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UN Staff News

A Message from the United Nations Staff Union to the Staff at Large

Dear colleagues,

You are cordially invited to attend the second General Meeting of the 45th Council of UN Staff Union.

The meeting will be held in Conference Room 2 on Tuesday, 20 February 2018, from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.

It will be also available via webcast.

Interpretation will be provided by DGACM colleagues!

Please see the details for the meeting in the attached Agenda.

Your participation in Staff Union meetings is considered official business under Chapter VIII of the Staff Rules and Regulations.

To facilitate full participation questions may be submitted ahead of the meeting by email at

Please read more about the Staff Union and what we do on our website:

Warm regards,

UN Staff Union – New York

Agenda General Meeting 20 February 2018

Important Update on the Pension Fund

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to share with you two recently-issued OIOS audits on the UN Pension Fund.
The procurement audit ( focuses on a $2.2 million contract with consulting firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PWC) and notes that of the total, $1.8 million was not spent on services specified in the contract. Thus costs could have been inflated due to lack of competitive bidding for the $1.8 million of services and greater use of partners costing $475 an hour. It appears that procurement rules may also not have been followed.

The second audit ( covers the implementation of the new system for paying pensions, called IPAS, whose poorly managed implementation left newly retiring staff with no income for more than nine months. It notes that a number of important elements with IPAS, including relating to payments for widows and orphans, were noted as critical, even as the system was reported to the Board and external stakeholders as being ready to implement. It could be argued that given these issues were known prior to implementation, they should have been addressed, which would have to a large extent avoided the payment backlog.

Both audits are in line with the report of the UN Board of Auditors.(

This comes shortly after the UN Appeals Tribunal ruled that the Fund acted illegally in excluding two board members that had been elected by UN staff and who were known to be critical of the performance of Fund CEO Sergio Arvizú. ( and

The General Assembly, meeting on 5 December also raised concerns about service quality and transparency (

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has been requested by the Pension Fund Board to extend the contract of CEO Arvizú by three years. Given the abundance of information showing our pension fund being managed outside the rules, we ask Mr. Guterres to seriously consider whether an extension would be in the interests of ensuring management accountability at the UN.

This article from the UN Pension Blog is also worth reading:
10 December: UN Appeals Tribunal rules on unlawful actions by Pension Board (
15 November: Long overdue: A new boss at the UN Pension Fund and a reformed Board (

Kind regards,

Mary Abu Rakabeh
Ibrahima Faye
Ndeye Aissatou Ndiaye
Bernadette Nyiratunga
Ian Richards
Michelle Rockcliffe

UN participant representatives to the Pension Board

Related Article

Season of Giving Fundraising Campaign

CERF was introduced in 2006 as the UN’s global emergency response fund to deliver funding quickly to humanitarian responders and kick-start life-saving action whenever and wherever crisis hit. Ten years on, CERF has proven to be one of the most effective ways to provide time-critical assistance, including supplies, basic services and protection to millions of people in need.

The campaign features a new version of the famous carol Silent Night, whose reimagined lyrics have been inspired by the plight of millions of people around the world that have suffered from humanitarian crises.  The song is performed by Pihcintu, also known as The Miracle Choir, whose singers are 32 refugee girls and young women from 17 countries who have benefited from humanitarian aid.