Articles: News


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

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


The annual reception for retirees of September 28, 2023, at ILO Headquarters in Geneva

Category : News

On September 28, 2023, the annual reception for retirees was held at ILO Headquarters in Geneva. No less than 150 people attended this festive event, which is always eagerly awaited and very well organized by HRD (special thanks to Fiona). Indeed, it’s a great opportunity for our members to catch up with old colleagues with whom they’ve worked, to meet the new faces at the helm of the organization, and to catch up on the latest activities of the Section of ILO Former officials.

This year, in the unfortunate absence of the new Director General, Gilbert Houngbo, the administration had sent to replace him its new Deputy Director General, Céleste Drake, its Deputy Director in charge of Internal Services, Hao Bin, and its brand new Director of Human Resources, Danielle Guiho. As usual, the President of the Syndicat, Séverine Deboos, was also present.

Ms. Céleste Drake spoke on behalf of the DG, briefly outlining the organization’s main new activities and objectives underway, and ended her speech by emphasizing the value represented by the former employees, and the fact that the organization’s successes also rested on them. She encouraged greater exchange between them and the organization’s current staff.

Mr. François Kientzler, Executive Secretary of the Alumni Section, welcomed members and gave a brief account of the Section’s activities this year, including the Bureau’s meeting with the DG, and the relaunch of activities after COVID. He spoke of the recurring difficulty for retirees in many field offices to gain access to ILO premises, particularly those nested within the UN buildings. Conversely, at ILO Headquarters in Geneva, new arrangements recently put in place by the security service now seem to prohibit access by retirees from other UN organizations. The Section hopes that reciprocity will be maintained, for as F. Kientzler reminded us, “isn’t the ILO, after all, everyone’s home?

After the official part, as usual, everybody enjoyed the reception in good spirits, making new contacts, recalling fond memories of their workplace and promising to meet again next year.

The photos:

List 2023 of former officials who died

Category : Message 70 en , News

In memoriam:

Personnes décédées: informations transmises par le BIT depuis janvier 2023

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

Information communicated by the Office since January 2023

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

M. AGARWAL Sutya Prakarsh 15/03/2023
Mme Vve ALLEN Jacqueline 23/03/2023
M. ARAUJO PONCIAN Eduardo 01/06/2023
Mme Vve BASTARD Ciria Elba 02/12/2021
M. BEAUD  Michel 10/02/2023
M. BERROD Daniel 08/07/2023
Mme BILLSON Betty 10/02/2023
Mme BINGELLI Renée 23/02/2023
Mme CHAILLEUX Jeannine 28/04/2023
M. CICERON Gaston 07/07/2023
M. CICHON Michael 30/12/2022
Mme CLARKE Anne Barbara 10/02/2022
M. COCHET Bernard 08/03/2023
Mme COMTE Eliane 24/04/2023
Mme Vve CUMMINGS Monica 11/12/2022
M. DANESI Franco 22/12/2022
M. DIOT Bernard 07/01/2023
M. DJEUFA Jean 04/12/2022
M. ECHEVARRIA Luis Mario 20/06/2023
M. ERBUKE Ayan 14/11/2022
M. FAZZIO Joseph Ciro 09/07/2023
Mme FISHER Susan Margaret 15/01/2023
Mme FRASER Eliza Alison 01/06/2023
M. GHOSE Ajit Kumar 19/01/2023
M. GODONOU DOSSOU Jean 21/06/2023
Mme Vve GUERRA DA SILVA Norma 04/04/2023
M. GUGLIELMOTTO Giulio 20/04/2023
Mme Vve GUNTER Helga 14/02/2023
M. HAISE Bekele 13/02/2023
M. HEFFNER Guy 10/02/2023
M. KABAI Mieczslaw 01/04/2023
Mme KRETHLOW Thea 21/03/2023
Mme LILO Arthurleen J. 21/04/2023
Mme LOVATTI Donatella 12/06/2023
M. MARTINEZ Antonio 13/12/2022
M. McGILLIVRAY Warren 11/04/2023
Mme Vve NETTO DOS REYS DE BRITO Graziella 12/02/2023
Mme Vve PARMEGGIANI Renata 17/02/2023
M. PILLET Lucien 05/07/2023
Mme POSS Elisabeth 22/12/2022
Mme Vve RICHARD Anne-Marie 09/03/2023
Mme ROBERTS Margaret 07/01/2023
Mme ROCHAT Suzanne 15/01/2023
Mme Vve STRAWSON Jeanine 16/02/2023
Mme STRIFFLER Jean  Mary 05/06/2022
M. TARUD Ricardo 08/07/2023
Mme Vve THEOCHARIDES Nina 08/01/2023
M. TORNARE Gilbert 25/03/2023
M. VON ROHLAND Hans-Friedrich 10/04/2023
Mme Vve VOUGHT Brigitte 17/01/2023
Mme VULLIOUD Muguette 28/06/2023
Mme WYNN Sandra S. Alameddine 12/07/2023



