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United Nations International Civil Services   
United Nations International Civil Services
Perceptions, Realities and Career Prospects

Murari R. Sharma • Ajit M. Banerjee

Hard-bound Book (6¼" x 9¼") :   Pages : 434
2009  Edition   :  ISBN - 978-81-7188-772-9
Price : INR 995 / US $ 59.95
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The International Civil Service of the United Nations is not fully aligned with the compelling demands of the 21st century. Once reputed as one of the most attractive organisations to work due to its noble objectives, global outreach, and attractive conditions of service, the world body has been fast losing its lustre and pulling power and its ability to perform. As a result, the organisation has been sustaining loss in its ability to deliver on its principles, purposes and mandates in a timely, efficient and effective fashion and in its good will, image and reputation. If it does not pursue far-reaching reforms urgently, particularly in the area of human resource management (HRM), the United Nations will surely decline and become irrelevant not too far into the future.

This book identifies strategic issues facing the HRM of the world body, analyses their impacts on its performance, suggests remedies to address these lacunas and proposes measures to make the entity competitive, efficient, and effective. It tells you where you need to strengthen UN's HRM, where to make cutbacks, and where to remove duplication and overlaps. Frequent references to the HRM of the European Commission and national governments gives a refreshing taste of best practices. This volume will make an interesting read for general readers and a great source of information for experts and professionals. In particular, it is a must-read for politicians and diplomats as a reference source, for UN staff to have a better perspective of their HRM, and for academics and students of international relations, diplomacy and political science in universities and colleges as a textbook and reference material. There is a special chapter to assist prospective new entrants seeking a career with the United Nations.

Reviews / opinions:


"The experienced authors offer a series of doable changes in the current outdated and highly politicized personnel system. In doing so, this excellent book presents a persuasive case for the necessity of taking these actions if the organization has any real hope of meeting its role in helping solve the increasingly complex world challenges of economic crises and political conflict. The book is a must read."

— Dwight Ink
Former Administrator of General Services Administration,
US Federal Government Washington, D.C., and close associate of
Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, and Carter.

The book offers a deeply challenging critique of the present UN system and how it must be reformed. The authors provide an unflinching focus on its “bureaucratic structures, outdated methods and hackneyed procedures”, especially in its lack of modern human resource management. Though weak and unprincipled leadership by senior secretariat members is often to blame so also are UN member governments which too often give higher priority to getting their own nationals into key positions than to backing reforms to modernize and improve the whole system. This hard hitting book deserves careful study and urgent action.

— Sir Richard Jolly
Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK;
Former Deputy Executive Director UNICEF Headquarters, New York

This is a researched effort of great value to the international community. A competent civil service recruited on competitive basis is a sine que non for the United Nations. Success and failures of the world body is greatly dependent on the efficiency of the International Civil Service. The book will immensely help the future prospective entrants interested in careers in the United Nations.

— Rajiv Sharma, IAS
Additional Secretary to the Government of India, New Delhi, India

The book provides an insightful analysis of the strengths and weakness of the system of internal operation and human resource management. The authors draw on their wealth of experience in outlining the challenges for the UN and how to make its internal machinery more robust, providing information on how the UN system works, its pitfalls and the remedies. They have put together information which is not readily available elsewhere and offered their own analysis of it. Congratulations to the two authors on writing such an excellent book.

— Surya P. Subedi
Professor of International Law, University of Leeds Law School, UK




Murari Raj Sharma received his Master's degrees in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and in Commerce and in Economics from Tribhuvan University (Nepal). He has closely worked with the United Nations since 1993, including as Member of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Chairman of the Fifth Committee, Vice President of the General Assembly and of the Economic and Social Council as well as Nepal's Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Foreign Secretary, and chief of the United Nations Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affaires. He has served as Nepal's Ambassador to the United Kingdom as well. An expert in administrative reforms, he has advised the Government and various public enterprises of Nepal in that area. Mr. Sharma has published several articles in various professional journals, authored the book Murari Adhikari's Short Stories (2000), and co-authored the book Reinventing the United Nations (2007).

Ajit M. Banerjee, received his MA and Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management from Maxwell School, Syracuse, and New York as a Fellow in Social Sciences of Rockefeller Foundation, born in India, a US citizen, was a career UN diplomat almost throughout his professional life, being stationed in Bangkok as UN Regional Advisor for Asia and the Pacific, ESCAP, Kuala Lumpur as Deputy Director, UN Asian Centre for Development Management, New York as Special Advisor, United Nations Secretariat and worked extensively with over fifty developing countries, dealing with strategic issues of public policy and management, peacekeeping and peace building. He has served as a Senior Faculty Member with the National Institute of Public Administration, Consultant on adminis-trative reforms to Government of India and State Governments. He retired as Senior Special Advisor to the United Nations and continues to be an ad hoc consultant. He has contributed numerous articles in professional journals, co-authored books, Renewing Governance (1996) and Reinventing the United Nations (2007).






1. State of the World

2. United Nations: Basic Structures and Functions

3. Major Features of the International Civil Service

4. Human Resource Management: Major UN Entities

5. Human Resources Policy and Execution

6. Making of International Civil Service

7. Types of United Nations Personnel

8. Position Classification, Transfer, Performance Appraisal, and Promotion

9. Administration of Justice

10. Staff Development and Senior Management Programme

11. Conditions of Service

12. Human Resource Planning

13. Revitalising UN Human Resources Management

14. Guidance for Career with United Nations


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