raising concerns regarding the closure of the United Nations after school programme sign now

Dear Madame Deputy Secretary-General,

We write to you to respectfully raise again our concerns regarding the closure of the United Nations after school programme (UN-ASRSP). This letter follows earlier communications we sent to you in 2010, after ST/IC/2010/17 informed UN staff of the closure of the programme with very short notice. ST/IC/2010/17 cites space constraints due to the Capital Master Plan as the primary reason for the closure.

The unexpected closure left the students and their parents in a difficult situation. Parents were left scrambling to explore possible arrangement outside the UN during the hectic summer break, making it very hard to balance the demands of work and family.

The UN after-school programme was launched in 1970. It ran successfully for 39 years, providing an important service to both staff and the Organization: the programme greatly helped UN staff parents by organizing activities during those hours that schools finish but parents must continue to work. In turn, this allowed staff parents to focus on their work and dedicate all their energy to the Organization. More than 3,000 students, most with a mother as UN staff, participated in the program over these years.

We believe in the importance the Secretary-General and you place on supporting UN staff to maintain work/life balance, as well as facilitating the integration of women in the Organisation at all levels. We also believe that the reinstatement of the UN after-school programme would be crucial to the implementation of these policies in the Organization.

After the closure of the UN after-school programme, a series of meetings between staff representatives, affected parents and OHRM took place. During these discussions, OHRM indicated that the UN would be able to offer some space for the programme. While this dialogue was unfinished and today the situation remains unresolved, we believe that a solution to restart the UN after-school programme is still possible.

We, staff members of the Organization, would like to continue these discussions and the search for a solution that will benefit the Organization at large, as well as greatly support the implementation of your objectives with respect to work/life balance and the integration of women in the workplace.

We remain committed to being part of the solution to the UN after-school, and kindly seek your support in ensuring that the Organization continues to search for feasible options that would allow the prompt reinstatement of the programme.

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Cleo HensonBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Madame Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

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