Minutes of the May 25, 2023 Information Meeting on the Digital Certificate of Pension Entitlement and SHIF Developments

Category : News

The meeting was hosted by François Kientzler, Executive Secretary of the Former Officials Section, and Catherine Comte-Tiberghien, Deputy Executive Secretary. Opening the session, the Executive Secretary welcomed speakers and participants, noting that this was the first time the Section had ever organized a hybrid meeting, combining attendance in person with a videoconference. The number of participants was a big unknown, as there was no requirement to register. But retired officials had turned out in force.

[Vous pouvez télécharger le document en format PDF]

Presentation of Digital Certificate of Entitlement

Mr Aliamane Bacar Saïd, Chief of the Operations Support Section of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (New York, by videoconference), assisted by Mr Abdoul-Wali Mahdi, Section Deputy (Geneva Office)

During his presentation, Abdoul-Wali outlined the aims and benefits of the Certificate of Entitlement (CE) and then explained in detail the process of installing the app on a smartphone or iPad. (The presentation is posted on the Former Officials Section website: Abdoul-Wali said he would stay after the meeting to help retired staff install the application software on their phones.

To simplify and speed up the entitlement certification process and provide an improved customer experience, the Fund – in partnership with the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC) – has created an alternative to the paper-based CE form used up to now: the Digital Certificate of Entitlement (DCE).

The DCE provides an additional means of submitting your “proof-of-life” certificate. It is optional: paper CEs will continue to be sent out to those who do not issue a DCE. The DCE app can verify and guarantee the identity of retirees/beneficiaries, as well as their location, via biometrics, storing key elements (non-personal data) of the transactions on an immutable and independently auditable digital ledger (using blockchain technologies). With this app, retirees and beneficiaries now have the option to complete the annual Certificate of Entitlement by providing their proof of life in biometric format.

The security of the DCE has been tested and validated by an independent body and has obtained ISO27001 certification. The biometric data used by the app is captured and stored only on the user’s device. No information is stored in the cloud. In addition, the digital CE infrastructure is hosted by the UNICC and protected by the relevant and applicable privileges and immunities.

Participants’ questions

Mr Abdoul-Wali Mahdi’s presentation prompted many questions from the floor, which he answered in conjunction with Mr Aliamane Bacar Saïd in New York. For example, biometric facial recognition can only be done if you have an Apple device with iOS version 11 or later or an Android phone running at least operating system version 7.0; creating your identification is relatively quick, but it cannot be done on a computer. As with any account created on the internet, it is essential to note down and keep a safe record of your personal identification code and password.

Until now, in the event of incapacity, it has been necessary to have your state of health validated by a doctor and your home address confirmed by the local authorities. Facial biometrics enables immediate validation through recognition of the beneficiary’s face. The photo is updated every year, which means that the way the person’s face alters can be tracked throughout the ageing process. After the beneficiary’s death, the widow or widower entitled to the pension will in turn be able to use biometric facial recognition or revert to the paper-based process.

If you forget to validate at the beginning of the year, the UNJSPF will send a reminder in hard-copy format. Paper application forms will continue to be sent out, though the aim is to limit their use. To date, around 20,000 out of a total of 62,000 pensioners are using the app (900 out of 2,400 ILO retirees); the Pension Fund’s objective is to reach 50 per cent. Even by phone, it is important to send the update from your country of residence, as the app will geolocate the place it is sent from. The same applies if you send your proof of life by letter: it must be posted from the country where you have elected to live. The certificate can also be sent by email or from the UNJSPF’s Member Self-Service (MSS) portal. Please note that the Fund sends out several reminders if you forget or omit to send it.

Presentation of the latest developments in the Staff Health Insurance Fund (SHIF)

Florian Léger, Executive Secretary

Florian Léger began by giving some figures about the SHIF (also available on the Section’s website). These include the fact that 13,000 people are insured, $50 million is spent each year on benefits, 80 per cent of claims are submitted online and the average time taken to process a claim in 2022 was 18 days. The distribution of insured members is also interesting: 5,800 live in Europe, 3,100 in Asia-Pacific, 2,500 in Africa and 1,100 in the Americas. The SHIF’s centenary in 2022 was marked by a publication entitled One hundred years of mutual health insurance, available in paper and electronic versions.

