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List 2024 of former officials who died

Category : Message 71 en , News

In memoriam:

Personnes décédées: informations transmises par le BIT depuis janvier 2024

Le Bureau de la Section des Anciens du BIT adresse ses condoléances aux familles des personnes décédées.

Information communicated by the Office since January 2024

The Bureau of the Section of Former Officials of the ILO extends its sincere condolences to the bereaved families.

M. BERNAZ Bertand 08/03/2024
M. BEROUTI Lucien Jean 12/12/2023
Mme BERSIER Marie-Jeanne 07/03/2024
M. CHENG Ty 07/04/2024
Mme CHIORINO Paola 05/01/2024
Mme DJOKITCH Christine 21/02/2024
Mme DUMONT Monica 04/12/2023
Mme Vve FAVERO Andrée 31/01/2024
Mme Vve GARRIGUE Marguerite Paulette 25/01/2024
Mme Vve HOSKINS Irène 15/10/2023
M. IBRAHIMA Zakari 12/10/2023
Mme MARTE Frieda S. 14/03/2024
Mme Vve MARTINEZ Pasqualina 03/02/2024
Mme MARTINEZ Pascalina 03/02/2024
M. NECK Philip Arthur 01/12/2023
Mme OTTERSGARD Britta 02/01/2024
Mme PANKERT Hélène 22/10/2023
Mme PLAVEC Claire 22/04/2024
M. SANCHEZ-VENTURA Rafael 24/12/2023
M. SHAHI Bekha N. 19/12/2024
M. SPERLING Jan Bodo 26/01/2024
Mme TEWS Katja 04/05/2024
Mme Vve VASCONEZ DE MALO Cecilia Carmen 08/12/2023
M. WILHELM Claude 28/01/2024


The new Bureau 2024-2025 Board of the Section of ILO former Officials

Category : Message 71 en

After several complicated years, generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and during which the Section operated with a reduced Board and without being able to hold proper elections, the return to normality is very welcome.

Proper elections have been held and we are pleased to introduce the new members elected for the 2024-2025 term of office.

  • Alejandro Bonilla Garcia
  • Catherine Comte-Tiberghien
  • Abdoulaye Diallo
  • François Kientzler
  • Simar Proust
  • Jean-Francois Santarelli
  • Pierre Sayour
  • Cherry Thompson-Senior
  • Peter Wichmand

The Board met for the first time on Tuesday 16 January to allocate the following executive functions:

  • Executive Secretary: François Kientzler
  • Deputy Executive Secretaries : Catherine Comte-Tiberghien, Abdoulaye Diallo
  • Treasurer: Peter Wichmand
  • Deputy Treasurer : Cherry Thompson Senior
  • Secretary: Simar Proust
  • Honorary Board member (not elected): Ivan Elsmark

For more information on the various responsibilities of Bureau members, click here:

Bureau members

From left to right: P.Sayour, S. Proust ,F.Kientzler, C. Comte-Tiberghien, S. Deboos( President of the union), A. Diallo, J-F. Santarelli, C. Thomson- Senior, P. Wichmand, A. Bonilla Garcia, I. Elsmark



Category : News

Extract from the letter received on March 12, 2024, following our letter to Mr. Hao Bin, Deputy Director in charge of Internal Services and the meeting with Ms. Danielle Guiho, Director of Human Resources on February 20 of a delegation from the Bureau of the Section.

Please take good note of it and kindly comply with these instructions.

“With regard to the policy for managing access to the ILO’s Geneva headquarters and field offices for the persons mentioned above, please take note of the following provisions:

  1. Retired ILO colleagues with badges may enter the building without further formalities. Those who do not have a badge must go to the Accreditation Office to obtain a << courtesy retired badge >> in accordance with the usual procedure.
  2. Retired colleagues from other International Agencies and Organisations who are in possession of an access badge with a photo of their Organisation will be granted access on a reciprocal basis, as was the case before the pandemic.
  3. Recognised dependants of ILO pensioners will also be granted access to the building on presentation of their CAPS card and an identity document at the R2 North reception desk, and will then receive a visitor’s badge for the duration of their visit.
  4. If you would like to drop off CAPS documents, please note that there is a letterbox in the PI car park for this purpose. Although pensioners and recognised dependants have access to the building, we recommend that you make an appointment in advance for any consultations with CAPS colleagues.
  5. Dependents of retirees from other International Agencies or Organizations will only be granted access to the building upon invitation by an ILO staff member in accordance with visitor access procedures. All requests for visitor access must be sent at least 24 hours in advance by an ILO Geneva staff member to For visits involving more than five people and/or more than five days, a request for a meeting badge must be sent to at least five working days in advance.
  6. We would be grateful if you could advise your members, for their comfort and in order to give priority to our constituents, to avoid visits to the building during busy periods such as the Governing Body, the International Labour Conference and sectoral meetings.
  7. As regards access to ILO field offices, access procedures defined in advance by UNDSS for each country and adapted to the level of risk are often applied, particularly if the ILO shares offices with other UN agencies. Retired colleagues can always contact the relevant ILO field office to obtain an access badge if this is the case in the country, or to find out about the access procedure in force”.

