REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UN-NAIROBI STAFF UNION AT THE SG’s TOWN HALL MEETING OF 8 MARCH 2017 Mr. Secretary General, On behalf of all colleagues at the Nairobi Duty Station, it is my distinguished pleasure and privilege to extend a warm welcome to you, on this, your first visit to Nairobi as Secretary General. Given the enormous demands on your time, we are deeply grateful that you are able to make this visit so early in your term. Mr. Secretary General, timing your maiden visit to the Nairobi Duty Station to coincide with the official commemoration of International Women’s Day is a matter of great significance to all staff at this duty station. Today, we honour and salute the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who serve our organization with professionalism, diligence and dedication, despite the often skewed playing field they must contend with. We are greatly encouraged that from the onset, you made it crystal clear that appointing more women to senior positions would a key priority of your administration. In an opinion piece published in the Daily Nation today, you wrote as follows: “Historical imbalances in power relations between men and women, exacerbated by growing inequalities within and between societies and countries, are leading to greater discrimination against women and girls.” Nowhere else in the entire UN System are there more opportunities to fast-track promotion of women to positions of greater responsibility and authority than at the Nairobi Duty Station. An increasing number of colleagues in the General Service and Related categories are taking personal initiative to advance their education, often in areas relevant to their functional responsibilities. Experienced and competent G4s or G5s with post-graduate university qualifications is a common phenomenon at the Nairobi Duty Station. Owing to their experience, qualifications and competence, colleagues in the General Service and related categories are often called upon to perform tasks that would typically be assigned to more senior professional colleagues. Mr. Secretary General, we appeal to you, as a matter of urgency, to create within the Secretariat, a more seamless path for G7 staff with the requisite qualifications and experience to transition seamlessly to National and International Professional Officer categories. Women would be the greatest beneficiaries. Finally, sir, allow me once again, to convey our congratulations on your worthy appointment. We wish you Godspeed, long life and good health. Be assured of our support and goodwill at all times. I thank you for your kind attention. James Ohayo President UN-Nairobi Staff Union 8 March 2017.