FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF FORMER INTERNATIONAL CIVIL SERVANTS
What is FAFICS?
FAFICS is a Federation of Associations of Former International Civil Servants. It was founded in 1975 by three associations of former international civil servants, located in Geneva, New York and Rome. Over the years many other associations of former UN system officials have joined the Federation. At its 47th Council session, held in Rome from 20-25 July 2018, with the admission of associations in Madagascar and Mauritania, the total membership reached 63 associations with over 18’500 members, located in all regions of the world.
FAFICS member associations are listed by location and contact information about each one can be found in Annex I of the Annual Letter of the Chief Executive Officer, which is circulated to participants and beneficiaries each year during the month of January (a copy can be found on the Pension Fund’s website on www.unjspf.org, click on Annual Letter).
Other associations of former international staff, including former local staff, may apply for membership and have their applications reviewed by the 48th FAFICS Council, which is scheduled to be held, in July 2019.
The Council and the Officers
The Federation has its seat in Geneva and a liaison office in New York. FAFICS is governed by a Council on which all member associations are represented. The Council meets annually.
The bureau of the Federation is composed of a President, seven Vice-Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer, elected for one year by the Council. The 47th session of the Council, held in July 2018, elected the following officers:
President: Marco Breschi,
Vice-Presidents: Abu Khaled Masood Ahmed, Jerry Barton, Katia Chestopalov, Mario La Fuente, Ari Toubo Ibrahim, Junko Sato, Carlos Santos Tejada
Secretary: Pierre Sayour
Treasurer: Wolfgang Milzow
Five former Presidents of FAFICS, Aamir Ali, Andres Castellanos, Roger Eggleston, George Saddler, Linda Saputelli and Witold Zyss are Presidents emeriti. The 37th FAFICS Council awarded Former Vice-President Aurelio Marcucci the title of Vice-President emeritus. The Council has also bestowed the title of Vice-President emeritus on Federation’s former Vice-President Eduardo Albertal of Brazil. At the 39th session of the FAFICS Council, the retiring Secretary (late) Anders Tholle, was designated Honorary Secretary and at the 41st session of the FAFICS Council, Lydia Ontal was designated Honorary Assistant Secretary. At the 47th session of the FAFICS Council, the retiring Secretary Jayaraman Sundaresan, was designated Secretary Emeritus.
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of the Federation shall be to bring together Member Associations of former international civil servants and provide a framework for their activities. In so doing, the Federation will:
(a) support and promote the purposes, principles, programmes and achievements of the United Nations system;
(b) promote and defend the interests of the community of former international civil servants;
(c) maintain and develop solidarity and close contact between and among Member Associations;
(d) represent the community of former international civil servants on appropriate organs of the United Nations system and in particular retirees and beneficiaries of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund;
(e) promote exchanges and coordination with federations of staff members in service and cooperate with other associations and organizations as appropriate;
(f) support and coordinate the activities of Member Associations, particularly in matters of pensions and health protection.
Relations with the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF)
FAFICS is the official representative of pensioners and beneficiaries of the UNJSPF and, as such, it attends the annual meetings of the UN Joint Staff Pension Board (UNJSPB) with a delegation composed of four representatives and two alternate representatives. FAFICS representatives have all the rights of members, except the right to vote. It can also attend meetings of the Pension Board's Standing Committee, with a smaller delegation. FAFICS maintains close contact with the Chief Executive Officer of the Pension Fund and the Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Investments and their senior staff. These officials have a half-day working session with the FAFICS Council during its annual session, in the course of which problems and concerns of the world-wide UN retiree community are brought to their attention.
Since 2011, in the Annual Letter from the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of the UNJSPF, sent to all the parties of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, including retirees and beneficiaries, the Chief Executive Officer described FAFICS and its member associations in the following terms:
"Retirees and beneficiaries should be aware of the valuable information and assistance that can be obtained from the Federation of Associations of Former International Civil Servants (FAFICS) and its member associations.”
“FAFICS’ main objective is to represent and protect the interests of its member associations, particularly on matters of pensions, health insurance and related questions. At the same time FAFICS remains ready to intervene on any other issue affecting individual and/or groups of pensioners and beneficiaries, and to also assist non-member associations, particularly on matters of pensions, health insurance and related questions. Through the experiences of their respective members, FAFICS member associations serve as knowledgeable sources of information and advice, not only on pension-related matters but also on the laws and other aspects of life in countries around the world. FAFICS members continue to act as important partners to the Pension Fund secretariat and to the member organizations, through their support and assistance. More specifically, FAFICS and its member associations provide invaluable assistance to retirees and beneficiaries in resolving problems.”
“Furthermore, particular assistance is provided by FAFICS in respect of the Fund’s important Certificate of Entitlement process. FAFICS representatives participate actively and effectively in the sessions of the Pension Board and its Standing Committee, the Audit Committee and in all Working Groups established by the Pension Board. With this in mind, you may wish to consider joining the retiree association in your area. FAFICS encourages all retirees of the UN system Organizations to join any member association of their choice, as they open to all for their benefit.”
After-Service Health Insurance
While the Federation has no representative role in the different organizational health insurances, which are available to retirees under the After-Service Health Insurance scheme, FAFICS provides for exchanges of information and develops the Federation's objectives in the FAFICS Council’s Standing Committee on After-Service Health Insurance and Long-Term Care (ASHIL). It also participates as an observer in inter-agency meetings of Human Resource Officers on Long-term Care benefits. The Federation's aim is to have these benefits incorporated in all organizational health insurance plans.
FAFICS is also a member of the Working Group on After-Service Health Insurance (ASHI) of the HCLM Finance and Budget(FB) Network, and has been involved in studies and reporting to the UN General Assembly.
Pension benefits and the Pension Adjustment System
FAFICS is constantly engaged in activities to improve and protect the interests of pensioners and beneficiaries of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund. Through its Standing Committee on Pension Issues, the FAFICS Council monitors the Pension Adjustment system and cost-of-living adjustment mechanisms and seeks improvements where this may be found necessary. It has developed and submitted proposals for the improvement of pension benefits for divorced spouses. FAFICS continues to support the just claim for payment of their UNJSPF pensions by retired UN system staffs from the former Soviet Union, the Byelorussian SSR and the Ukrainian SSR, who have been deprived by those Governments, and so far, by their successor states.
Advocacy in support of the purposes, principles, programmes and achievements of the United Nations system
FAFICS is a Non-Governmental Organization accredited to and has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Human Rights Council and the Department of Public Information. As such it participates in meetings of the two Councils and their subsidiary bodies, civic forums and in other events in support of the purposes, principles programmes and achievements of the United Nations system, where the contributions, experience and views of former international civil servants may be useful.
FAFICS also maintains Consultative Status with FICSA, the Federation of International Civil Servants.