged the Secretary-General to ensure that this matter is brought to a safe conclusion.  He expressed surprise that the Secretary-General’s report does not present sufficient analysis of the costs to be recovered from the architect, who is the main source for the delay, due to the design error in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.  The African Group will be interested to learn what arrangements are in place to hold the architect accountable.  More broadly, he said the projected timeframes remain unrealistic as work to correct the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system remains unknown and negotiations are ongoing.  The Group will be interested to learn of the revised timeframe and receive updates on the cost parameters for the corrective work during informal consultations.  He also agreed on the need to resubmit the final report, as such matters as correction of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and settlement of accounts remain unresolved.  He urged the Secretary-General to intensify his efforts to address all such pending measures.

SONGELAEL W. SHILLA (United Republic of Tanzania), associating himself with the African Group, and noting that remediation related to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is the main obstacle to the project’s closure, expressed full support for measures taken by the Mechanism to engage the consulting firm.  He looked forward to learning about the cost parameters for outstanding work during informal consultations, also stressing that the projected timeframe is not realistic, based on the experience observed in Arusha and on other construction projects.  He urged the Secretariat to provide a feasible timeframe to make an informed decision.  As for steps to recover direct and indirect costs stemming from contractor errors, the Secretariat only focused on the part of the contractor; no information is available on errors by the architect.  He called on the United Nations to take additional steps to hold everyone accountable for this delay.  As a key partner in this project, the United Republic of Tanzania encourages the Secretary-General to take all measures to ensure that such issues do not escalate into litigation and expose the United Nations to reputational and financial risks.

Human Resources Management

MARTHA HELENA LOPEZ, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources, introduced the Secretary-General’s report “Composition of the Secretariat:  staff demographics” (document A/74/82), which contains a demographic analysis of the composition of the Secretariat’s staff from 1 January to 31 December 2018.  Among other things, it put the total number of Secretariat staff as of 31 December 2018 at 37,505, a slight decrease of 600 or 1.6 per cent from a year earlier.  That reflected a decrease of staff for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and 32 other entities.  Forty-six per cent of staff were in field operations at the end of 2018, compared to 51 per cent in 2015, while 54 per cent were at Headquarters or other offices, compared with 49 per cent in 2015.  Overall, from 2015 to 2018, the total number of Secretariat staff declined by 8.7 per cent.

She pointed out that the report also details the sources of funding of Secretariat staff, noting that 35 per cent of staff are in posts funded from the Organization’s regular budget, 40 per cent from the peacekeeping budget and 25 per cent from extrabudgetary and other sources.  The ratio of female staff to total staff increased slightly from 34.4 per cent in 2015 to 36.8 per cent, she said, adding that 48.7 per cent of all appointments in 2018 were women.  “The Organization is determined to accelerate this trend by leveraging the forecasted retirements for the period up to 2023 […] as opportunities to work towards gender parity.”  She went on to say that the average age of staff has largely remained constant over the past five years, with a slight increase from 44.2 years to 45.7 years, adding that Tables 30 and 31 of the report offer insights about recruitment opportunities to improve the representation of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States in the Secretariat’s staff.

Mr. BACHAR BONG presented the ACABQ’s related report (document A/74/696), saying that the Advisory Committee has long stressed the need for a more extensive analysis of the statistical data in the Secretary-General’s report, including an identification of the reasons for different staff demographic patterns.  The General Assembly should request the Secretary-General to submit a refined global human resources strategy during its seventy-fifth session that would include corrective policy measures for achieving equitable geographical distribution, gender parity, balance in the selection of internal and external candidates, and career development opportunities.

He noted with concern an increase in the number of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States among Secretariat staff, adding that the Advisory Committee recommends that the Assembly request the Secretary-General develop a strategy for equitable geographical representation and to submit information thereon during its seventy-fifth session.  He went on to reiterate ACABQ’s concern about the reduction in the number of entry-level Professional posts and the Organization’s ability to attract and develop young talent.  “On the other hand,” he added, “while the number of high-level staff has recently decreased, the Committee emphasizes that the top-heaviness of the Organization should be monitored,” with any future proposals to establish high-level positions made subject to a review of existing functions and structures to minimize possible overlaps in high-level functional responsibilities.

