Redacteur en chef
END OF THE YEAR RECORDS
Three pieces of good news for this end of year:
21,731 people signed the petition on pensions.
Such a response has never been seen before in the
United Nations. As foreseen, the petition has been
transmitted to the chairpersons of the General
Assembly, the Fifth Committee, CCAQ as well as to
the incoming and outgoing Secretary-Generals of
the United Nations. Second record, on 1 November
2006 the Pension Fund reached an all-time
record of US$ 35,144,538,000. Finally, the person
who wanted to launch an overambitious investment
policy has left the Organization for a private
But despite this good news we should not lose sight of the fact that many problems remain. For example, the Fifth Committee is continuing to devote a lot of its time to details such as whether the Pension Fund should index its American portfolio or not!
As is often the case, these pseudo-technical discussions avoid asking the right questions which are questions of governance. For example: is it advisable that one person alone should decide how to invest $35 billion? What role should the Pension Board play in deciding which investment strategy to choose? Is it normal that the General Assembly should have the final word on pension matters? Why do the administrations have a right to vote and not the retirees? These are thorny questions,
but they need to be asked and, above all, answered. A fund of than $35 billion with more than 150,000 participants cannot be managed as it was 40 years ago when it only had 20,000 participants and a kitty of a few hundred million dollars. In Geneva they say that if a Geneva citizen has three children, the most intelligent will become a professor, the second most intelligent will become a lawyer, and the last one a banker. So dear Delegates, leave the bankers to do their job and try to raise the debate to transform the little shop of our pension fund into a modern enterprise of the 21st century.
The UN Special team wishes you all a happy holiday season!