Candidate Data Appearing in the Ballot

Poll Group: United Nations Staff Pension Committee – Election 2021

Poll: United Nations Staff Pension Committee – Election 2021
Abdel Nasser Toure Seydou

My name is Touré Abdel Nasser. I am from Niger Republic (West Africa). I am married with four (04) children.

I have a master’s degree in human Resources, a master’s degree in English, a Vocational Training Certificate taken after the age 18 in Secretariat of Direction with optional Accountancy and a Baccalaureate in Literatures.

Throughout my career I have demonstrated for my employers an exceptional facility for meeting organizational objectives and demands. I have been Executive Assistant (Operations) at UNICEF Niger, since December 2008. Since April 1st, 2021, I am Assistant at the Section Communication (Programmes) of UNICEF Niger.

I have been General Secretary of UNICEF Niger’s Local Staff Association for two (02) years.

I am interested to serve my fellow staff members as a participants’ representative on the United Nations Staff Pension Committee in:

- Informing them in UNSPC updates
- Helping them understanding UNSPC directives
- Assisting them in preparing their retreat
- Guiding them after their retreat
- Being at their disposal for any issue related to UNSPC.
Abolade Sobola

I am standing for election as a Participants' Representative to the UN Staff Pension Committee (UNSPC) and to the Pension Board (UNJSPB). I am an Accounts Specialist with the United Nations Population Fund. I have been a participant in UNJSPF since June 2004.

I hold a master’s degree in professional accountancy from the University of London and a post graduate diploma in management from Anglia Ruskin University (UK). I am a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA UK), a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA UK).

I am presently a Vice Chairperson of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS/UN WOMEN staff council in New York. I served between 2009 and 2015 as a member of the executive committee of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS/UN WOMEN staff association in Nigeria and the Federation of United Nations Staff Associations in Nigeria (FUNSAN).

I intend to deploy my professional experience as a chartered accountant of many years to serve participants of the UNJSPF in the following ways:

• Ensuring long term sustainability of our Fund by making sure that sound investment and management decisions are made.
• Ensuring that the investments of the Fund are made with environmental sustainability in mind.
•Strengthening the governance structures of the board to ensure adequate segregation of duties and adequate discharge of the fiduciary responsibility to participants.
• Pushing for equitable representation of the UN participants on the board.
• Increased efficiency of pension benefits processing and reduction in transaction processing times.
Amit Singhal

A political officer in the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Department of Peace Operations, I have served as desk officer and team leader for a number of countries, regional organizations and cross-cutting issues, including Afghanistan, Comoros, Iran, Madagascar, Somalia, Yemen, Zimbabwe, the Western Balkans, outstanding issues between Iraq and Kuwait, migration and secretary of the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. I have extensive experience in strengthening United Nations’ partnership with the Council of Europe, European Union, League of Arab States, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and Southern African Development Community. A former civil servant of the Government of India (1991-2005), I have also worked in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo.

I have served as focal point for gender, peace and security reforms, budgetary and audit issues and change management processes, as well as a member of the Central Review Committee.
A graduate of Ecole nationale d’administration of France, I hold M.A. in Political Science (Allahabad University) as well as in French Literature (Jawaharlal Nehru University).

It is important to understand – from a staff member’s perspective – the health of our Pension Fund and risk mitigation measures for known and unknown risks such as global warming, pandemic, cybercrime, impact of cryptocurrencies, Reddit’s WallStreetBets, disinvestment in fossil fuel portfolios, overall political climate, etc. As a participants’ representative, I would monitor the management of longevity risk and other volatilities such as uncertain pensions resulting from the contractual situation of some participants.
Arman Harutyunyan

My name is Arman Harutyunyan, currently heading the Transformation and Change Service of UNHCR. I am an Armenian/Swiss national, married and have three children. I hold a university degree in International Economic Relations from the Yerevan State University (Armenia), have a certification in risk management, and completed many leadership and management courses over the years.

I have worked with UNHCR for the past twenty-seven years, at the headquarters and in the field. Throughout my career, I have supported corporate management and worked in many organization-wide projects, using my systems thinking and analytical skills to help solving complex issues. My work in planning, programming, emergency management, risk management, systems/process design, budget management, and policy development has allowed me to hone skills and acquire knowledge that are important for a member of the Staff Pension Committee.

I will concentrate on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Fund in providing services to all its clients. My work will focus on:

• ensuring better services to all clients of the Fund, notably the timely provision of pensions;
• exploring ways of increasing the benefits for the retirees, while not endangering the sustainability of the Fund;
• ensuring investments are made in line with the adopted principles of safety, profitability, liquidity and convertibility, away from industries and sectors adversely impacting our communities.

Finally, I will work on ensuring that the Fund is able to operate securely and effectively in the digital age of capital management. The sustainability of the Fund is of paramount importance to all of us.
Christian Castelli

My name is Christian Castelli, a Swiss national, with almost 20 years of service with the United Nations in both substantive and administrative roles, predominantly in the field. I am holding an advanced University Degree in Public
Administration and International Organization Management (Uni Bocconi, Milan) and a Master in Business Administration (Copenhagen Business School).

Before joining the UN, I held a similar position when serving as a member of the Public Pension Board on behalf of the regional Government of Ticino (a Canton in Switzerland) for four years. I believe I gained very useful experience to serve as your elected representative to the United Nations Staff Pension Committee, in particular on governance matters and investment strategies.

