30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1% FOR DEVELOPMENT FUND
The 1% Fund: unchanged objectives but
2006 marks the 30th anniversary of the 1%
If you have not heard about the 1% Fund,
this issue of UN Special and the following
one (January 2007) will provide you with
all the information you need and more.
The objectives of the 1% Fund remain the
same after 30 years. However, we have significantly
improved the 1% Fund management
in various ways. Our statistical database
clearly shows that these improvements
have greatly improved the success rate of the
funded projects. This is no small feat, considering
that the 1% Fund is managed by volunteers
who must also handle other professional
An urgent need to increase the 1% Fund membership: Trough our promotional activities, principally at the ILO and WTO, we hoped to increase membership. However, despite all the above improvements, the number of members has declined over the years (from 320 in 1994 to 190 in 2006). We must absolutely reverse this trend and hope that the 30th anniversary will be an occasion to attract more members. There are many good reasons for joining the 1% Fund outlined in this article. Once you have finished reading it, we hope you will not hesitate to join this initiative by filling out the pledge form contained in this issue or by contacting the 1% Fund by e-mail. Check the 1% for Development Fund Web site if you wish to get more information on the 1% Fund and use the electronic pledge form to become a member:
ABOUT THE 1% FOR EVELOPMENT 1% FUND
What is the 1% Fund?
An association of staff of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations who have chosen to allocate 1% or more of their salary to projects in developing countries and those with economies in transition. The first 1% Fund was set up in Geneva in 1976; others were established in Rome, New York, Vienna and Paris.
In Resolution 2626 (XXV) of 24 October 1970, the UN General Assembly set a target for official development aid of 0.7% of the GNP of developed countries. Frustrated at the inertia of most countries concerned (they now allocate on average 0.3% of their GNP), a small group of international civil servants decided in 1976 to start practicing what governments preached, by contributing 1% of their salary to development projects.
How does the 1% Fund provide
The Projects Committee members of the 1% Fund evaluates proposals submitted by local or national NGOs, generally groups or associations that are too small to be considered by the official development organizations. On average, 250 proposals are received per year, but only about 30 can be funded with the current resources of the 1% Fund. The projects to be supported are approved at the General Assemblies twice a year, on the basis of rankings established by the Projects Committee. A Follow-up Committee monitors the implementation of the funded projects.
What percentage of members’ contributions
is spent on administration?
Virtually none! Essentially the entire amount of members’ contributions is allocated to development projects. The 1% Fund incurs no administrative costs because it is fully managed by members on a voluntary basis and most of the minor expenses are borne out by the UN and the ILO.
MESSAGE OF SUPPORT BY THE UN
SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, indicated his full support to the objectives and work of the 1% for Development 1% Fund through a letter sent to one of the 1% Fund’s members, Claude Echard, on 4 April 2006. Furthermore, during a visit to the UN Headquarters in Geneva on 26 June 2006, the Secretary-General has kindly accepted to be photographed with three 1% Fund members: Sylvie Pichelin, Coordinator of the 1% Fund, and two members of the projects Committee, Maurice Allal and Jürgen Schwettmann. The Secretary-General congratulated the 1% Fund on the occasion of its 30th Anniversary. He stated that “the 1% Fund is a unique demonstration of the commitment that United Nations Staff have to both their personal and professional cause and endeavours”. He added: “The projects that your membership supports are the types of staff-initiated activities that I had in mind when, in my recent reform report “Investing in the United Nations”, I referred to staff who are finding ways of doing more with our cause and idealism.” The Secretary-General also shared the concern of 1% Fund members regarding its current level of membership and stated that the 1% Fund “deserves a much greater degree of support and attention, and ways should be found to convince more staff to participate” because “it sets an example not only for other staff, but to Member States as well”. He added that he hoped that, “by my voicing my support to this worthy initiative, we will be able to further strengthen your membership and scope and range of activities”.
Kofi Annan with three 1% Fund members: Maurice Allal,
Sylvie Pichelin et Jürgen Schwettmann
SEVEN GOOD REASONS FOR JOINING THE 1% FUND
- 30 years of continuous existence clearly show that the 1% Fund has established a solid record, witnessed by the long-lasting support of its members.
- The 1% Fund received the full support of Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, who underlined the fact that it sets an example for Member States to follow.
- While the maximum amount allocated per project (20,000 CHF) is relatively small compared to projects financed by UN agencies or bilateral donors, it has an enormous impact on the lives of project beneficiaries.
- By allocating 1% of your salary to the 1% Fund, you will practice what governments preach, while refusing up to now to put in practice Resolution 2626 (XXV) of 24 October 1970 specifying that developed countries should devote 0.7% of their GNP to official development aid.
- 100% of your contribution will be fully used for development projects: no administrative or other costs. The staff members of the Management Committee work as volunteers and office expenses are nil thanks to the facilities offered by the International Labour Office to the 1% Fund, after a number of years spent in a UN building.
- Although we cannot visit a sufficient number of funded projects, our statistics show that the large majority of these projects have been successfully implemented. Some members of the 1% Fund have visited, at their own expense, some of the projects.
- Finally, we have worked very hard to improve the management of the 1% Fund with a view to ensuring that members’ contributions are put to good use.
Are you convinced to join the 1% Fund? If not yet, please contact us or, better, come and see how we work and how funding decisions are taken (full contact details at the end of the article).