SUKAI PROM-JACKSON, Inspector, Joint Inspection Unit, presented its report titled “Review of change management in United Nations systems organizations” (document JIU/REP/2019/4), which the Unit undertook in response to a recognition that the United Nations is undergoing “an unprecedented level of reform”.  She defined change management as the means through which to prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt a change in order to drive organizational success and deliver positive outcomes.  Evidence from thousands of case studies from the public and private sector have shown that organizational reforms often fail to achieve their intended goals due primarily to weaknesses in leadership, management, communications and engagement with those implementing reforms and changing the way they work.  The Unit’s report highlights the significance of change management as a strategic priority worthy of consideration, provides guidance on the critical elements of successful change management and discusses ways they can be applied throughout the United Nations system.  In preparing the report, the Unit studied 47 organizational reforms from across 26 United Nations system organizations during the 2010-2018 period.

Highlighting some of the key findings, she said that change management is understood and applied in different ways across the United Nations system.  Twenty per cent of reforms studied showed no evidence of change management, compared with 30 per cent that incorporated most key elements of change management.  The remaining 50 per cent manifested mixed results.  Twenty per cent of the reforms studied earmarked budgets for change management, she said, noting that if the results and benefits of change management cannot be attributed to a budget, then the investment and return on investment may not be clearly visible.  The study also found that aligning organizational culture and individual benefits is key to managing effective change.  “If staff understands the benefits of change and what is in it for them, they are more likely to participate and adopt the change successfully,” she said, noting that several United Nations system organizations pay close attention to culture, behaviour and attitude as an integral part of reform.  She went on to emphasize that change management capacity embedded in an organization’s structure can play a critical role to coordinate reforms and build on lessons over time.  One third of organizations have established units to coordinate change management, she said, adding that in an era of constant change, all organizations should consider having such units.  She added that, for system-wide coherence and collaboration, the United Nations Laboratory for Organizational Change and Knowledge, known as UNLOCK, should continue to be supported as a mechanism for learning and the sharing of experiences within the United Nations system.

SIMONA PETROVA, Director of the Secretariat and Secretary of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, introduced the related note by the Secretary-General (document A/74/669/Add.1), which conveys his comments and those of Board members.  Welcoming the report, its findings and recommendations, she said that staff at all levels are an integral part of any reform journey.  Change management approaches are most successful when they are dynamically tailored within a specific context over a period of time.  She expressed caution, however, towards the Unit’s recommendation of adopting a single change management methodology across the United Nations system.  Overall, organizations mostly supported the provisions of the proposed recommendations, she said, noting that the High-Level Committee on Management frequently engages with the Laboratory and plans to include it on the agenda of its upcoming meeting.

Ms. AUSTIN (Guyana), speaking for the Group of 77 and China, underscored the utmost importance that staff implement United Nations mandates in an environment that reflects diversity, flexibility and dynamism, and that they are motivated and adequately compensated.  While noting efforts by the Secretary-General to improve the geographical representation, she expressed concern over an increase in the number of unrepresented countries, now numbering 21, as well as the 40 underrepresented countries.  A more well-balanced distribution is paramount, and she suggested the Secretary-General use tools similar to those used to address the question of gender balance.  The number of appointments to posts subject to geographical distribution of staff from over-represented countries, and countries within range, is considerably high:  45 and 49 appointments respectively.  “We should not shy away from embracing changes that come to the advance of our organization,” she said.  While welcoming the increase in the number of female staff — now at 36.8 per cent of global Secretariat staff — she nonetheless pointed out that the number of women in senior positions is less than 50 per cent. She likewise expressed concern about the ageing of Secretariat staff, with an average of 45.7 years in 2018.  It is important that efforts are made to recruit a younger workforce to serve as the basis for a smooth transfer of institutional knowledge.

Turning to the Joint Inspection Unit, she said the Fifth Committee should continue to benefit from the quality input provided by the Unit.  Assessing the results of the United Nations organizational reforms recently undertaken is of utmost importance.  The Unit review is a useful tool to inform and guide United Nations system organizations in carrying out or planning such reforms, she said, noting that staff members and managers should be fully engaged with such changes.  Efforts also must be made to ensure that the numerous administrative reforms undertaken are effective and that their results are beneficial to the United Nations before any new reforms are initiated.  Further, the role of staff, at all levels, is essential in order for any reform to be successful.  She urged leaders to engage with the reforms and to encourage staff under their supervision to do the same, recalling that “the United Nations has from its founding been a people-centred Organization”.

