1 MAY 2015


Members of the Association of Former International Civil Servants (AFICS) are certainly involved in finding out more about questions arising about the use, management, and authority relating to their U.N. Pension Fund. Most, if not all of them, are basically dependent on it in their retirement. Wherever they are spread around the world, they started contacting one another, passing on information, seeking further clarification, and rushing to attend related meetings.

A main question emerging is related to the actual role -- or position -- of the current Committee leading AFICS. We have definite views and comments to make on this, as on other U.N. Pension Fund questions, particularly on the potential role of the newly-appointed Special Representative of the Secretary General -- who had overseen a bankrupt Fund in her previous Maryland assignment, the intentions of influential staff around the Secretary-General and, in fact, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's own intentions, particularly as he will be leaving in less than two years. For example, would any individuals, whom he had appointed as advisers on other unrelated issues but have their own management of funds, seek to extend a hand?

One reassuring presence is that of Mr. Yukio Takasu, Under-Secretary-General for Management and Administration, who had served admirably in earlier years as Assistant-Secretary General for Budget and played a crucial part in consolidating and protecting the Fund. We trust he continues to do so in his dignified and fair manner, under great pressure from some around the Secretary-General's office and elsewhere, including certain persistent fund hunters, and certain members of some Committees and Commissions.

Participants at last June's annual AFICS meeting heard an elaborate presentation by the Fund's manager, with nods of approval by some of those seated at the podium, particularly by a certain character who had done no real work during the last years before retirement and seems to stay in AFICS membership through persistent lobbying to hang around, for some purpose. As decision time approaches, we will not pre-judge the forthcoming Annual meeting and will await its deliberations before offering specific comments.