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Subject: Humanzing the dehumanized UNJSPF - restoration of full pension after the commutation period
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 04:55:42 +0530
THIS EMAIL IS BEING COPIED TO CHAIRMAIN OF UN PENSIONER ASSOCIATIONS FEDERATION AND HIS/HER CO-HORTS, UNJSPF AND ALSO THE TWO PRESS OUTFITS SUPPOSEDLY WORKING IN "HARMONY" WITH UN IDEALS OF JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS.
FOR ME (on behalf of myself and other UN pensioners in India: http://unpensionerindia.blogspot.com) THIS SHOULD REMAIN FINAL-FOR-NOW CALL FOR "SANITY'' AND JUSTICE ON BEHALF OF UN PENSIONERS IN INDIA AND ELSEWHERE IN THE ASIAN/AFRICAN COUNTRIES.
(MY GRATEFUL THANKS FOR ALL THOSE WHO GAVE ME BACKGROUND INFN AND GUIDANCE IN PURSUING THIS "DHARMIC" STRUGGLE SO FAR; MAY THE LORD ALMIGHTY BLESS THE NECESSARY MOMENTUM AND STRENGTH TO ENSURE FAIRENESS AND JUSTICE IS DONE SOONER THAN LATER)
Dear Bajaj ji & Sandy Sundaram:
It is not at all disappointing to see that the colonized minds of the leaderships of UN Retirees Associations (mostly run by professionals of 18/19th century western orientation) have been functioning more like modern-day Hitler super-lords of the UN Pension empire, with no conscience for moral rectitude based on Universal Declaration of Human Rights, nor in touch with current developments in many progressive civil service pension schemes around the civilized world, ensuring better and stronger social security systems for civil service retirees and people of old age.
As said in the recent appeals to the UN Sec Gen and the CEO UNJSPF, all these retiree associations, the federations et al all behave as “your majesty’s servants” or mouth-pieces for what their masters want to hear - never mind about human development status among local categories of UN staff whose pension means less and less in today's inflationary situation vs. government civil service retirees getting better DEALS TO insulate against rising costs and other economic issues.
The lives of UN retirees of local lower GS categories in the third world are so pitiable because these retirees are neither cared for nor owned by their government, nor even thought of by these elitist UN retiree associations, whose super-boss leaderships are concerned more with the next picnic location, not worried about fellow retirees in the GS and other local grades in developing countries. These associations are not equipped to do anything to improving the UN pension ground rules more in tune with changing times, demands of current economic situation and improvements in many government pension systems.
Accepting that UN pension fund has to work within its financial means and capacity, it does not require rocket science to prove (my information is that the Actuarial Committee has already positively proved this) that extending full-pension after commutation period will not result in any unmanageable drain on its asset value and financial strength in fulfilling its commitments for years to come - even assuming every retiree is going to live beyond 100 years of age. Also, this should ensure equity and fairness among all retirees once the 1/3 lump sum has been recovered in full with interest.
Any enlightened human mind looking at the UNJSPF rule 28(g) will see how deceitful, one-sided, and insidious that such a rule was written by some convoluted minds of past century. For example:
1. When mentioning about commutation, the basis of commutation should have been mentioned and philosophy behind such payment;
2. If the commutation is on basis of no. of years/months, the rule has to make it clear what happens if the retiree lives beyond that no. of years/months;
3. Just asking to accept commutation or standard annual payment (divided into monthly parts) is obviously conceited way of saying that “you are done for life”;
4. UNJSPF would accept payment to validate the non-contributory years (as long as it comes with interest), but will not say anything about its own responsibility to restore the full pension if the retiree lives beyond the anticipated actuarial age (maybe he/she has NO right live beyond that time – may be a Hitlerian doctrine!).
Many of us who want to foster “one world one people” know that it is a tough challenge to tame the global Goliath called UN/UNJSPF, who is covered by so many immunity shields, and does not provide any level playing field to its civil servants. See its incongruous existence:
1. The organization (with all its entities) are supposed to serve as models of governance and as model employer. Thanks to its so called immunities, most of the civilized world’s judicial institutions treat the organization more as a pariah than with the respect and reverence it should deserve, because its day-to-day governance model is so flawed and acts just as a platform for letting steam off for ego-centric self-righteous big-wigs, powers-that-be, and oil-rich-money-bags.
