Categories of personnel

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United Nations missions employ individuals under different categories of personnel to perform different tasks. These categories differ based their legal status, protections and financing modalities. The main categories of personnel deployed to peacekeeping operations are outlined below, along with key characteristics.

United Nations Officials

United Nations Officials consist of United Nations staff and Officials other than Secretariat Officials. The protections afforded to United Nations Officials are specified in Article V of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

United Nations Staff

United Nations staff are subject to the Staff Regulations and Rules. They can either be internationally-recruited or locally-recruited and perform either tasks that are of a more analytical or conceptual nature or tasks that are in general procedural, operational and technical[1]. In peacekeeping missions, all staff are budgeted as part of group 2 (civilian personnel).

Descriptions of the various categories are as follows:[2]

  • Professional and higher categories:
    Internationally recruited staff, carrying out analytical and conceptual work, normally outside of their country of origin, sometimes with an obligation to move geographically in accordance with the mobility policies of their organization (in use since the inception of the United Nations in 1945)
  • Field Service:
    Internationally-recruited staff, carrying out functions ranging from analytical and conceptual to procedural, operational and technical, usually under dangerous conditions, and subject to rapid redeployment (initial salary scale promulgated in 1950)[3]
  • General Service:
    Locally-recruited staff, carrying out assignments ranging from the routine or repetitive to the complex and paraprofessional, with no expectation to be mobile (the guiding principle for the determination of conditions of service of this category was promulgated in 1949)
  • National Professional Officers:
    Locally-recruited nationals of the country of service, carrying out analytical and conceptual work within a national context, with no expectation to be geographically mobile (this category has been in use since 1961)
  • Other locally-recruited categories:
    A limited number of functions, normally included in the General Service category, may be categorized separately in some duty stations. These additional categories, established between 1955 and 1968, include:
    • Safety and Security (New York-only)
    • Trades and Crafts (New York-only)
    • Language Teachers (New York and Geneva)
    • Public Information Assistants (New York-only).

Internationally-recruited staff are paid on the basis of salary scales established by the International Civil Service Commission. The salaries and conditions of service for internationally-recruited staff are based on those of the highest-paid national civil service (i.e. the Noblemaire principle). International professional staff include those at the professional (P), director (D), Assistant Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General levels. Field service staff perform administrative, technical and logistical functions in peace operations.

Locally-recruited staff are paid on the basis of best prevailing local conditions (i.e. the Flemming principle) and consist of national professional staff and staff of the general service and related categories.

Officials other than Secretariat Officials

Officials such as the members of the International Court of Justice, the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, the Chair and Vice-chair of the International Civil Service Commission and judges of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal[4] have the status of Officials other than Secretariat Officials. The rights and responsibilities of these officials are contained in the Regulations Governing Officials other than Secretariat Officials.

Other personnel

Many, but not all, personnel who are not United Nations officials have the status of expert on mission. The protections afforded to experts are specified in Article V of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

Gratis personnel

Gratis personnel are personnel provided by Governments and other entities.[5] Those with well-established legal status and functions are designated "type I gratis personnel" and all others are considered "type II gratis personnel". Type-I gratis personnel consist of:

  • Associate experts/junior professional officers (have the status of United Nations staff)
  • Technical cooperation experts on non-reimbursable loans (have the status of expert on mission)
  • Interns[6]

United Nations Volunteers

United Nations Volunteers perform many tasks within peace operations. They do not receive a salary but are provided a stipend from the UN and are budgeted under group 2 (civilian personnel) of peacekeeping budgets.

Military and police personnel

Seconded military and police personnel

General Assembly resolution 52/248 of 26 June 1998 authorized the conversion of posts in the support account to be used for seconded active-duty military and police officers which had previously been engaged as type-II gratis personnel. Seconded officers are considered internationally-recruited staff members and generally serve on two-year contracts that are renewable to four years.