Working as Senior Administrative Officer (UNAMID 2013-15) and as Chief of Administration and Finance (OCHA Nigeria 2017-18) allowed me to understand some of the issues staff face when dealing with the Pension Fund. Staff in the field often leave their personal administrative matters aside because totally absorbed by their jobs, just to find out that overlooking aspects of their pension affiliation negatively affected them. And too often when it’s too late.

The UNJSPF improved in recent years, but there is scope for further improvements. The Pension Fund should continue introducing best practices aimed at ensuring long term financial sustainability of the fund, further strengthen its accountability framework, establish a clear governance segregation of duties to avoid conflicts of interest, and adopt rigorous risk management practices.
Danielle Marlyse Ngo Tehna

My name is Danielle Marlyse NGO TEHNA. I am Cameroonian and currently serve as Executive Associate to the UN Resident Coordinator in Cameroon. I have a bachelor’s degree in management and finance and over ten years of experience in general administration, finance and audit.

Throughout my career, I have helped countless staff understand their pension rights and access their benefits both in UN and state-run schemes. I have acquired an outstanding command of UN pension procedures. I have directly worked on issues pertaining to service contracts with WFP (2015-2018), including registration to the voluntary pension contribution scheme. I also managed staff requests to the National Social Insurance Fund, organizing training to help staff understand how to select the appropriate contribution and explain the conditions of allowances payments.

Since 2018, as an active member of the United Nations Staff Association of Cameroon, I support the implementation of agreements between local banks and staff to facilitate the management of credits.

As a representative of the Staff Pension Committee, I will strive to improve the relationship between staff and UNJSPF by:

- Conducting periodic surveys on staff perceptions and needs;
- Encouraging the eligibility of short-term contracts to the UNJSFP by proposing a short-term contribution mechanism;
- Enhancing understanding of and communication on UNJSPF services.

I have always strived to serve others in my community and workplace. Therefore, as a representative of the Staff Pension Committee, UN colleagues can count on my commitment to serve with their best interest at heart.
Desmond Dellor

Desmond is a Finance professional with over 25 years of work experience in Finance and Project Management. Prior to joining UNICEF Ghana Country Office, he was the Finance and Admin officer at GTZ Accra working with government and private sector organization on financial management strategies and innovations.

Desmond was part of a team of professionals who worked in the office of the President on National Institutional Renewal Program that restructured government sub-vented organizations to become autonomous profit-making institutions. In that capacity, he was responsible for severance package determination and payment to over 1,500 employees who were separated from the government civil service. He also provided investment advisory services to these separated employees during pre-separation counseling sessions.

Desmond holds two master’s degrees: MSc Business Administration in Finance from Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden, and MPhil Leadership from University of Professional Studies Accra. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University of Cape Coast. He is also a chartered Accountant (ACCA) UK.

Desmond’s education, training and extensive experience gives him the necessary financial and investment management skills to formulate good policies that will enhance the course of the pension fund.

Mr. Dellor also served as a treasurer of the Ghana Country office Staff Association and is currently the Electoral Commissioner of the staff association. His motivation is to put at the disposal the fund and the committee his rich experience and knowledge to advance the course of the Pension fund, and welfare staff and retirees.
Egor Ovcharenko

I joined the UN in 2010 and work as Russian Reviser in DGACM in New York.

I have gained detailed knowledge of financial accounting, including IPSAS, and of the work of our Pension Fund by translating complex financial documentation, including the Pension Board’s reports, for many years. In 2014–2017, as Vice-President of the staff federation CCISUA, I observed the work of the Board and defended the interests of participants and retirees. In particular, I insisted on payment of benefits for new beneficiaries without delays. Subsequently, I have constantly followed the pension administration and the investment management in the Fund. In 2019, I strongly denounced Fund’s investments in risky assets just before the stock market crisis of March 2020.

If elected, I will defend our defined-benefits pension plan which is a cornerstone of the social safety net of the UN system.

In particular, I will thoroughly exercise my fiduciary duty in the interest of all participants and beneficiaries by:

1) fighting for financial, as well as social and environmental sustainability of the investments, and against their unnecessary outsourcing;
2) calling for improvements in the efficiency of pension administration and for timely processing of benefits;
3) closely monitoring the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly and the BoA and OIOS recommendations to ensure respect for the rule of law;
4) pushing for equitable representation of the UN participants in the Pension Board.

I respectfully ask for your vote.
Emilien Gerald Nerguidima

My name is Emilien Gerald NERGUIDIMA. I am a Central African; married, and father of three children.

I have a Master's degree in Business Law and a Senior Technician Certificate in Finance and Banking.

After a brief stint at the Central African Commercial bank after my University studies, I embraced a fledgling humanitarian career as Accounting Manager of the Central African Episcopal Conference then food project accountant at Catholics Relief services and later Head of Administration and grants.

During the 2015 political crisis which occurred in my country I became involved in Conflict Management after mediation training at the Canadian Institute of Conflict Resolution as a Facilitator of Community Conflicts for six months before embracing humanitarian and medical logistics as a Logistics Supervisor with the international medical NGO ALIMA and joined UNICEF RCA in the year 2017 as a GS5 Travel Assistant and now
Administrative Officer – NOB.

As a student, I was successively in charge of internal and external missions of the association of my faculty then president of the same association.

My experience as a Staff Representative of the NGO Alima from the year 2016 to the year 2017, and from the year 2017 to the year 2018 as Secretary General of the Staff Association of UNICEF Central African Republic and President of the same association from the year 2019 to the year 2021 are noteworthy.

