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Cablegate: Demarche On United Nations Harmonization Of

VZCZCXYZ0014
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSW #0639 3501523
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151523Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5535
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0225

UNCLAS BERN 000639

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/S (H.WARD) AND EUR/CE (Y.SAINT-ANDRE)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT AORC APER PREL UNGA SZ LS
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE ON UNITED NATIONS HARMONIZATION OF
CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

REF: SECSTATE 129988

1. (U) On December 11, poloff delivered the message in
reftel to Frank Gruetter, Deputy Head of UN Coordination at
the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA), and to
Doris Frick, DCM at the Embassy of the Principality of
Liechtenstein in Bern. Neither Gruetter nor Frick had any
immediate substantive feedback regarding the U.S. proposal.

2. (SBU) On December 15, Gruetter expressed the Swiss
government's general appreciation for the USG's "constructive
efforts to stimulate discussion" of these issues. He
reported that the GOS "shares the view" that it appears
premature to push for the quick adoption of the Special
Operations Approach (SOA) used by the UN Funds and Programs.
Gruetter added, however, that the GOS believes that the UN
Secretary General's proposals for streamlining contractual
arrangements, his proposed designation of family/non-family
duty stations, and the introduction of paid rest and
recuperation travel would "go a long way in improving the
Secretariat's HR system and boosting staff morale."

3. (SBU) Regarding the USG's proposal, Gruetter conveyed that
the GOS sees merit in the thrust of many of the ideas that
the USG has put forward, but fears that some of the ideas
might be difficult to integrate into "a system that has been
carefully crafted and balanced to address the interests and
needs of all stakeholders." He mentioned in particular that
the GOS supports the "strategic objective, inherent in some
of the U.S. proposals," to improve the promotion prospects of
UN staff and to enhance their professional growth
opportunities. Gruetter noted that the Swiss delegation in
New York would be "happy to support resolution language which
helps to realize this objective."
CARTER

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