Extract from the letter received from the Director of Human Resources on 12 March 2024.


Category : News

A delegation from Our Section met with Ms Guiho, Director of Human Resources, ILO, at her office at headquarters on Tuesday 20 February at 4pm.

The delegation consisted of the following members: François Kientzler, Executive Secretary; Catherine Comte-Tiberghien, Deputy Executive Secretary; Abdoulaye Diallo, Deputy Executive Secretary; Simar Proust, Secretary; Peter Wichmand, Treasurer.

At the begining of the meeting, the members of the delegation quickly introduced themselves individually. François Kientzler then presented the Section and its activities, highlighting the following aspects:

– The Section was set up some forty years ago, and is part of the ILO Staff Union under Annex IV of the Union’s Statutes.

– The Section provides a social link between former and working staff and its mission is to strengthen these links, to inform, to communicate and to respond to the specific requests of former staff by various means, such as e-mail, post and many others.

– Every year, the Section publishes a magazine called “Message”, which is sent by post to all retirees, whether or not they are members of the Section.

– A website, hosted outside the ILO, strengthens the Section’s communication, disseminates information of interest to members (800 retirees) and ensures a lively link with the ILO.

The Section organises one meeting a year on issues of interest to both working and retired members. For example, the most recent meeting dealt with two key subjects: the health fund and the latest developments in this area, and the digital certificate to facilitate pensioner access to pensions.

The meeting planned for this year could take place around Senior Citizens’ Day on 1 October, and activities are being considered to highlight the importance of intergenerational links.

With regard to the annual retirees’ reception organised by the Administration, the Section expressed the strong wish that it be held on a date that would allow the Director General to be present among the retirees.

François also highlighted the work of the Section with other associations of retirees from the UN system, such as AAFI-AFICS, whose Board has representatives at FAFICS, the only association entitled to have a seat in New York.

The Section also runs an Arts Circle, which organises exhibitions in the Colonnades area of the head office.

As for the Section’s areas of interest, François mentions health and welfare issues, the CAPS, whose Management Committee has a balance between active and retired members. He also mentioned the UN Pension Fund, on whose Secretariat the Section have  an observer status.

François then raised a number of specific points for discussion with the Director:

– Access to the ILO and access to ILO buildings for retirees in the field. He expressed the wish that a badge be given to each ILO retiree.

– He also expressed the wish that the organisation of the pre-retirement seminar be revisited in order to reach a wider audience.

– Finally, François expressed the Section’s willingness to work with the Administration to ensure that the culture and history of the ILO are maintained and passed on.

After this presentation, Ms Guiho welcomed the members of the Section and expressed her interest in the activities carried out by the Section and the importance of the links between active and former members.

In response to the request concerning badges, Ms Guiho promised to look into the matter in all its aspects.

With regard to the pre-retirement seminar, she pointed out that the seminar documents were placed jointly (UNOG/ILO) on the website for consultation, three weeks before the seminar took place, and considered that this organisational model remained valid.

She suggested that a brochure on the Alumni Section be prepared and distributed with the documents to future retirees.

She also said that she was very interested in the idea of retirees being prepared to work together to maintain the culture and history of the ILO among working people, particularly young working people.

She found the idea of an intergenerational workshop/exchange very interesting and promised to look into the matter with her team with a view to organising an event along these lines.

After this rich and promising exchange, the meeting came to an end and the representatives of the Alumni Section left the office of the Director of Human Resources, with a view to keeping in touch to follow up on issues of interest.


Category : News

On Friday 16 January 2024, the Section of the ILO Former Officials took the opportunity of the General Assembly (1st session) of the ILO Staff Union, to meet the elected titulars of the regions and the Turin Centre.