My motivation to help and my ardent wish to be at the service of others are the reasons for my candidacy.
Fabio Leuci

Serving as national and international civil servants in the law enforcement and for the UN is one of the noblest ways to serve others. Those who enter need not really be the combative kind as there are other venues that qualify them as public servants.

This is especially true for Fabio Leuci and his interests to join the UNJSP-Committee as active participant.

He has served his country in law enforcement for over 17 years, in progressively challenging positions and currently serving the UN since 2009 as Field Security Assistant.
He also temporarily joined the UN Occupational Safety and Health Unit to enlarge his interests and expertise.

During his entire career he became Secretary of the Police Staff Union for his Province duty station.

Educated in Business & Administration/Accounting and Information Technology as Programmer, he increased his skills and competencies, obtaining certifications in Analysis, Intelligence, Investigations, Judiciary and Administration as specialist.

He is the one to go when it goes to technology/organization of new projects and to discuss risk analysis, use technology to manage risk, and how organizations can better position themselves to deal with emerging risks.

Throughout his career, Fabio received several decorations and major awards. These include a Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to the merit in service from his country State Police, a Service Medal for his part in the Global War on Terrorism and a NATO Medal.

During the weekend, he likes to enjoy the family, go cycling, swimming, and preparing grilled delicacies in his backyard together with friends.
Farah Salim Al-Jarrah

Business Benefit Realization Manager

I am currently working at the UNGSC as a Business Benefit Realization Manager, I am based in Valencia and been within the UNS for 23 years, served in many capacities in various offices and field missions of different nature; Humanitarian, Peacekeeping, Administrative and Transitional and landed at the Global Service Centre.

I am a registered inventor with CIPO (Canadian Intellectual Property Office) and have two patents registered under my name in the field of robotics - exoskeleton robotic devices. I hold a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Computer Science.

Through my years of service with the UN, I have served as the chair of the national staff union for a full term and served at different capacities with staff welfare and recreational committees, representing staff and addressing their welfare needs.

I have good knowledge of pension fund rules and regulation, as well as good knowledge base of investment opportunities in the private sector, experience in problem resolving and negotiation that could be used as good canvas to work with and support the pension staff related issues and concerns. And I hope that I can extend my knowledge by serving others.
Gabriele Borla

My name is Gabriele Borla. I am Italian, and I am pleased to share with you my candidature for the UNSPF Committee.

I have a M.Sc. and Doctorate in Environmental Engineering (1996). To scale up my knowledge and to contribute to other’s life with my education, I have been attending various Executive Programs on Project Finance and management at MIT, Harvard Kennedy School and Columbia university.

I have more than thirty years of worldwide professional experience for the United Nations, for other International Organizations, and the Public and Private sector.

Since 2015, I have been leading the largest section of MONUSCO - the UN largest peace mission - in the Democratic Republic of Congo, supporting almost 20,000 clients deployed in four countries under unique administrative and operational challenges (e.g.: Ebola, volcano eruption).

I served as an elected staff member representative and Data Protection Officer (EU legislation) during my tenure for the European Defence Agency, in Brussels (2010-15).

The most relevant qualifications I will contribute are:
• knowledge of sound economics investment principles and pension funds dynamics, in support of shareholders’ interest;
• professional communication skills and capacity to capture multicultural diverse audiences;
• teamwork and positive thinking leadership.

I will bring unique added value to the Committee. My professional, managerial and credibility credentials - working worldwide in diverse multi-cultural environments - have provided me the required experience, determination, integrity, and understanding, which are essential to serve the interest of Pension Fund shareholders.

If elected, I will serve your interest with integrity, dedication and passion.
Hamida Raeiq

My name is Hamida RAEIQ. I am from Kabul, Afghanistan.

I hold two bachelor’s degrees, first one is in Business Administration and my second bachelor is Political Science and Public Administration from the American University of Afghanistan where I was studying as a US. Embassy scholar. During my undergrad years, I attended several voluntarily programs. For example, as Students Government Association’s Secretary, I was projecting students’ voice to the administration in an effective manner. In addition, I was also a member of Emerging Leaders Advisory Council (ELAC) at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul where I was able to represent Afghan Youths especially women whose rights have been suppressed and voices silenced.

My professional career started when I joined Internews Network as a Finance Intern in March 2012. After 10 months internship, I got my first paid job in a private organization in the field of Finance where I worked for almost 4 and a half years. After many attempts, I finally was offered a contract with the United Nations in June 2017 as a service contract holder with UNDSS, Pass and ID unit. Later, in December 2017, I joined UNOCHA in Data Management and Remote Monitoring unit as a fixed-term contract holder. I am currently working with UNHCR Country Office Kabul, HR unit. Besides, I am a member of Disability Inclusive Group and member of BOC. I am looking forward to becoming a member of the United Nations Staff Pension Committee.
Ian Richards

For many of us the pension fund is our only retirement benefit. Transparency, good governance and accountability are therefore vital.

When you elected me four years ago the fund was in crisis. I worked with colleagues to change its leadership, improve its governance, bring waiting times down and move towards safer and greener investments.

If re-elected I will use this experience to:
• Make it easier to understand your benefits.
• Seek better benefits for colleagues who work less than five years.
• Improve customer service and get you paid on time.
• Bring more transparency, legal compliance and integrity to the fund.
• Push for a green and safe investment policy in line with UN values.


Pour beaucoup d'entre nous, le fonds de pension est notre seule prestation de retraite. La transparence, la bonne gouvernance et la responsabilité sont essentielles à sa gestion.

