The Association consists of a General Assembly of its members, an Executive Committee, and regions. The General Assembly is held once a year and is presided over by the President of the Association. During the General Assembly the President and other national officers of the Association are elected for the coming year. These officers are: the Vice-Presidents, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee, and the Secretary and Treasurer to BAFUNCS. At the same time, six ordinary members are elected to the Committee. In addition, the Committee may co-opt members (normally not more than four in any given year) with full voting powers. BAFUNCS has a Special Coordinator reporting to the Executive Committee on the United Nations Career Records Project (UNCRP), a project supported by BAFUNCS in association with the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.
The Association has established a benevolent fund. (Click here for details)
The Executive Committee is responsible for the day-to-day running of the affairs of the Association. It usually holds four regular meetings and one ad hoc meeting each year. Vice-Presidents and Regional Representatives may also attend these sessions. In general, each member of the Committee is responsible for one of the aims or central activities of the Association, under the general policy guidance of the Committee and the Chairman.
The Association is divided into nine regions in the United Kingdom, with a further one for overseas members. The regions may organize themselves as they wish, provided only that they elect a Regional Representative to report on their activities and to liaise with the Executive Committee. They are responsible for local social and welfare support activities, and assist the Executive Committee with the organization of the Annual Reunion and General Assembly of the Association.
The Association does not maintain a central office: its officers work on a voluntary basis from their own homes. Contact with the Association is best made to individual members of the Committee (please see the “Contact Us” section of this site for details). They will undertake to ensure that the most appropriate person on the Committee will follow up such contacts.
The annual General Assembly takes place during the Annual Reunion. The Reunion takes place over a weekend, from Friday afternoon to Sunday lunch-time, and is held in a different region each year. Recent locations include Oxford, Eastbourne, Kendal, Chilworth, Exeter, and Cobham. Two eminent guest speakers are invited to make presentations on subjects of topical interest to members. Recent speakers include Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Dr Erik Jensen, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, General Sir Michael Rose, Lord (Ivor) Richard, Erik Jensen, Paul Hardaker, Sir Richard Jolly, Alan Blythe (UNJSPF), and Lord David Hannay. The business sessions are held in the mornings, leaving time for informal meetings, excursions and social activities.
The Executive Committee convenes, prepares for, and reports on the General Assembly. It issues information and reports on matters of interest to members and co-ordinates welfare support activities at the national level. It advises members on pension and staff health insurance problems, and maintains direct contact with the European Office of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. It also maintains relations with other organizations, especially United Nations organizations, the Federation of Asssociations of Former International Civil Servants (FAFICS), the United Nations Association in the United Kingdom (UNA-UK), and Age UK. In addition close relations are maintained with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which hosts the meetings of the Executive Committee.
The BAFUNCS Newsletter is published twice a year, in March and September. This publication, which is in a magazine format, is the main channel of communication between the Association and its members. In addition to articles and other items of interest to members, the March issue contains the Annual Report of the Executive Committee and other papers for the next General Assembly. The September issue reports on the Annual Reunion and General Assembly. Members with access to the internet can find additional information, including updated details of regional activities and the annual reunion, on the Association's website.
A register of membership is maintained by the Membership Secretary, and a Membership List is published annually in September, with an update included in the March issue of the Newsletter. The BAFUNCS Membership List is for the exclusive use of the officers and members of the Association.
Briefs are sent by the Regional Convenor, a member of the Executive Committee, to the regions from time to time so that Regional Representatives can keep members in their region informed of any significant developments and, in particular, of forthcoming meetings and social events. Up-to-date information on social programmes of all regions can also be found in this website. Six information notes are available to members on application to the Membership Secretary - please see the "Publications" section of this website for details. A seventh document, INF 4 - Planning for retirement in the United Kingdom, is available to members and those still working in the United Nations system who are planning to retire to the United Kingdom and to join BAFUNCS if they have not already done so.
Members of the Association are scattered all over the British Isles as well as overseas. On joining the Association, members are assigned to a region according to their address. Should they wish to be assigned to a different one, they may ask the Membership Secretary to transfer them. All members can participate in the activities of other regions if they wish. In fact, the Association encourages members to join in the activities of other regions as well as their own. It is always a pleasure to greet overseas members who are able to make the journey to the United Kingdom at the Annual General Assembly and Reunion.
Members of each region elect their own committee, which includes a Regional Representative and such officers as they may consider necessary. The regional officers provide a vital link between the regions and the Executive Committee. Regional Representatives are responsible for informing the Regional Convenor about local activities and views on current issues. During the Annual Reunion there is a meeting of Regional Representatives, which is reported to the General Assembly. A combined report of the activities of each region is published in issues of the BAFUNCS Newsletter
Personal contact with their members is the main function of the regional officers. This includes recruiting and welcoming newcomers to the region, helping them to settle in, organizing a suitable programme of meetings and activities, and keeping members informed of them through regional circulars, and through this website. Regions receive an allocation from central funds to cover administrative expenses.
The nature and number of regional meetings depends on members’ interests and other factors, such as the area of the region and the distribution of members within it. Where regions are very large or there is a concentration of members, local meetings of like-minded people may be organized. Most meetings are intended for social purposes, but most regions have their own annual general meeting for the election of officers. Regional meetings may be held in restaurants, pubs or members’ homes; they often include visits to places of interest, country houses, exhibitions or the theatre.
The regions are in the frontline of the Association’s welfare support activities, such as visits to sick, elderly or housebound members, and they are the channels through which deserving cases are brought to the attention of the BAFUNCS Benevolent Fund. The regions also provide a means of co-ordination with other local associations concerned with welfare, retirees and international cooperation. Many BAFUNCS members also belong to the UNA and some speak at its local meetings.
Updated 23 October 2016