New York

03 June 2014

Secretary-General's message to the Association of Former International Civil Servants (AFICS)

I am pleased to convey my warm greetings to this annual Assembly of the Association of Former International Civil Servants.  For more than 40 years, AFICS has played a vital role in advising former civil servants and representing their interests in the United Nations system.

Today, we face acute challenges around the globe.  UN personnel continue to operate in high-risk areas.   I would like to pay tribute to our colleagues who have lost their lives in the service of the United Nations.  We continue to refine our security management systems to address these ever more complex threats. 

Emergency preparedness and support to survivors and families affected by malicious acts, natural disasters, emergencies and other critical incidents continue to remain a priority for the Organization. Over the last few years a number of improvements have been made, including more robust counselling services, case management and support, and an annual memorial ceremony.  

In order to better support our staff and strengthen our organization, we are making changes to the way we work.  The progressive implementation of new enterprise-wide systems such as Inspira, Umoja and IPSAS are modernizing our business processes and creating a much more standardized way of working across all duty stations.  The recent landmark adoption of a new managed mobility and career development framework will move us towards a more structured and strategic approach to staffing global operations. 

A new post has also been established at the ASG-level, the Representative of the Secretary-General for Investment of the Assets of the Pension Fund. The new RSG will strengthen leadership and oversight capacity to ensure that we continue to meet the targeted long-term rate of return. 

The ICSC is conducting a comprehensive review on the compensation package. It is expected that the new package will remain attractive to talented individuals and will be modern, simplified, flexible and more attuned to the principle of pay to performance.

In addition, at the request of the General Assembly, HR-related policies of the Pension Fund are under review.  Noting the importance of protecting all our retirement incomes, we will of course tread very carefully before making any changes.

Thank you once again for your commitment to the United Nations and for your continued engagement as we build on the foundation of your important work.