The General Assembly, in January 2019, voted a landmark resolution (A/RES/73/274) to fix problems at the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF). The resolution allows a fairer representation for UN staff and retirees around the world on the Pension Board, encourages decisions that need to be taken in between Board sessions to be done legally through the mechanism of the Standing Committee, requests measures to prevent conflicts of interest between the Board, management and retirees federation (FAFICS), calls for integrity at the Fund and requires better management of costs.
Naturally, in trying to subject the Fund’s governance to stricter rule of law, the resolution has caused some upset. We have already witnessed attempts to circumvent it and other doubtful decisions. OIOS has also noted that its recommendations with regard to the Fund remain unimplemented.
Therefore, work is still undergoing by participants’ representatives to the Board to tidy the messy processes surrounding the leadership of the Board. There is certainly a need to remain vigilant as the Pension Fund is our only form of social security after retirement. The General Assembly resolution was a huge achievement but is only a mid-point in efforts to make the Fund safer and to promote integrity in its governance.
We will watch closely the situation, take necessary actions when required, and keep staff abreast of any development.