JAN DE PRETER, European Union, said that improved human resources and an empowered staff will ensure better use of resources to support programme delivery and mandate implementation.  Noting that the United Nations workforce should continue to embody the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, he said the gender parity achieved at senior levels should be continued, particularly in field missions.  He also expressed support for rejuvenating staff, noting that linguistic diversity should be adequately reflected in human resources management.  Training for staff and managers and a smoother “G to P” transition is necessary in order to provide people the opportunity to fully develop their careers.  A well-functioning mobility framework is also important, and he wished to explore options that allow for a better cross-fertilization of ideas and experiences — notably between the Headquarters and the field.  Reforms and change management require regular and considerable efforts by personnel, and training can accompany staff through these complex processes.  A strong accountability framework is essential.  It is of utmost importance to maintain a culture of ethics and transparency and he recommended reinforcing the independence of the Ethics Office.  Noting that the European Union attaches great importance to the proposed amendments to United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules, he welcomed the Secretary-General’s efforts to make them easier to work with and more accessible, in line with the reforms agreed to two years ago.

TSU TANG TERRENCE TEO (Singapore), speaking for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), underscored the imperative that amid ongoing reforms, human resources management policies also evolve in tandem.  While commending efforts to advance gender parity, it is not clear that similar attention has been given to equitable geographical representation, especially at senior levels.  ASEAN will play close attention to discussions on the system of desirable ranges and how it can be enhanced.  He urged the Secretary-General to improve the recruitment and retention of staff, particularly to achieve equitable geographical representation at all levels.  More should be done to create equal opportunities for candidates from developing countries.  For greater accountability, he requested the Secretary-General to regularly report outcomes that demonstrate improved geographical representation to the General Assembly.  As training has been curtailed due to liquidity challenges, he said consistent investment in developing staff is a cornerstone of a sustainable Organization.  “Putting off such expenditures to save cash in the short-term would be detrimental to the United Nations ability to deliver on its mandates,” he said.

MIKE MARTIN AMMANN (Switzerland), speaking also for Liechtenstein, underscored the importance of achieving consensus on human resources management during the current session and reducing the backlog of pressing human resources issues.  While welcoming the Secretary-General’s efforts to enhance human resources management, the United Nations needs a modern system that supports a productive workforce to create a more results-oriented Organization.  It is important that the Fifth Committee use its time efficiently and his delegation stands ready to fully engage to achieve a meaningful outcome.  He called on all other delegations to do likewise and demonstrate their willingness to compromise in order to bring this agenda item to a successful conclusion.

JILLIAN RUTH REES (Australia), speaking also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, agreed with the importance of a modern and diverse workforce — one that features gender parity and upholds the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity.  Human resources management is a critical part of the Secretary-General’s reform efforts as well as a tremendously important agenda item, with many different elements to it.  The Fifth Committee should strive for an outcome on each report, including those from previous sessions that remain outstanding, to give the Secretary-General a clear direction and to guide future reports.  She expressed regret that the Committee failed to reach consensus on human resources management during its seventy-third main session, adding however that Australia, Canada and New Zealand remain optimistic that consensus will be achieved during the current resumed session.

SHAWN DUNCAN (United States) reiterated her delegation’s support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to shift the Organization’s management paradigm to eliminate silos, encourage collaboration and build the networked and inclusive multilateralism required to meet twenty-first century challenges.  “We are getting closer to realizing this vision, but we are not there yet,” she said.  Ensuring a United Nations that is fit for purpose requires a performance management system that enables managers to reward and retain high-performing staff and to retrain or remove underperformers.  A strong draft resolution on human resources management will frame and reinforce the joint resolve of managers, donors and partners to bring about change, leaving behind the working methods and mindsets of the past.  She underscored the United States’ appreciation for the diligent work and determination of the Organization’s staff, especially those serving in extremely challenging environments, whose efforts are essential for ensuring peace, security and human rights for all the world’s people.

KIRA CHRISTIANNE DANGANAN AZUCENA (Philippines), welcoming the streamlining of the policy framework for strategic human resources management, expressed support for a geographically diverse and gender balanced international workforce.  “Equitable geographical representation and gender parity provide a strong foundation for an efficient and effective United Nations,” she said.  Citing a decrease in the number of staff between 2017 and 2018, and slight increase in the proportion of staff in the Professional and higher categories, she noted with concern an increase in the number of underrepresented Member States, without sufficient analysis of the underlying reasons and recommendations to reverse this trend.  She looked forward to discussing with the Secretariat the protection of general service staff and those employed on fixed-term contracts across all regions, as well as developments in staff movements.  She supported the ACABQ call for a more extensive analysis on the matter.

