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UN Ban Doles Ceremonial Posts to Gordo & Migiro, Goes Belgian in GA

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 13 -- At a Friday in July briefing where only four journalists asked questions, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky announced four personnel appointments by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

  The first, Ban has already announced in the tent by the East River. His former Deputy Asha Rose Migiro of Tanzania, replaced by Jan Eliasson of Sweden, is being given a part time envoy position, on HIV / AIDS.

  Inner City Press has asked if she will report to Michel Sibide or directly to Ban, so far without answer. It is also understood that she will not be going to the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, where for example the American chief of Congo mission MONUSCO is already on this way.

  Another appointment involves replacing the Egyptian chief of the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management with a Belgian, Jean-Jacques Graisse. This DGACM post was viewed as the one Ban would give to a sub Saharan African, to make up for the loss of the DSG post to Sweden. But now, at least on an acting basis, it goes to a Belgian.

  In a South - South switch as Children and Armed Conflict envoy, Sri Lanka's Radhika Coomaraswamy is being replaced by Algeria's Leila Zerrougui, who has been serving as Meece's deputy in the Congo at MONUSCO.

  Last week NGOs complained to Inner City Press that Canada was pushing hard for the post to go to Nigel Fisher, who has stonewalled on the UN's role in cholera in Haiti. So, this could have been worse.

  The fourth and final of Friday's appointments seems like pure swag: Ban named "former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the position of United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education."

  Already, Tony Blair is the Quartet's envoy, and David Cameron has been given a development post. Cynics might wonder if the relative shut-out of the UK from the Under Secretary General posts of Peacekeeping (controlled by France) and Political Affairs (controlled by the USA) leads Ban to give these other posts to the UK.

  Meanwhile arguably Argentina has more of an "in" with Ban Ki-moon, between chef de cabinet Susana Malcorra and those who come with her, and Department of Political Affairs Middle East chief Oscar Fernandez Taranco. Is Malvinas winning out over Falklands in Ban's UN, despite Friday's Gordo news?

  While this is simply one view, if the UK Mission has a response we'd be happy to publish it. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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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