Thank you Mr. Chairman,
In 2005 the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to form a panel of external and independent experts to consider a redesign of the system of administration of justice. The background for this request was long standing criticism against the present system of being inefficient and unfair.
Norway wishes to thank the panel for its thoughtful analysis and recommendations as well as the Secretary-General for his comments. We are looking forward to working with other delegations towards a system of administration of justice that is efficient and fair.
This perception of a dysfunctional system has indeed been confirmed by the panel, as it is stated in their report:
”The system of administration of justice as it currently stands is extremely slow, under resourced, inefficient and, thus, ultimately ineffective. It fails to meet many basic standards of due process established in international human rights instruments”
The Secretary-General shares the view of the Panel that there are significant problems with the existing system.
Norway’s aspiration for the UN is as simple as it is ambitious; we want an UN led world order – and the rule of law must underpin all UN activities; there will be no sustainable peace without rule of law, no justice with out rule of law, no stable and prosperous societies without rule of law. This principle is valid for the UN itself and for the Secretariat, which is entrusted to carry out the mandates of the UN. The Secretariat must also be governed by the principles of the rule of law. In this resumed session the Sixth Committee has the chance not only to discuss ‘rule of law’ as a concept, but to put it into practice.
The United Nation is a unique organization with its universal, multilateral character and complex tasks. To safeguard the organization’s obligation to carry out its work independently, the organization and its staff is granted privileges and immunities under the 1946-convention. As staff members have no recourse to national legal systems, an internal system of administration of justice is necessary.
Norway supports improving the internal system of administration of justice to provide adequate safeguards and due process so as to ensure accountability of staff members.
We support establishing an independent, two-tier system of formal justice. We support professionalizing the system. We support strengthening the mediation system. We support the establishment of legal counsel. We support decentralization of the system. While recognizing the need to discuss further the implementation of some of the concepts introduced, we support the general recommendations made by the panel. We also find the comments by the Secretary-General valuable and well founded. The issues of who should have access to the tribunals, the rationale for keeping an administrative review process, the number of judges and their qualifications, the jurisdiction of the tribunals and how disciplinary proceedings are to be conducted, are examples of topics worthwhile exploring further in our deliberations.
At the high-level meeting in 2005 Member States pledged to provide the organization with adequate resources to full fill its mandates. Norway stands by this pledge. A well functioning internal justice system is a prerequisite for a well functioning secretariat. An adequate internal system of justice will contribute to preventing misconducts and mismanagement.
The issue before us is an important part of the ongoing reform process and important for the future of the organization. The flaws of the current system have been known for a long time and it is long overdue to correct the problems. Let us not for any financial consideration settle for something less than adequate from the point of view of justice.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.