HIND JERBOUI (Morocco), endorsing the Group of 77 and China statement, said human resources reforms form a crucial part of the Secretary-General’s vision, and she expressed full support for amending Staff Regulations and Rules, which aim to make the United Nations more flexible, effective and transparent.  Welcoming the gender parity achieved at senior levels, which will have a positive effect on the Secretariat’s functioning, progress made to ensure greater women’s representation in the Secretariat and efforts to ensure equitable geographic distribution, she reiterated full support for those principles.  She also called for supporting the Secretary-General’s efforts towards better human resources management, without which the United Nations will be unable to face current challenges.

SALEH JAAID HAMED AL HADDABI (Oman), associating himself with the Group of 77, referred to the Advisory Committee’s report, stressing the importance of analysing the challenges that impede implementation of the Assembly’s recommendations on geographical distribution.  He aligned himself with other delegations that spoke on the question of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States and expressed support for a transparent and feasible strategy to ensure equitable geographical distribution.  He also stressed the importance of regular reporting to the Assembly on progress being made in that regard.

EVGENY V. KALUGIN (Russian Federation) said that the Secretary-General’s report is lacking in terms of analysis on staffing trends.  He warned against the creation of new artificial barriers to the selection of candidates and expressed concern about making gender parity a priority.  Rejected qualified male candidates for hiring or promotion in the interests of gender parity would be a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and Assembly resolution on human resource management.  He noted with regret a lack of initiatives to increase the number of hired external candidates and to improve geographical distribution.  To avoid turning the United Nations into a closed shop, the Fifth Committee must work closely on the basis of existing proposals from the Secretary-General, he added.

SHOKRI S. I. BENHAMIDA (Libya), associating himself with the Group of 77, welcomed the Secretary-General’s efforts at human resource management reform, including those aimed at attracting and deploying distinguished youth.  Further reforms should emphasize the development of human resources through modern training and educational methods that optimize technological progress.  Equitable geographical distribution and gender parity are cornerstones of both the Secretary-General’s reforms and the United Nations values, he said, adding that reforms will hopefully give all Member States the opportunity to participate equitably in all the Organization’s agencies, funds and programmes.

Mr. MMALANE (Botswana), speaking on behalf of the African Group and associating himself with the Group of 77, stressed the importance of human resource management for all Member States.  He raised a few points in addition to those mentioned by the Group of 77, including the need for the Fifth Committee to  better understand the challenges involved in staff selection and equitable geographical distribution.  He emphasized the importance of taking the concerns of developing countries into consideration and drew attention to a low rate of gender parity in field operations.

LUIS CARRILHO, United Nations Police Adviser and Director of the Police Division, presented the Secretary-General’s assessment of the functions, structure and capacity of the Police Division (document A/74/223), recalling that recent reviews called for critical improvements to facilitate law and order in host States.  Adapting to 2019 cross-pillar reforms and building on both the Action for Peacekeeping Declaration and Security Council resolution 2436 (2018), the Division has undertaken several initiatives, some of which required extra-budgetary funds.  For example, the United Nations Police Training Architecture Programme develops training for police-contributing countries and links to recruitment assessments.  Processes related to United Nations assistance have been streamlined to strengthen predeployment readiness.  To advance operational effectiveness, the Standing Police Capacity is being deployed and the number of female police officers has increased.

He said that as a focal point for policing and law enforcement, the Division focuses on providing support on these matters to entities across the United Nations system; ensuring coordination and coherence in the delivery of policing expertise and technical assistance; providing a single regional political-operational structure; and reinforcing partnerships with Member States’ police services.  That said, the Division’s priority remains peacekeeping and its backstopping support.  Concerning resource implications, he said the Secretary-General’s assessment finds that the growing need for specialized expertise should be supported by a commensurate increase in the Division’s capacity.  It suggests strengthening the Division’s liaison capacity with other regional offices and concludes that the reform has “strengthened and enhanced” United Nations police responsibilities.  Greater capacity for evaluation and oversight, training, planning, policy, police reform and specialized expertise in organized crime, along with travel resources, is essential in order to match the growing demands for specialized police support.

