Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis



ICP on YouTube

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UN Pension Fund CEO Said Poised to Crush Staff Rights, Ban's UN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 3 -- The UN Pension Fund, which has resisted not only Press coverage but also accountability to its own pensioneers, is said to be poised to implement a major reduction in staff rights, according to a communication a whistleblower directed to Inner City Press on April 2, here.

   Inner City Press immediately began investigating the complaint, including a draft Secretary General's Bulletin said to be pushed by Pension Fund CEO Sergio Arvizu Trevino; now that the complaint has gone out more widely in UN labor circles, this reporting begins.

  As Inner City Press has asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople about basic labor rights and issues, they have declined comment, even as to whether Under Secretary General for Management Takasu received a copy of a letter about union busting. Most recently, Management has engaged in what many view as censorship, click here for that.

   In the interim the old Staff Union has gotten involved, stating that it is "confident that the draft is real and is currently under consideration" --

In case this draft is approved the CEO of the fund will be able to:

remove the UN contracts of over 230 pension fund staff;

appoint, promote and terminate pension board staff at will;

make exceptions to the staff rules; and much more.

Worryingly, it was the Pension Board that was supposed to formulate proposals on HR issues and present them to the General Assembly. We understand that the CEO is now pressuring the Secretary-General to sign this off before the Pension Board even meets, thus making it a fait accompli. This would contradict the wishes of the General Assembly.

The staff of the fund manage $45 billion - your $45 billion. They rightly work in a diligent and independent manner, which is essential - it's your retirement income at stake.

We are aware of strange management practices at the Pension Fund for a while. Staff members there work under one of two types of contracts: a regular UN contract or a contract limited to service in the Pension Fund. If this draft goes forward, the Fund's CEO will have absolute power over his staff and we will have very little oversight on the way our pension fund is managed.

  The whistleblower's summary points at CEO Sergio Arvizu Trevino and his deputy Paul Dooley. Back in July 2013 when the UN Pension Fund was poised to designate a new deputy director, sources told Inner City Press that first among the three finalists was an individual previously recommended for discipline by the Office of Internal Oversight Service, Paul Dooley.

   Inner City Press, contacted by whistleblowers inside the Pension Fund, previously dug into a lack of accountability there. It obtained and reported on OIOS' "Investigation of conflict of interest, favoritism and mismanagement at the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund" describing how through the Pension Fund's Paul Dooley, millions of dollars in contacts were given to a company called Sprig, Ltd, run by Gerald Bodell, who was previously Dooley's supervisor at Guardian Mortgage Corporation.

  Recommendations 1 and 2 of the OIOS investigative report directed that "appropriate action be taken” regarding Dooley as well as Dulcie Bull.

Previous chief Bernard G. Cocheme refused to implement the recommendation for discipline. Farhan Haq, then as now a UN spokesperson, confirmed to Inner City Press Cocheme's decision not to discipline:

Subj: Your question on OIOS and the Pension Fund
From: Farhan Haq [at]
To: Inner City Press

In March 2006, the OIOS completed an investigation into allegations of possible conflict of interest, favoritism and mismanagement at the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. Based upon the evidence adduced, OIOS concluded that several staff members - including two Senior UNJSPF staff - have acted improperly in connection to contracts for information technology services awarded to a consultant retained by UNJSPF.

OIOS issued several recommendations in this case, including that UNJSPF management take appropriate action against its two staff. The Chief Executive Officer of UNJSPF informed OIOS that he disagrees with the findings and recommendations of the report of investigation - as regards the actions of his staff - and advised that he "intends to take no action" with regard to them. OIOS advised him that pursuant to its mandate, it will report his response to the General Assembly.

That was one thing. But to now promote the individual to deputy chief? As one Pension Fund source put it to Inner City Press, there is less and less accountability in the UN, the more and more they talk about it elsewhere.

  Back then, the UN fought back against Inner City Press' reports by a spurious Security complaint how Inner City Press went to the Pension Fund to cover a meeting. This was repeated last year when Inner City Press covered meetings of Herve Ladsous' Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations including a Sri Lankan military figure depicted in the UN's own reports as engaged in war crimes.

In 2013, the UN threatened to suspend or withdraw Inner City Press' accreditation for merely hanging a sign of the new Free UN Coalition for Access, which it co-founded to oppose the earlier type of attacks, against any journalist. Labor rights, free press without favoritism or censorship - what is Ban's UN coming to? Watch this site.


Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]