In response both to past recurring difficulties in contacting the SHIF by phone and to the demand from insured members, a dedicated call centre has now been put in place. Since the Fund is regarded as a compulsory Swiss health insurance scheme, a certificate of membership can be obtained via SHIF Online or from the SHIF secretariat, a document that is sometimes requested by the local authorities. The SHIF membership card currently in use mentions the emergency number that can be called outside office hours, as well as the number of the call centre.

A satisfaction survey was carried out among insured members. While 62 per cent of active staff members are satisfied with the SHIF, this rate rises to over 85 per cent among retired staff. Very few retired staff are dissatisfied: less than 5 per cent, compared with almost 20 per cent of active staff. An actuarial study of the financial situation is carried out on a regular basis; this enables the Fund to make projections to ensure its long-term future, though it may require adjustments to contributions. In 2020 the SHIF saw its Guarantee Fund grow; this was likely due to the reduced use of medical procedures during the Covid-19 pandemic, but in 2021 and 2022 the Guarantee Fund decreased. Other reasons linked to the cost of medicines and changes in exchange rates may also explain these fluctuations.

To conclude his presentation, Florian Léger mentioned that the SHIF Management Committee was looking into possible amendments to benefit regulations, the introduction of telemedicine and the use of SHIF Online for complementary health insurance claims.

Participants’ questions

Following his presentation on the situation of the ILO health fund, Florian Léger answered questions from participants and recalled, among other things, that more than 1,000 out of 2,400 retirees were now using the internet (SHIF Online) to submit claims for reimbursement of medical expenses. These claims can be made using a mobile phone, and photos of invoices are accepted. He reminded participants that it is compulsory to keep the original paper invoices for five years. In this regard, a participant pointed out that originals now often only exist in electronic format. Concerning the SHIF Online site, improvements could be made, particularly with regard to the “Prescription” dropdown box heading, since in very few cases does this give rise to reimbursement as such. For those who use the SHIF as a supplementary scheme, only paper claims are accepted at present. All paper claims can continue to be submitted to the SHIF. A comment was made by a participant concerning the agreements signed with various hospitals in the region for the direct payment of hospital costs; there are difficulties with their application.

Retired staff contributions have increased over the past two years, owing to inflation rates, changes in exchange rates and the value of the dollar, as well as pension increases. Any change in the amount of pension contribution applies from December onwards; it is then fixed for one year.

Florian Léger pointed out that the call centre’s opening hours were extensive so as to respond to telephone enquiries. He also mentioned the survey ordered by the UN Joint Inspection Unit, which is currently under way; all participants in the health funds of common system organizations are invited to respond. The aim of the survey is to take a closer look at these funds and establish how satisfied users are. The last such survey was conducted in 2007.

Closing session and practical exercise

François Kientzler closed the afternoon by thanking the speakers as well as the technical staff who had made the session possible, both in person and via videoconference. He discussed the activities of the ILO Former Officials Section, and in particular the contribution needed from everyone to keep the Section going, either by serving on the Bureau – elections for which will be held at the end of the year – or by contributing articles to Message magazine.

Mr Abdoul-Wali Mahdi made himself available at the end of the session to help those who wished to install the Digital Certificate of Entitlement app straight away. A large number of participants gathered around him to ask for help installing it on their smartphones or iPads; we would like to thank him warmly for his assistance. And we encourage everyone to take advantage of this technology to validate their proof-of-life certificate.

FK, 9 June 2023

Caregivers – Documents

Category : News

We have just received a complete package for “Caregivers”:

Click on the image to download the document in PDF format



Attention Retirees and Beneficiaries: Cost of Living Adjustment for the US Dollar Channel in April 2023

Category : News

As of March 1, 2023, the Fund Secretariat has informed that the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) system for pensions will be changed effective April 1, 2023.  This adjustment is made in accordance with the Consumer Price Index as published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and will result in a 6.4% increase in the retirement benefit for colleagues who have opted for the dollar track.

As of April 1, you will be able to find all the details of your retirement benefit by accessing your personal file on the Fund’s website Member Self-Service (MSS) .

If you have opted for the two-track system, your pension amount will be adjusted by taking into account the Consumer Price Index movements in your country of residence. For more information on the two-track system, you can find all the information at