Mr. BACHAR BONG presented the ACABQ’s related report (document A/74/702).  The Advisory Committee requested more information on the mandate of the system-wide service provider, including with respect to the resident coordinator system.  It was informed that while the report currently does not have budgetary implications, potential financial implications would arise under the peacekeeping support account submission for 2020/21 or 2021/22, and the programme budget for 2020.  The Advisory Committee will examine any related financial implications when submitted by the Secretary-General to the Assembly.  He recommended that the Assembly take note of the Secretary-General’s report, subject to its comments and observations.

SONDRA DAWN CHEONG (Guyana), speaking for the Group of 77 and China, said the Police Division plays a crucial role in maintaining global peace and security, and in restoring stability to the countries of deployment.  Its revitalization is essential.  As the Division is a focal point for all policing matters across the United Nations system, there should be a commensurate increase in capacity resources, given the Division’s importance in the peace and security pillar and growing need for expertise.  Such a decision would be aligned with Security Council resolution 2382 (2017) and General Assembly resolution 72/304, endorsing the report by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.  Given the Division’s centrality to peace operations, adequate resources in critical gap areas are needed, as is streamlining throughout the Division.

¿Siguen en Brasil los ecos de la actuación de Vinicius en el Clásico?

¡Sí, claro! Poquito a poco, Vinicius se va soltando y ganando confianza. Es muy joven pero tiene mucha calidad y, sobre todo, mucha personalidad. Su gol me dejó muy contento.

¿Eso es lo único que le falta, más acierto ante la portería contraria? ¿Es algo que puede mejorar con el tiempo?

Sí que se puede. Yo vi mucho a Vinicius en el Flamengo y saltó de Juveniles al primer equipo con sólo 17 años, eso no es fácil. La categoría Sub-20, que es una gran base para aprender, él no la vivió. Dio un salto muy grande en Brasil sin estar al cien por cien formado. Algunas cosas en el campo le ves que las va probando, mejorando… sobre todo la finalización y el último pase. Se va fortaleciendo también en lo táctico. Hay que tener cuidado con él.

¿Y paciencia? Se lo digo porque recuerdo las lágrimas de Vini cuando le marcó a Osasuna…

Es casi un niño que con 18 años se fue a un gigante como el Madrid. Hay que tener paciencia. Aquel día lloró de alivio por liberarse de la presión. Pero tiene personalidad para jugar en el Madrid, siempre encara, una y otra vez. Eso le gusta al Bernabéu, él no tiene que cambiar su identidad. A mí me pasó algo parecido en el Madrid, nunca quise perder mi estilo.

Usted era zurdo y jugaba en la izquierda. ¿Se han extinguido los extremos a pierna natural?

Sí, yo iba por la izquierda, estaba más cómodo. El fútbol ha cambiado. En mi época estaban Reyes, Vicente, Denilson… Ahora no se juega pegado a la línea. No se ven jugadores así.

También vio la irrupción de Reiner en el Flamengo. ¿Qué ha fichado el Madrid con él?

Ha demostrado en muy poco tiempo ser un futbolista muy interesante. El año pasado le vino bien jugar en un Flamengo muy experimentado. Lo que jugó fue impresionante, con goles y asistencias muy importantes.

¿Se parece tanto a Kaká?

No me gusta comparar (risas)… Pero si hay un jugador que, por estilo, se le pueda parecer, es él.

Hábleme de Rodrygo. ¿Cómo debe gestionar pasar de un hat-trick al Galatasaray a no jugar?

Con tranquilidad. Ha demostrado que puede hacer goles y que tiene calidad. Esta temporada le servirá para ganar más experiencia y adaptación.

¿Por qué Brasil se ha convertido ahora en el mercado favorito del Madrid?

Es normal, el fútbol ha cambiado con los jóvenes. Yo fiché en 1997 por el Madrid con 23 años y se pensaba que era joven… Hoy es casi imposible fichar a un jugador en Brasil a esa edad. Los buenos van a Europa con 17 ó 18 años porque es más fácil adaptarse.

¿A usted le costó más?

Hoy hay más información. Yo llegué a Madrid en diciembre. Había salido de Río de Janeiro con 40 grados de calor y aterricé en Barajas a 2… y en la maleta llevaba el bañador. ¡Me quería coger el primer avión de vuelta! ¡Imagínese! (risas).

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