Lorsque vous m'avez élu il y a quatre ans, le fonds était en crise. J'ai travaillé avec mes collègues pour changer sa direction, maîtriser les délais d'attente et s’orienter vers des investissements plus sûrs et plus écologiques.

Si je suis réélu, j'utiliserai cette expérience pour :
• Faire en sorte qu'il soit plus facile de comprendre vos prestations.
• Rechercher de meilleures prestations pour les collègues qui travaillent moins de cinq ans.
• Améliorer le service à la clientèle et insister que vous soyez payé à temps.
• Apporter plus de transparence, de conformité juridique et d'intégrité au fonds.
• Pousser pour une politique d'investissement verte et sûre en accord avec les valeurs onusiennes.
Ibrahima Faye

As incumbent and candidate for re-election, I was able to contribute in achieving the following objectives during the past 4 years as Participant Representative acting on your behalf:

- Increased UNSPC meetings so as to address governance and oversight of Fund’s activities.

- Increased management accountability for operational deficiencies.

- Monitored implementation of OIOS recommendations regarding our Investments Policy, especially within the principle guidelines of safety, profitability, convertibility, liquidity, green Investment, and diversity.

- Pushed for the reform of the Pension Board.

For the next 4 years I will work for

1) A proactive Pension Fund: so that the participants and beneficiaries can expect and receive timely benefit payments

2) Increase benefits payouts: I will advocate for increase of small pension benefits and reinstatement of cost of living adjustments, increased withdrawal settlement by paying the Organization Contributions to separating staff member.

3) More Transparency and Accountability: Our $85+ billion Fund calls for added scrutiny, more transparency, more accountability and better communication. I commit to hold more frequent pension information sessions year-round to keep you well informed of your Fund situation.

Why vote for me again? As a candidate with over 21 years of experience working exclusively with our Fund, you can rely on my expertise, you can depend on my institutional knowledge, you can be confident that I will continue to advocate on your behalf and push for needed reforms.

I thank you for your vote and look forward to serving you on the UNSPC and Pension Board.
Jesús Manuel Suárez Liste

Your voice in the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund

▼ Intro
Dear colleagues,

I am volunteering to serve as a participants´ representative to the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. I would like to invite you to support my candidature.

▼ Objectives
My main objective as a participants´ representative would be to make your voice heard in the Fund. For this, I would be happy to receive your direct feedback on the issues needing to be addressed. My priorities are:

• Cutting processing times and backlog.
• Safeguarding the Fund’s investments and making them greener and more sustainable.
• Making the Fund more responsive to staff in country offices.
• Improving the Fund’s governance.
• Reducing overheads.
• Safeguarding and improving the benefits package.

▼ About me
I am 42-year-old father of two, deeply aware of the implications that good administration of the UNJSPF has for the future of our families.

Educated at Harvard and Cambridge, I hold an MA in International Relations and a PhD in Economics and Management. I am also a Certified Investment Manager by the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of the UK.

Since 2002, I have been working for the UN System in 3 continents and several organizations (UNV, UNDP, WTO, WIPO, WMO, UNOG, UNOV and currently UNHQ). In the private sector, I have been employed by Procter & Gamble as a Finance Manager and by Reuters as a Financial Markets Specialist. In that capacity, I worked closely with the national pension funds of Spain and Portugal.

Thank you
Kawa Barzinjy

Working @ UNDP Iraq country office since June 2015

Having job title of Budgeting and resource management Analyst

Most important role in my career history with UNDP was, when I got staff trust and elected on 7th February 2018 as the is the chair of the executive committee of Iraq staff association. The level of trust become even higher when country offices staff association committees in RBAS accepted me as the chair of regional coordination committee, then I had to work even harder with all RBAS SA teams and did good jobs together

I am looking for more coordination among the staff association committees globally and we will for it without tiredness

From the beginning I understood to represent staff is more important than sending coregulations and condolence message, its more important than arranging birthday and farewell gathering for staff, its real responsibility its trust that I need to be at its level.

To represent staff means you need to know about rule and regulations, staff benefits and entitlements.

The purpose of nominating myself as UNJSP fund participants representative is to safeguard their fund and best return on their fund, less routine and meaningless procedure after retirement and separation
Khalid Siddiqi

My name is Khalid SIDDIQI, and I am from Kabul, Afghanistan. I have been working with the United Nations Secretariat (UNS) since 2006 until now. During my tenure with the UNS, I have worked in the area of programme budgeting, grants, and financial resources management.

Currently, I am working with the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), based in Nairobi, Kenya, in the operations and resource management department. I have previously worked in various United Nations Peacekeeping and Political Missions in Hodeida (Yemen), Amman (Jordan), Mogadishu (Somalia), Entebbe (Uganda), Abyei (Sudan), Dili (Timor Leste), Darfur (Sudan), and Kabul (Afghanistan).

I completed my master’s degree in business administration in Finance and a postgraduate certificate in management from the Australian Institute of Business in Australia, and a postgraduate certificate in business administration from the University of Roehampton in the United Kingdom.

I can speak English, Dari, Pashto, Farsi, Tajiki, Urdu, and basic Arabic.

