Council Meeting FSC XXXI – 2024

The UNFSU Council Meeting of 2024, FSC-XXXI, was opened by the President Milan Dawoh on 26th February. His opening remarks were as follows:

Please let us all take a few moments to remember those who have lost their lives working for the United Nations.

Friends and Colleagues of the United Nations, on behalf of the United Nations Field Staff Union Executive: Vice President Jackline Omondi, Vice President Paul Smith, and Ms. Rosa Colluci, it gives me great pleasure to speak to you today, and to welcome you most cordially at the official opening of the 31st United Nations Field Staff Council Meeting here in Brindisi – Italy.

I would like to express my profound gratitude to all International UN Staff Members for electing us unopposed as your Executive. We certainly don’t take it for granted.

As an executive, we are fully aware of the challenges we are experiencing now: The closure of Mali and Sudan, the uncertainty in Congo, the precarious situation in Somalia and the turbulent crises in Iraq with the upcoming closure of UNITAD in September this year.

We are also very cognizant of the burning issues affecting UN Staff Members across the globe: Issues of the non-permanent Roster Membership, Mobility, Continuing Appointment and most importantly, affected Staff Members from Downsizing Missions.

Which is why since we took over just over 100 days ago, we have managed to save the jobs of over 270 staff members from Mali and Sudan. To put this into context, this is the highest number of UN staff members that have ever placed from downsizing missions in the history of this organization. That was possible because of the good cooperation we have established with all Heads of Entities across the globe, and the UN Senior Management in New York.

This good cooperation of staff management relations will be manifested during this council meeting wherein for the first time, all the various departments in UN-Headquarters that we are interfacing with in the Field, have agreed to participate in our Council Meeting. This is a sign of trust and a vote of confidence in our great union.

For those of you who attended the UN-Secretary General’s Town Hall Meeting on the 1st of February 2024, The Secretary General (Mr. Antonio Guterres), expressed serious concerns about the liquidity situation of the UN. As an executive, we share his concerns about the accelerating liquidity crisis that hampers regular budget operations and jeopardizes your ability in the field to deliver on UN mandates. We are alarmed that; more and more activities and outputs are being postponed or even cancelled.

On that same token, you will all agree with me that the intervention that was made by the President of the United Nations Field Staff Union during that that Town Hall Meeting, was one of the greatest highlights of that event. With the support of our Executive, I muster the courage to make a case for Peacekeeping operations. And today, I can confidently say that we are stronger at home and respected abroad by All UN entities across the globe.

I cannot conclude without acknowledging the contribution of the former UNFSU President: Mr. Mark Polane and his team to this great union. Even though his tenure was largely covered by the COVID Pandemic, he did his best to represent the staff and kept everybody posted on the status of our union. Which is why, I’m setting a precedent by inviting him as a former president, and as a UN veteran of over 30 years of service.

As an executive, we will continue to do our best to serve all UN Staff around the world with an utmost sense of patriotism to the United Nations, devoid of any iota of selfishness, personal aggrandizement, and the poor spirit of cynicism.

With your continued support, everything will be under control.

Thank you and God Bless the United Nations

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