A Framework for Human Resources Management

Introduction home
In 2000, the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) adopted a Framework for Human Resources Management. Due to the significant changes that have taken place in the world of work since then, the framework was revised in 2017. The fundamental values of the UN common system endure and the principles that govern the practice of human resources management continue to be relevant.

The philosophy underlying the new framework continues to be grounded in the principles emanating from the provisions of the United Nations charter, namely, the independence of the international civil service and the need for the organizations to recruit staff with the highest standards of efficiency, competency, and integrity. Due regard is given to the importance of recruiting staff on a wide geographical basis as possible and to the equal participation of men and women in the work of the organizations.

The focus of the revised framework is strategic human resources management which is a key aspect of overall organizational strategy. It is intended as a practical guide in the provision of authoritative, strategic advice in the area of human resources management to decision makers. It reinforces the role of the human resources function in the achievement of individual organizational mandates while safeguarding the cohesion of the United Nations common system.

The framework recognizes that the most valuable resource of the United Nations common system is its staff. Consequently it will help the individual staff member to better understand the strategic role of human resources management in the common system.

The key elements of this framework are defined as follows:  Governance, Leadership and Enabling Work Environment.

The ICSC Human Resources Framework is intended to be used by:

  • Human resources departments in the United Nations common system organizations as a strategic tool when developing human resources policies
  • Staff to inform themselves and to better understand the strategic role of human resources management, to create more awareness of their responsibilities and their expectations
  • Management to better support them in their responsibilities in managing their staff and to maintain high levels of engagement
  • The Commission to guide their programme of work
  • Member states and other stakeholders for their information.
January 2017