I have worked for more than a decade in finance and budget-related activities, serving clients in different categories through which I have developed the experience to better serve and advise staff about their financial entitlements especially during my induction training to the newly arrived personnel. I also developed my skills regarding the actuarial status of the fund, assets and liability management, sustainability, investment policy, benefit provisions, and other plan design issues which has enabled me to announce my candidacy and undertake the role of your representative in the United Nations Staff Pension Committee if you vote for me.
Kiyoshi Matsukawa

- Kiyoshi Matsukawa (Japan) - Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Policy and Mediation Division, Guidance and Learning Unit
- Expertise: Political affairs; strategic / mission planning for UN peace operations; Knowledge Management; Monitoring and Evaluation; mediation (NY licensed mediator)
- Previous work experiences: Office of Internal Oversight Services-Inspection and Evaluation Division; Department of Political Affairs (Political Affairs Officer); UN Political Office for Somalia (Mission Planning Officer); Investment Banking covering Japanese, Pan-Asian, European financial markets (research, sales, trading of equities and derivatives); BBC News (Video Producer); Bloomberg News (Cameraman, Video Editor)
- Ph.D. in Advanced Social and International Studies; MA in International Politics; B. Eng. in Civil Engineering

Kiyoshi currently works as a Political Affairs Officer in the Guidance and Learning Unit of the Policy and Mediation Division, DPPA, on strategic and mission planning for UN peace operations and knowledge management.

Prior to joining the UN, Kiyoshi worked for 7 years in investment banking trading and researching Japanese, pan-Asian, and European financial markets. His clients included multibillion-dollar pension funds, hedge funds and mutual funds. He passed the series 1 and 2 Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) examination, thereby “licensing” him to conduct business with institutional investors. He is deeply familiar with the various types of trading strategies used in equity and derivatives trading, investment decision making, and financial compliance issues. As a former “insider” in the institutional investment industry, he saw first-hand how portfolio managers and traders invested and how regulatory bodies provided (or lacked) oversight.
Lody Ehomba

1. Identity

I am Lody EHOMBA, born on July, 11th 1974. I’m Congolese citizen, married and father of 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy. I have been working since September 2019 at the UNICEF DRC Office as a Senior Finance Associate.

2. Work experience

I have a master’s degree (Bac+5) in financial management from the University of Kinshasa. As work experience, we have to our account, 6 (March to August 2020) months as OIC Ops specialist in the office UNICEF Mbandaka Ebola Emergency L3; 3 years (August 2016 to September 2019) as project controller within CORDAID DRC; 4 years as Administrative and Financial Officer of the representation of DIAKONIA in DRC; 4 years as Project Financial Officer within the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) currently ENABEL. I’m a member of Association of Certified Fraud examiner (ID 991143) and my process as certifying fraud examiner is ongoing.

3. Experience with associations

We have been at the origin of the creation and of the first trade union representation within the Belgian technical cooperation as 1st vice-president. We continued our commitment to defend the rights of workers within CORDAID DRC where we served as 1st Vice-President of the elected trade union delegation until our departure from this organization.

4. Motivation

There is life after retirement. Ensuring a dignified retirement for each UN staff member who is committed by paying on time the pension fund is our reason for being part of this committee.
Together we can make it possible
Maria Julwin de Guzman

My name is Maria Julwin De Guzman (Philippines) and currently serving as an Information Technology Assistant with the United Nations Office in Somalia (UNSOS) since 2010.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSCoE) in 1996 and completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Computer and Information Security from the University of Liverpool in June 2020.

Working for more than a decade with the United Nations Secretariat (UNS), particularly with UNSOS, I am currently part of the Service Management Team but also in various capacities as System/Network Administrator, Service Desk Supervisor, IT Security Focal Point, and Umoja Team Lead Focal Point. In those roles, I served the staff and personnel of the mission with dedication and commitment, within the IT rules and regulations of the Mission and of the Organization.

As a participants’ representative on the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Committee (UNJSPF), I intend to be the innovative voice that will foster new ideas and practices, ensuring that vital information regarding participation and separation are communicated, appropriate disability benefits are awarded and administrative issues are taken care of.

I want to serve to protect the best interests of my fellow staff members from the United Nations and its field missions, funds, and programmes. Learning from various experiences of my current and former colleagues, I wish to provide passionate service, responsive representation with sincerity and empathy and resolve staff pension issues with determination, whilst adhering to the bounds of the rules and regulations of UNJSPF and United Nations.
Mary Abu-Rakabeh

It is with great honour that I announce my candidacy for the UNSPC for a second term, offering my 18 years serving UNICEF, my strong knowledge in the Pension Fund rules and regulations and my qualification and advanced degree.

As a UN Participants` Representative since 2017, I have actively contributed to achieving the following milestones:
• Cutting processing times and ensuring that members` benefits are paid in 30 days and clearing a huge backlog
• A complete change and restructuring of the fund’s leadership.
• Monitoring investments management and the way it’s administered, which resulted the replacement of the Fund’s Head of investments for safe and conservative management of the Fund’s assets, a greater sustainability and transparency
• Ensured that the General Assembly’s instructions are implemented to prevent conflicts of interest and ensuring participants’ voices are heard and rules are implemented.

Building on previous successes, now more than ever, there is a need to have strong, motivated, and passionate participants` representative who can advocate for participants’ rights in a transparent manner, in line with the rule of law.

If elected, my agenda will be:
• Continue to closely monitor the General Assembly’s resolutions, OIOS recommendations to ensure that rules and regulations are followed.
• Continue following up on the fund’s governance, including the composition of the board
• Ensure timely processing of benefits and fair review of all cases including disability
• Continue the efforts to safeguard the fund’s investments and make them greener.
• Ensure the rule of law is followed and regulations implemented
• Continue working to safeguard and improve the benefits package
Mesmak Abebe Gebremichael


Relevant Experience/Qualifications
Throughout my whole career with the United Nations, I have served staff members at UNECA and Sub Regional Offices directly and catered to their requirements in relation to pension and staff entitlements. I gained the necessary skills to address diverse member’s needs with my work experience on pension & finance matters in the UNECA Finance Section.

