Wednesday, July 15, 2015

AFICS on pension matters: Inconvenient truths > distortion (15 July 2015)

In her latest letter of 9 July 2015 (posted below) the AFICS President states that she’s decided to adopt a more positive tone “in the hope that [we] will reciprocate by replacing at least a part of the acrimony with a measure of understanding."

We too wish to be positive.  So no need to linger over the spectacle of the President, in her attempt at gentle persuasion, unleashing nine less-than-gentle words in rapid succession: "frustration, unfair, criticism, disappointment, insistence, distorting, mischaracterizing, allegations, acrimony" --  purportedly describing our feelings and conduct. 

Again,  no need to linger here except to note that while the President says she demurs, in a bid for more positive interaction,  with regard to refuting the allegations in our 7 July 2015 letter, it is an inconvenient truth, particularly for those of us of a certain age, that facts are no longer tucked away in hidden corners of musty filing cabinets. Nowadays, our every statement and more of our actions than we care to admit, are immortalized and poised to return to haunt us at the click of a button, whether we like it or not.

And the distortion and obfuscation of the issues continue. Today, AFICS members received an email pointing to “updates” on the AFICS website to which a quick visit confirmed that the AFICS leadership seems to continue in its determination to present its myopic view of the controversy.  

Nowhere to be found on the website are any of our letters of the past several weeks pertaining to our request under the AFICS by-laws for a meeting to discuss pension matters. Yet each of the AFICS President's responses to those missing letters are conspicuously displayed.

Not surprisingly, the FICSA’s President’s letter of 29 June 2015 in which he calls on the Secretary-General to oppose any new MOU between the Fund Secretariat and OHRM, and to strictly limit investments in hedge funds, is also missing. Do we take it that Mr. El-Tabari's views fail to square with the AFICS leadership's position, as do ours? Why else has his letter and ours not made the cut for posting on the AFICS website? 

Sadly, AFICS members and others continue to be treated to a one-sided and distorted view of the issues.  This is contrary to the principles that AFICS should uphold as an organization serving the UN retiree community, disrespectful to its membership, and a reflection of the lack of transparency and accountability that has characterized AFICS' conduct in this matter to date.

We call on the President and Governing Board members to do the right thing: show that you respect your dues-paying constituents by at the very least presenting all relevant communications on the AFICS website!

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