As you know, the Section welcomes all retired ILO officials, whether they worked at headquarters or in the field, as members in exchange for a small membership fee (Membership form). The Section has around 800 members, most of whom are based in Geneva or Europe.

As we are keen to encourage our former colleagues in the regions to become members in order to benefit, even from afar, from all the services and support offered by the Section, it was important for the Section to meet with the regional  titulars in order to take stock with them of the situation of ILO retirees in their respective regions and to discuss more specific current problems.

First of all, the Section wanted to review with them whether or not access to ILO premises in the various countries was being facilitated for retirees.   In this respect, the Section would like to see all ILO retirees treated equally as regards access to ILO premises. The Section is in talks with the administration to ensure that, as is the case at Headquarters in Geneva, all retirees can, at their request, obtain a specific badge (courtesy retiree) to access to the ILO premises.

The Section also wanted to know the nature and quantity of the ILO’s network of associations of retirees throughout the world (official or unofficial) in order to list them and include them on its website, so as to encourage new retirees to get in touch with them.

The Section also wishes to inform its retired members in the various countries that, in the absence of specific ILO groups, they have the possibility of joining Associations of the United Nations System generally known as AFICS and of which the umbrella Federation, FAFICS, maintains an up-to-date list on its site. (FAFICS_Member_Associations_E)

The Section will also be taking advantage of the redesign of its website to expand the information on the regions, but to do this, it also needs contacts on the ground who are willing to provide this information. We are therefore counting on all our members in the regions to ensure that the activities of ILO retirees around the world are better represented.

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The new Bureau 2024-2026 of the Section of ILO former Officials

Category : News

After several complicated years, generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and during which the Section operated with a reduced Board and without being able to hold proper elections, the return to normality is very welcome.

Proper elections have been held and we are pleased to introduce the new members elected for the 2024-2026 term of office:

  • Alejandro Bonilla Garcia
  • Catherine Comte-Tiberghien
  • Abdoulaye Diallo
  • François Kientzler
  • Simar Proust
  • Jean-Francois Santarelli
  • Pierre Sayour
  • Cherry Thompson-Senior
  • Peter Wichmand

The Board met for the first time on Tuesday 16 January to allocate the following executive functions:

Executive Secretary : François Kientzler
Deputy Executive Secretaries : Catherine Comte-Tiberghien, Abdoulaye Diallo
Treasurer : Peter Wichmand
Deputy Treasurer : Cherry Thompson Senior
Secretary : Simar Proust
Honorary Board member (not elected) : Ivan Elsmark

For more information on the various responsibilities of Bureau members, click here:



From left to right: P. Sayour, S. Proust ,F. Kientzler, C. Comte-Tiberghien, S. Deboos (President of the union), A. Diallo, J-F. Santarelli, C. Thomson- Senior, P. Wichmand, A. Bonilla Garcia, I. Elsmark

Activities report 2022-23

Category : Message 70 en

Former Officials’ Section
Executive Secretary: François Kientzler
Activities report 2022-23

The end of the COVID pandemic in the summer of 2022 resulted in the return of the members of the Board of the Former Officials Section to ILO premises. This facilitated the resumption of contacts with active staff and, above all, with the Staff Union’s Committee, Chairperson and secretariat.

Continuing the activities of the members of the Board

The Former Officials Section was absent from the ILO for two and a half years due because of COVID. Since its return in September 2022, it has met regularly once a month.  The Board has been expanded to include young retirees, but there are still vacancies; we can have up to ten members.  Elections to the Board are scheduled before the end of 2023. The process is underway.

Impact of COVID on secretarial work

We had our own way of working before the pandemic, and we were surprised to find that while we were away from the ILO, new applications and practices had been put in place. When we returned to the office, nothing worked, neither computers nor printers. We had to call in the IT technicians and the Staff Union secretaries to bring us up to date. We now have two laptops like other members of staff, so we can work from home.

Our means of communication and information

Fortunately, in 2016 we chose to host our website outside the ILO. This decision enabled us to keep control of it and our webmaster to feed it at our request; the website receives hundreds of visitors every month. We continue to publish our “Message” magazine, which is especially welcome among those who don’t use the Internet. We respond to individual requests and maintain our contacts with the Staff Union, HRD, the Staff Health Insurance Fund and other Common System retiree organizations, notably AAFI-AFICS, where three of our colleagues represent us on the Committee.