With the knowledge, experience and trainings on pension, I will be very well placed in representing the best interest of the members of the UNJSPF.

Candidate Statement
Serving the UNJSPF members would be a wonderful opportunity to put all my experience to the service of colleagues in representing them in this capacity.

It is equally a great opportunity to learn about the UNJSPF operations and working together with the leadership in striving to serve the members more effectively. UNJSPF must maintain and expand its ability to provide user-friendly, easy-to-reach to its clients.

I believe I would fit well within the UNJSPF committee given my shared values, and keen interest in the success of the UNJSPF for its members and staff.

Employment Information

United Nations Experience:
United Nations Secretariat UNECA, DOA/FS/Payroll and Disbursement Unit, Finance Assistant.

Serving as a focal person for UNECA and SRO staff members.

2012 - United Nations Secretariat UNECA SRO, Associate Admin. Finance Officer, Morocco - Rabat

1998 – 2006
United Nations Secretariat UNECA, UNHCC

University of Pune, India; Bachelor of Business Administration and Entrepreneurship
Mohamed Lamine Redjem


Relevant Experience/Qualifications
Currently serving as the chairperson of the UNICEF Algeria staff association. I joined UNICEF Algeria CO in June 2014 as Senior driver and I have served simultaneously as vice-chairperson of SA from 2016 to 2017. I started my professional career in the private sector in the import/export business field. I have over 14 years of work experience in customs brokerage. In addition, I worked for a Public Economic company in which I had the opportunity to further develop my professional skills. I graduated from Algiers University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Law and have obtained a Certificate in Customs Brokerage from the Consulting and Management School (CFCM), Algeria.

Candidate Statement
Throughout my journey in representing the interest of my colleagues at the local, regional global level; I have acquired a keen sense of serving and caring about Staff issues and concerns. I am strongly inspired to work with others in order to improve and help to steer the future of Staff members. I have benefited immensely from my position as the Chairperson of the UNICEF Algeria Staff Association and presently wish to commit my expertise and time while serving as participant’s representative on the Staff Pension Committee.

Work and Volunteer Experience
2019- 2020
The International Court for Dispute Resolution (INCODIR), Legal Expert in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

UNICEF Staff Association, Chairperson.

ACO SA, Vice-chairperson.

Public Notary Office, Notary Assistant.

Independent Customs Declarant, Customs Brokerage.
Mohammad Rafi Jorazada

My name is Mohammad Rafi Jorazada, 38 years-old, Master of Business Management, a young and motivated to volunteer for challenges. I am currently working as Supply Associate with UNHCR in Afghanistan and have been in the organization for more than 17 years. I have a very sound understanding of field realities and experiments which mostly affect frontline and local staff in the field.

Apart from my official duties, I also dedicated quite several years doing volunteer works. For instance, I functioned as member of local Staff Association for 4 years, as Respectful Workplace Advisor (RWA) in UNHCR Afghanistan for 8 years and 10 years as Peer Support Personnel (PSP) and now serving as an active Peer Advisor since 2019.

I am an active listener and believe on positive result, team oriented and peaceful person. Moreover, I fully adhere to the core UN values such as respect for diversity, integrity, professionalism, and respect all colleagues irrespective of gender and marital status.

As mentioned in my background and personal enthusiasm; I opted to nominate myself as candidate for upcoming election as staff representative to the UN-Staff Pension Committee of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund. Using my experiences as best tools and I believe that I am a suitable candidate to be part of this committee. Furthermore, I will spare every effort and strongly stand with every single UN staff and its affiliate workforce on matters related to pension entitlements in Staff Pension Committee of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund.
Naveen Gupta

Senior ICT Associate, UNICEF India

I am working with UNICEF India as Senior ICT Associate on a Continuous Contract. I have been serving UNICEF for the past 16 years and during my tenure, I have been actively involved with the Staff Association and other statutory bodies. I have experience working in UNICEF and UN Peacekeeping in Asia and Africa Regions. I am a certified Project Management Professional and have a double Master’s in business and Telecom Technology. Furthermore, I am fluent in English and Hindi and have working knowledge of Arabic and French languages.

I have a sound understanding of the United Nations Common System, UN Pension Fund, UN Staff Rules and Regulations and related challenges to staff, which are crucial at this time, when the United Nations is undergoing reforms and cost cutting measures. My association and experience with staff association and my passion to Support and Speak-Up has given me the confidence and voice we deserve. I will be your advocate and work actively to ensure all pension matters affecting participants in the Fund are dealt with and resolved promptly that are concerning for all staff.

I seek your support for my candidature and more importantly, I urge you to participate in the drive to take The United Nations Staff Pension Committee (UNSPC) forward so that together we work on the issues that are of concern for us.
Patricia Nemeth

My name is Patricia Nemeth and I have been working for the United Nations since 1999. I have served in three peacekeeping missions (UNTAET, MINURSO and MFO) and I have been working for the Department of Safety and Security since May 2001. Between April 2017 and June 2021, I served on the Leadership of the New York Staff Union.

I hold a PhD in Global Affairs from Rutgers University (New Jersey), a Master’s degree in Public Administration in Inspection and Oversight from CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York) and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Gödöllő (Hungary).

I have also been Adjunct Assistant Professor at CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Public Administration Department since 2006.

