Spring 2016 reception

Spring reception for former officials

More than 150 former officials, many accompanied by their spouses, responded again this time to the invitation to attend a reception held in the ILO restaurant on 19 May 2016. The presence of the Director General was much appreciated by all.

In his welcoming remarks, after greeting the participants, a relaxed Guy Ryder showed himself to be an optimist in a somewhat gloomy international context. As an expression of that optimism he recalled the recent agreements reached at the Paris Climate Change Conference (December 2015), where a majority of the world’s countries committed themselves to positive steps towards reducing the pollution underlying global warming by making use of alternative energy sources. This year’s International Labour Conference, taking place over just two weeks, he said, should capitalize on these favourable circumstances to promote new approaches in the field of employment. In conclusion, the DG announced that this autumn he will be seeking a further five-year mandate from the Governing Body.

François Kientzler, Executive Secretary of the Former Officials’ Section, presented three new officers of the Section who now complete the Bureau. They are Kitty Hooton, Elizabeth Sommaro and Cherry Thompson-Senior. The Bureau will be able to take advantage of their expertise in various areas, including homepage, IT, social health protection and pensions. He then discussed the changes at the Pension Fund and announced an information meeting to be held in the ILO by the Former Officials Section on the afternoon of Wednesday 19 October. Alan Blythe, Chief of the Fund’s Geneva Office, will present the changes, which impact on access to information online. Finally he mentioned the situation at the SHIF and the very high turnout at the recent referendum, demonstrating the interest of retired staff in their Health Fund. Administrative improvements are needed in the way the Fund operates, and the Former Officials’ Section stands ready to participate with constructive proposals.

For two hours, former colleagues enjoyed the chance to share a cup of good cheer both with each other and the Director-General. It was noted that the next reception will take place on 15 December 2016.