Members of military contingents

Members of military contingents are deployed under a memorandum of understanding signed between a troop-contributing country and the United Nations and remain under the jurisdiction of the national government. They receive salaries and benefits from their respective governments, which receive personnel reimbursement and reimbursement for self-sustainment (if applicable) from the United Nations. Associated costs are budgeted as part of group 1 (military and police) of peacekeeping budgets. They are considered their own category of personnel and are not considered experts on mission.

Military staff officers

Staff officers in missions are members of military contingents but—unlike other members of military contingents—they receive mission subsistence allowance[7] under resolution 61/276 of 29 June 2007.

Military observers and liaison officers

Military observers and liaison officers are individually-deployed military personnel with the status of expert on mission.[8][9] They receive salaries and benefits from their respective governments as well as mission subsistence allowance[10] from the United Nations. Associated costs are budgeted as part of group 1 (military and police) of peacekeeping budgets.

Members of formed police units

Members of formed police units are deployed under a memorandum of understanding signed between a police-contributing country and the United Nations but, unlike members of military contingents, have the status of expert on mission. They receive salaries and benefits from their respective governments, which receive personnel reimbursement and reimbursement for self-sustainment (if applicable) from the United Nations. Associated costs are budgeted as part of group 1 (military and police) of peacekeeping budgets.[11]

Civilian police

Civilian police officers are individually-deployed police personnel with the status of expert on mission. They receive salaries and benefits from their respective governments as well as mission subsistence allowance[12] from the United Nations. Associated costs are budgeted as part of group 1 (military and police) of peacekeeping budgets.[13]

Other government-provided personnel

Government-provided personnel other than military and police personnel (e.g. justice and corrections experts) have the status of expert on mission. They receive salaries and benefits from their respective governments as well as mission subsistence allowance[14] from the United Nations. Associated costs are budgeted as part of group 3 (operational requirements) of peacekeeping budgets.[15]

Consultants and individual contractors

Consultants and individual contractors have the status of expert on mission. Members of Security Council sanctions committees and expert panels are generally deployed as consultants and individual contractors.

  • A consultant is a recognized authority or specialist in a specific field, engaged by the Organization in an advisory or consultative capacity. The functions of a consultant are results-oriented and normally involve analysing problems, directing seminars or training courses, preparing documents for conferences and meetings, or writing reports on matters within their area of expertise.
  • An individual contractor is engaged by the Organization to provide expertise, skills or knowledge for the performance of a specific task or piece of work, which would be short-term by nature. The assignment may involve full-time or part-time functions similar to those of staff members.

See also

Administrative issuances

Reports

  • Gratis personnel provided by Governments and other entities (A/61/688)
  • Administration of justice (A/65/373), Annex IV: Contracts and rules governing relationships between the United Nations and the various categories of non-staff personnel
  • Seconded active-duty military and police personnel (A/68/495, A/70/229 and A/71/257)
  • Use of non-staff personnel and related contractual modalities in the UN System organizations (JIU/REP/2014/8)
  • Review of internship programmes in the United Nations system (JIU/REP/2018/1)

References

  1. ICSC/82/R.4 Comprehensive review of the common system compensation package: overview of staff categories in the United Nations common system
  2. Ibid.
  3. For more information on the Field Service category, see A/61/255/Add.1 and Corr.1 Reforming the Field Service category: Investing in meeting the human resources requirements of United Nations peace operations in the twenty-first century
  4. Statute of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (as amended by General Assembly resolution 70/112 of 14 December 2015)
  5. A/51/688 and A/51/688/Add.1 Add.1 Gratis personnel provided by Governments and other entities ()
  6. ST/AI/2014/1 Administrative instruction: United Nations internship programme
  7. ST/AI/1997/6 Administrative instruction: Mission subsistence allowance
  8. 2010.30 Military Experts on Mission Manual
  9. 2016.25 Guidelines on UN Military Observers in Peacekeeping Operations
  10. ST/AI/1997/6
  11. 2016.10 Policy on Formed Police Units
  12. ST/AI/1997/6
  13. 2014.01 Policy on UN Police in Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions
  14. ST/AI/1997/6
  15. 2015.01 Guidelines on non-uniformed civilian Government-Provided Personnel