As participants’ representative, I intend to represent the interests of all participants and beneficiaries and defend the overall viability and effectiveness of the Fund. I will act with impartiality and integrity, as is needed on a professional Board. With my long-standing experience in governance issues and 15 years of teaching experience in this field, I believe I can build bridges between the different stakeholders and Member Organizations of the Fund and contribute to the effectiveness of the UN Pension Fund in the interest of all participants and beneficiaries. I will draw on my experience and ability to represent staff, deliver beneficial outcomes and will champion the issues that are important to staff in order to safeguard our Pension Fund.
Patrick Toni

Patrick Toni is a qualified Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) with extensive experience in coordinating, supporting and managing finance and administration in operations. He is currently serving as a Finance Associate for the United Nations Population Fund Activities (UNFPA) and responsible for supporting administration and management of UNFPA financial policies and procedures. He has over 10 years of experience working in United Nations agencies and the public sector.

His keen interest in participating in the United Nations Staff Pension Committee is to promote positive retirement savings behaviour change. The pandemic’s impact has been uneven, with some workers enjoying the newfound freedom of working from home, allowing them to extend their careers without the dreaded commute, while others have lost their jobs or decided to take an early retirement.

Although the full story of this pandemic won’t be known for some time, it is clear that we need to rethink about our financial security.
Piero Emanuele Franceschetti

Born and raised in Gubbio, Italy, prior to beginning my professional career, I completed university level education in Italy, obtaining a Master Degree in Public Procurement and First-Class Honors Degree in Political Science (Perugia University). I also have a diploma in Accounting. I did an internship at the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Adelaide (Australia). I am fluent in English, French and Italian. I have twenty years of professional experience in various positions with UNDP, UNRWA, and prior to joining UNDP, experience with International NGOs and Private Sector.

Since the beginning of 2017 I am working with UNDP Iraq as the Head of Service Center managing huge procurement activities, financial, human resources and administrative services with due diligence. I also discharge oversight functions of external and internal audits, investigation, governance, and performance review. I adopted best practices on transparency and accountability mechanisms; advocated for excellence, professionalism, and integrity and actively engaged with all stakeholders. I have been a member of the Staff Association in several countries such as Togo, Sudan, Iraq, etc. actively participating in deliberations/discussions. I intend to:

• Ensure long term sustainability of our Fund by making sure that sound investment and management decisions are made;
• Strengthening the governance structures of the board (segregation of duties, adequate discharge of the fiduciary responsibility to participants);
• Pushing for equitable representation of the UN participants on the board;
• Increasing efficiency of pension benefits processing;
• Defending the interests of all retirees (those not serving in UN or Agency HQ duty stations).
Punnya Seerallage

My UN career started in 2003 with UNHQ New York. Since, then I have a wealth experience in Pension Administration and accounting in serving various duty stations in the UN family. In 2008 I joined UNDP family and served in Copenhagen, Denmark, and New York until my relocation to UNDP, Payroll Finance Unit as HR/Finance Analyst in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia in early 2015 where I am leading the Pension Administration, and separation benefits and entitlement audit team in serving UNDP staff globally and to some other agencies including UNFPA, UNWOMEN, UNCDF.

Prior to joining UNDP, I worked with the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund for few years where I got the foundation to become an expert in pension management. Prior to joining the UN, I served for the government of my home country Sri Lanka in various administrative roles including the administrative position in Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, New York.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the university of Kelaniya Sri Lanka. Also, has achieved the CIPFA certification. I have achieved people management and leadership certifications from the IESE Business School, university of Michigan, University of Minnesota, and the Case Western Reserve University.

As most of our staff members are aware that I am passionate in serving our staff members efficiently and effectively providing outstanding services on their pension, benefits, and entitlements. United Nations Staff Pension Committee support is highly essential to our staff members. Therefore, I believe, this will be a valuable opportunity for me to expand my services to all the fellow colleagues globally.
Rajendra Gakhar


Raj Gakhar, a national of India, works for the United Nations Population Fund, where he specializes in audit monitoring and enterprise risk management. He has worked with the organization in varying capacities, including operations leadership, for the past 28 years. In his current role, Raj interacts closely with internal and external oversight bodies and serves as focal point for the Board of Auditors. He has extensive experience in risk management, coordinating audits, and ensuring compliance with audit recommendations. Raj holds a master's degree in business administration and in social work.

Personal statement

As a contributor to the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, I have been closely following the UNJSPF activities over the past few years, such as restructuring the fund's leadership, slowly advancing governance reforms, and improving pension payments. I have also reviewed various internal and external audit reports and recommendations, including UN General Assembly resolution (A/RES/75/246).

I appreciate the outgoing participants’ representatives contributions over the past four years. As your elected representative in the pension committee, I would be your voice, working to protect the hard-earned savings of 131,000 plus participants from 24 member organization and safeguard the long-term sustainability of the more than 72 billion dollar fund by ensuring sound investment and management decisions and further strengthening governance structures to ensure adequate discharge of the fund’s fiduciary responsibility to participants and efficient, timely and cost-effective processing of pension benefits. I will also continue to push for pension board reform.
Robinson Otieno Malala

Driven by Service

Meet Robinson Malala, the President of UNSOS/UNSOM Kenya National Staff Union, a position he has held for the last three years. Committed, resilient, focused, visionary, level-headed and courageous are some of his colleagues’ descriptions of his leadership.

A seasoned and accomplished aviator, with 15 years’ experience under his belt, Robinson currently serves as Regional Officer in charge of Aviation Services in Nairobi. He has spent over 10 years of his experience in international management settings within the UN, which he joined in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Moi University, in addition to Aviation Training.

