STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY FIRST SECETARY, MR. JIBRAN KHAN DURRANI, PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 146: UN PENSION SYSTEM, AT THE FIFTH COMMITTEE DURING THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 10 November 2022)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on Agenda Item 146: United Nations pension system.
2. The Group of 77 and China thanks Ms. Martha Helena Lopez, Chair of the Pension Board and Ms. Rosemary McLean, Chief Executive Officer of the Pension Administration (PA) for their respective reports. The Group also thanks Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for his related report.
3. The Group acknowledges the importance of the UNJSPF as a fund that provides benefits relating to pension, death, disability and other related benefits for the staff of the United Nations and other UN organizations admitted to membership in the Fund.
In this regard, we would like to highlight the following points:
4. Our Group recognizes the improvements in the Fund's performance, as can be gleaned through the increase in the funding ratio of the Fund from 107.1% as at 31 December 2019 to 117% as at 31 December 2021. The market value of the Fund was $91.5billion as at 31 December 2021. As a result, the Fund also successfully met or exceeded its long-term investment rate of return objective of 3.5% over the past years. (Ref: Board Report and SG's, pp. 14, and 2 and 14, respectively)
5. However, our Group notes the decrease in the market value of the Fund to $79.1 billion as of 31 August 2022. In this regard, we would like to hear from the office of the Representative of the Secretary General updated information regarding this, as well as the secretariat's views and recommendation to help mitigate the risks of current market volatility.
6. Our Group thanks the work of the Board of Auditors and wishes the Pension Board and Administration to continue the implementation of the recommendations of the Board of Auditors.
7. On Governance matters, and in particular to the proposal of the Board to approve the Amendment to Article 1 of the Pension Fund's Regulations, our Group looks forward to the discussions regarding this proposed amendment and its possible implications on the Fund's beneficiaries and members.
8. Still on Governance, our Group acknowledges the importance of the establishment and the role of the Budget Committee, as well as its contribution for an enhanced oversight of the resource requirements in the light of the operational needs and budgetary accuracy of the Pension Fund.
9. We also call on the Pension Fund to continue with its efforts to ensure equitable geographical representation and gender balance in appointments and nominations to various posts of the Pension Fund and at all levels.
10. Regarding the conversion of General Temporary Assistance (GTA) positions to posts, our Group agrees that it should be fully justified in view of the expected efficiencies. Our Group hopes to receive the updated information of the first phase conversion, in particular, whether the efficiency and effectiveness have improved or not, and we look forward to discussing the new phase of conversion.
11. Finally, the Group continues to encourage the Secretary General and the Office of the Investment Committee to constantly exercise the fiduciary responsibility over the Fund's assets and their investments, taking into consideration the four main criteria of safety, profitability, liquidity and convertibility. We also support further diversification of the Fund's investments in developing countries and countries in transition. That said, we hope to get updated information on the investments of the Fund by country and regions, as well as by types of assets.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.