UNITED NATIONS. CAREFUL WITH THE PENSION FUND.

 

CAREFUL WITH THE PENSION FUND

15 June 2006

It maybe a "healthy debate" among senior officials within the Secretariat in New York, but it means life long earnings to thousands of former and current international civil servants spread around the world.

It is about whether the Staff Pension Fund should or should not be privatized. The "debate" is between the two most powerful individuals with the exception of the Secretary General -- and the two happen to speak often in his name: Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch Brown and Under Secretary General Christopher Burnham. A recent statement indicated that Mr. Mark Malloch Brown's position is that the Fund will not be privatized.

There are certainly other players who have a real stake in this issue. To begin with, even for the Secretary General to take a decision he will have to consult the Pension Board and seek advice of the Pension Board's Investment Committee.

Whatever the inclination, it is crucial for any outcome to be reached in the most transparent and participatory process possible. That advice is not only for the welfare of the beneficiaries directly concerned, but is also in the interest of those who take the decisions.