During his tenure as President of the UNSOS/UNSOM Kenya National Staff Union, he has demonstrated servant leadership and excellent negotiation skills, besides being a vocal defender of colleagues. In 2018-2019, Robinson successfully led negotiations for favorable compensation for retrenched members and secured most of them alternate placement within the mission as UN Volunteers and Contractors.

Armed with this experience and drawing from extensive leadership skills gleaned from his academic and professional life, he aspires to join the UN Joint Staff Pension Committee. This desire is meant to enrich the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, which he has been a member of since 2010, by enhancing its operational structures, prudent investment of the fund and alignment across all governance levels. His vision for the fund is a steadily growing portfolio, simple and effective services to members, with open communication channels.

Let’s work together to enhance performance and excellence of UNJSPF!
Solomon Tarkang

Pledge to Serve with Humility, Deliver with Professionalism and Pride.

I am Solomon Tarkang, currently working with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in DRC Kinshasa as Assistant Representative in Charge of Administration.

I have a cumulative 20 years working experience within the United Nations system. I have served with UNOG and UNHCR in Geneva and Budapest, the UNJSPF in New York as Benefits Officer and in various field operations such as Algeria, Burundi, Rwanda and the DRC with UNHCR.

My desire to serve as a Participants’ Representative to the Staff Pension Committee of the UNJSPF is motivated by the fact that I understand the challenges faced by participants and beneficiaries of the pension fund from different dimensions, at HQ level and in deep field locations. I have hands-on experience with the Pension Fund, experience in deep field locations, and HQ experience in Europe and the USA. I intend to leverage on my extensive experience in the United Nations system and my knowledge of operational challenges to bring about a meaningful contribution for positive change if given the opportunity to be elected as Participants’ Representative on the Staff Pension Committee of UNJSPF.

I will not promise to change the unchangeable but what I can guarantee with full assurance is to truly represent the values and concern of the voices behind the ballots that would believe and trust in me. I will represent your cause with humility, and deliver the duties bestowed upon me as a Participants’ Representative with professionalism and pride.
Tommy Dauda Bannister

I am a Sierra Leonean working for the United Nations mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO) as an Administrative Officer. I am chartered and certified accountant UK (FCCA) and holds a BSc. Soc. in accounting (hons) from the University of Sierra Leone. MBA in International Business (Amity University), MSc in Accounting and Finance (University of Northampton) and MBA (Oxford Brookes University). I am SCOR-P certified, trained project manager and acquired several trainings in auditing, banking, risk management, administration, human resources, pension management, taxation, investment, and operations.

I have over fifteen (15) years’ experience in auditing, banking, risk management, administrative management and financial management with KPMG, Standard Chartered Bank, Ecobank, Security Support Group International, Ministry of Finance and United Nations.

I am a servant leader who has keen interest and passionate about prudent pension administration and management for all UN staff. I have decided to join the Staff Pension Committee, so I help strengthen the following:

• Automation of pension processes and better communication mechanism to participants and beneficiaries,
• Better risk management framework and process in pension investment with the increase system vulnerability and cyber security risk,
• Improvement in corporate governance in pension management and ensuring that the board is accountable to participants,
• Sound Investment management of pension portfolio for participants,
• Robust information management system and synchronization of participants information to provide real time, one-stop, seamless and duplication process free. Hence reducing delays and increased efficiency in a secured environment.

I am ready to serve you if you give me the opportunity by electing me to the Staff Pension Committee.
Youssef Sfeir


Youssef Sfeir is a Legal Adviser & Mediator with 21 years of experience at the national & international levels. He joined the UN in 2007 & held functions with UNDP & UNIFIL (DPO). He has been an active UN Union leader representing staff & retirees for more than 10 years. He is a relentless advocate for staff/retirees’ rights & knows first-hand the importance of maintaining the retirement security that comes with UNJSPF’s participation.

Throughout his Union’s career, Youssef fought to ensure staff maintain their employment status. Youssef seeks election on the UN Staff Pension Committee with an objective to preserve the fiscal security of the fund & the continuation of benefits.

He will keep being a staunch supporter of guaranteed pension benefits & the rights of staff & retirees. He will bring his legal experience, expertise, & energy to improve the functioning of UNJSPF.

He pledges to be an efficient and powerful voice of staff and retirees and will focus on the following substantive and regulatory matters:

1. Ensure business continuity and maintain operations despite COVID-19.
2. Strive to improve client serving and operational capacity.
3. Advocate for the simplification of client experience.
4. Achieve more transparency in the investment performance.
5. Align the Fund’s governance with best practices.
6. Improve the communications between the fund and staff at large.


PS: For detailed biography, you may visit the LinkedIn Account on:
Zachariah Onditi Atozo

Protocol and Senior Driver

A trained diplomatic protocol professional with relevant professional experience in office administration and operations, diplomatic protocol services and transportation

Self-driven and highly effective team player possessing strong interpersonal and organizational skills

An experienced trainer on diplomatic protocol and professional etiquette having introduced the first ever Diplomatic protocol and professional etiquette training targeting UN transport staff- over 200 UN transport staff from 30 Countries in Africa have been trained.


Masters International Relations and Diplomacy- Finalist Candidate

Bachelor of Arts Community Development


UN WOMEN: Protocol Assistant and Senior Driver
2013 – Present

UN OCHA: Transport and Logistics Assistant
2008 – 2013

VSF-SUISSE: Assistant Logistician