The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is the governing body of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) and, each year, it adopts a resolution to provide guidance and decisions on pension administration and investments, as well as governance matters and annual budget. Highlights of the 2020 UNGA resolution are below and the full text can be found here.
The UNGA approved the Fund’s 2021 administrative budget, allowing for the implementation of the Pension Administration’s strategic priorities and the recruitment of additional staff needed for a growing investment portfolio.
The UNGA welcomed the three strategic goals established by the Chief Executive of Pension Administration for 2021-2023, with emphasis on simplifying the client experience, modernization of pension services, and building a strong, global partnership with its stakeholders.
The creation of a Business Transformation and Accountability Unit has been approved, together with resources to support the streamlining and the digitalization of the Fund’s processes, aimed at making it paperless.
On the investment side, the UNGA approved the use of exchange-traded futures, swaps, and foreign exchange forwards on a trial basis for two years, which will further strengthen risk management and efficiency and help the Office of Investment Management (OIM) lower the transaction costs and hedge risks while implementing various investment strategies. The General Assembly also approved securities lending programmes and the ability to enter into repurchase transactions.
On governance, the UNGA noted that the key focus of the ongoing review should be focused on the size, composition and frequency of meetings of the Board, in order for its members to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities in the best interest of the Fund’s participants and beneficiaries. The UNGA requested the Board to provide an update on the ongoing governance reforms to the Fifth Committee in March, following a Special Board session that will consider governance matters in February 2021.
Finally, the UNGA approved the admission of the Wassenaar Arrangement on the Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies to membership in the Fund, with effect from 1 January 2021.