SHIF Centenary and Retirees’ Reception: 8 December 2022

The Centenary of the SHIF was well attended by retirees. On the same day, retirees from the Geneva area were invited by the ILO Administration to the autumn reception. It was an eagerly awaited event: the last reception had been held in December 2019. Over 200 people registered for this friendly cocktail party, which also welcomed participants from the SHIF Centenary AGM that had just been held.

Meeting of the Section Bureau with Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director-General of the ILO on 8 April 2023

This was an opportunity for the Board of the Former Officials’ Section to meet the new DG, to explain the objectives and raison d’être of the Section, and to listen to his objectives for the ILO. He expressed his concern at seeing economic progress take precedence over social progress, and is showing his determination to work to ensure that social issues, like climate change, are at the heart of the global debate.

Information meeting on 25 May 2023

This meeting, organized by the Board of the Section, was held in person and by video-conference. The first part focused on the digital certificate of pension entitlement. In order to simplify and speed up the Certificate of Entitlement (CE) process, an alternative to the CE form has been created: the Digital Certificate of Entitlement (DCE). The paper form can still be used, and the document sent electronically.

The second part of the meeting focused on developments at the SHIF. A dedicated Call Center now handles telephone calls. A satisfaction survey was carried out among policyholders. While 62% of active policyholders are satisfied with the SHIF, this rate rises to over 85% among retirees.

Our immediate concerns

One of our concerns is the lack of access to the external offices in the field, for our retirees living in the regions. If this is possible in Geneva, it must also be possible everywhere else. We have just learned that the ILO has embarked on a policy of restricting access to the building for retirees from other organizations. We are surprised by such a decision, and intend to take action with the representatives of retirees from other organizations to return to the situation of the past.  What’s more, ILO retirees have access to the other organizations, so it’s only normal that reciprocity should remain. After all, isn’t the ILO everyone’s home, and particularly that of workers, whether active or retired?


Event organized in Geneva and on Zoom on the theme of «Intergenerational Dialogue 2023»

Category : News

Greycells and its partners are organizing an event in Geneva on 7 December, 5 pm at Palais Eynard on the theme of «Intergenerational Dialogue 2023», an initiative that highlights the rights of older people as pillars of human rights.

Download the PDF of the invitation


Message by the UN Secretary General António Guterres. International Day of Older Persons 1st October 2023

Category : Message 70 en

“This year’s International Day of Older Persons coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

To realize the promise of the Declaration, we must do more to protect the dignity and rights of older persons everywhere.

Challenges abound. Ageism is rampant in societies. From the COVID-19 pandemic to poverty and climate emergencies, older persons are often among the first victims of crises.

Addressing these and other issues is a human rights imperative that will benefit everyone.

Older persons are invaluable sources of knowledge and experience and have much to contribute towards peace, sustainable development, and protecting our planet.

We must ensure their active engagement, full participation, and essential contributions – including through social and workplace policies built around their specific needs.

We must promote lifelong learning, quality healthcare, and digital inclusion.
And we must foster intergenerational dialogue and unity.

Together, let us build more inclusive and age-friendly societies and a more resilient world for all”.

The UN International Day of Older Persons has the following objectives:

  • “To increase global knowledge and awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and generate commitments among all stakeholders to strengthen the protection of the human rights of current and future generations of older persons around the world;
  • “To share and learn from intergenerational models for the protection of human rights around the world;
  • “To call on Governments and UN entities to review their current practices with a view to better integrate a life course approach to human rights in their work, and to ensure the active and meaningful participation of all stakeholders, including civil society, national human rights institutions and older persons themselves, in the work on strengthening solidarity among generations and intergenerational partnerships”.

The ILO has specifically addressed the particular situation of older workers (usually taken to be those aged 50 and above) as long ago as 1980, in the Older Workers Recommendation, No. 162. This offers a constructive framework for decent and productive conditions of work for older workers who choose or need to have paid employment.

Today, the percentage of people over the age of 65 represents 18.6% worldwide, 21.1% for the EU, 22.1% for the United Kingdom, 21.7% for France, 23.3% for Finland.

By 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 60 years or over. At this time, the share of the population aged 60 years and over will increase from 1 billion in 2020 to 1.4 billion. By 2050, the world’s population of people aged 60 years and older will double (2.1 bil-lion). The number of persons aged 80 years or older is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050 to reach 426 million.

(Sources UN, ILO and WHO)