It is common knowledge that though the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights should remain as the basic “foundational constitution” of the system, many regulations and rules, conventions etc. of the UN entities, remain totally ultra vires. No judicial system can do anything because these guys are immune! Basically both the charter and UDHR are more for preaching to others, not for practising at home in its own conduct.
2. Its legislative and executive wings work more in collusion than with any kind of independence and professional integrity necessary to make both these arms of governance stronger, ensuring transparency, accountability and answerability to the public at large.
3. Talking about the administrative judicial system, lesser said the better – because what one often finds to his/her dismay is that both the prosecutor and judge are the same genre mindset. If anyone has grievance against the system, he is done and cannot go anywhere outside of this vicious circle.
4. In a true democratic governance, we have a fourth pillar called “independent media”.
In the case of scrutinizing UN governance, the media’s role is so comical – nothing written/published about its functioning will be of any great impact except for your own amusement and nothing is going to change unless it can be willed by the UN system itself – law unto themselves.
You may then wonder why I have taken the trouble to write all this at my “70+ not out state”, the answer is just my moral calling, hoping that UN and its entities will ONE DAY become TRUE MODELS OF HUMAN GOVERNANCE AND DEVELOPMENT. It is not important I should be alive to see that day, as long as the future generation witnesses the human evolution in tune with natural justice and humane attributes (as I learnt in my Indian vedic tradition of thousand years vintage, that is happily finding its meaningful life-purpose in the western world educational and human-development institutions, except UN!)
Jai Ho! God Bless,
V. Muthuswami/Chennai, India
(Camp: Escondido, CA, USA 92025)
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 2009 02:32:35 -0700
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Dear Sri Bajaj,
I have been trying to send an e-mail to Sri Muthuswami (in reply to messages) for the last 3 days without success. Everytime I get the response "message not sent due to connection problems". I am trying to send you a message as a new transaction. Hope it goes and Mr. Muthuswami also gets it..
You may think I am having cold feet, but I have been thinking bseriously. All of them (FAFICS, CAFICS, and now the WHO Retirees' Association et al) are wielding the same stick to beat you with. Art 28g of the UNJSPF Regulations which allow you to commute (interchange one for the other) a part of the annual standard rate of benefit for a lump sum and that holds good forever. They wouldn't even consider cogent, logical, even moral if not legal arguments we raise. I am afraid AFUNPI next month will probably play the same tune. The Sec.Gen , a slave to his bureaucratic Assistants (advisers?) and the indebted Member Governments, will most probably wash his hands off with the excuse that the Rule is unfortunately clearly spelt out. So, I wonder whether it is worth spending all our time and money in try to reach the "Moon" and get solace? And after a negative vote from the Sec.Gen where can we go and who do we appeal to?
All said and done, I think the only way is to contest that blasted Rule itself as unfair, illegitimate in not being in conformity with the universal practice, unconscionable in the light of the Canadian Courts in a parallel case, immoral and unbecoming for a UN institution, illogical on the face of its own actuaries' recommendation etc. Yes, we have many, many (and no doubt, you and our friends have more, not to mention what the clever lawyers would think of) arguments to blast the gang and vestablish that their Rule can't be valid, legal or moral. We have to gear ourselves to that avenue and prepare our case.
I have a faint ray of hope that we confront the CEO for his impropriety in not following the Pension Board-sanctioned Rule 43 and as he administratively fouled things up he is dutybound to rectify with the only logical administrative decision to stop all deductions (after full recovery of our indebtedness) and restitute our full benefit. He may, although I don't have much hope, relent and see wisdom in taking the easier and more conscionable option (not going to the Board, UNGA and any meddling body else) and agree to our petition. Already, half a dozen beneficiaries have sent their individual appeals to him, and if we can mount this letter-writing campaign and drown him in hundreds of such personal appeals, he certainly would have to take cognicence; if he doesn't that is another argument to be adduced by us in the class action suit.
Sorry to be such a pessimist, but the reality unfortunately is hitting us.