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At UN As Ban Ki-moon Taps Eliasson, G77 Complaints, Maged Auditions, Africa Excluded, Khare to DFS?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 2 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon dropped Asha-Rose Migiro as his deputy in January and Inner City Press reported it, Ban's office refused to confirm it, leaving that to the UN in Migiro's native Tanzania.

  After Ban on March 2 named as Migiro's replacement Jan Eliasson of Sweden, Inner City Press was pitched by Nordic diplomats to "please write something positive about Eliasson." Okay -- in his time as President of the General Assembly, he mediated a few conflicts such as on disability rights, and was more active than some of his successors.

  But later on March 2, a number of developing work diplomats approached Inner City Press with outrage at the appointment. Not only on what Inner City Press immediately reported -- that Ban was dropping an African for a Nordic, after having defied the African Group and General Assembly by refusing to name a full time Special Adviser on Africa -- but about what Eliasson did while PGA.

They say Eliasson was central to an attempt to move UN reform out of the Fifth (Budget) committee, where developing countries have relatively more strength, to the plenary where better staffed developed world Permanent Representatives have the edge.

"Eliasson can call meetings, sure," a developing world diplomat told Inner City Press, "but who will be invited?"

  With Argentina's Susana Malcorra -- more on her anon -- moving to Chief of Staff to replace Vijay Nambiar of India, and "Ban's brain" Kim Won-soo being parked in the Change Management position previously held by India's Atul Khare, Inner City Press now predicts based on sourcing that Khare will be moved to Malcorra's spot atop the Department of Field Support. Only at Ban's UN: musical chairs.

Meanwhile to belatedly fill the Special Adviser on Africa post Ban is considering, or auditioning, Mubarak era Egyptian Permanent Representative Maged Abdelaziz, who delivered a defense of Ban in the General Assembly Friday afternoon. Things go lower every day in Ban's UN, where Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky won't even allow questions on these topics. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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