Opening of the Board session, 22 July 2019, United Nations Office at Nairobi (Kenya)
The 66th United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board convened yesterday in Nairobi (Kenya) to start its week-long annual meeting, marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF).
Opening the session, Mr. John Levins, outgoing Chair of the Board, recalled the important topics on the agenda, including selecting a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the asset and liability management study, governance matters and the budget.
Mr. Victor Kisob, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat, welcomed on behalf of UNON Board members and participants, emphasizing that UNON is hosting over 3,500 staff members and that pension matters were of great interest to them.
Ms. Janice Dunn Lee, acting CEO of the UNJSPF said that her priority was to ensure smooth and effective operations. “I am pleased”, she said, “to note that the Fund’s 2018 overall processing rates met and exceeded the benchmarks, and the overall YTD 2019 pension benefit processing rates are showing further improvements.”
Moving to the investment side, Mr. Sudhir Rajkumar, Representative of the Secretary-General for the investment of the assets of the UNJSPF, stressed the efforts made to increase transparent reporting within and by the Office of Investment Management (OIM). “OIM continues to meet or exceed its Long-Term Investment Objective of a 3.5% real return rate in USD over 10- and 15-year periods”, he added.
The Board then moved to select its new Chair, electing H.E. Ambassador Philip Richard Owade from Kenya by acclamation.
Ambassador Owade thanked the Board for his election. “We should work in unison”, he said, reminding that “the Fund is on a firm basis to meet its short- and long-term obligations”.
The Board approved the agenda of the meeting and started its programme of work.
At the end of the first-day session, a reception hosted by UNON and sponsored by UNFCU took place to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Fund.
Ms. Felista Ondari, Chief of Financial Management Services at UNON and representing Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UNON Director-General (OIC), indicated how UNON was pleased to host the Pension Board and the 70th year celebration.
H.E. Rose Makena Muchiri, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Kenya to UNON and UNEP, said Kenya was proud to be the country where the anniversary of the Fund was celebrated, and affirmed her country’s support to the Fund on both the pension administration and investment sides.
Ms. Dunn Lee introduced the 70th anniversary video and highlighted how this anniversary showed the resilience and the sustainability of the UN Pension Fund.