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As UN Gives Lebanon to Plumbly, Kane to Disarmament, Japan Shoots for OCHA?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 13 -- At Friday's noon brefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey to confirm that Derek Plumbly would be made the Lebanon Coordinator, and if that meant that Angela Kane, under consideration for the position, would now need another one like the Disarmament Post.

  While Del Buey refused to confirm either move at noon, just after 6 pm his office squawked that Plumbly had the Lebanon job.

  So what about Kane? And does Plumbly getting Lebanon make it less likely that the UK will get, for example, Ban's chief of staff job, with Vijay Nambiar remaining a USG with only Myanmar in his portfolio?

  An "outsider" getting this post tightens up the current game of musical chairs at the UN.

  With Under Secretary General posts being vacated by Ban Ki-moon's policy of no more than five years in any one position, well placed UN sources tell Inner City Press that beyond the contest of Americans Alejandro Wolff and Jane Holl Lute to replace fellow American Lynn Pascoe at the Department of Political Affairs, another UN and Security Council related name is said by at least two well placed sources to be in the mix.

  Inner City Press on January 10 asked the named individual's mission for a response to "not a small person" in the UN saying the individual is slated to be Ban Ki-moon's next chief of staff or chef de cabinet, with Vijay Nambiar to be downgraded, still with USG status, to full time envoy to Myanmar.

  The mission at issue, late on January 10, said the individual is not in the running for any USG post. But to flesh out the working theories, at least one other Security Council delegation later on January 10 said it could confirm Inner City Press' story about Angela Kane moving laterally into the UN Disarmament post, and mused that maybe the individual would take Management, or even the Department of Public Information USG post being vacated by Japan's Kiyotaka Akasaka.

They wondered if Japan, losing Akasaka, might then retake OCHA? Now the game tightens. Watch this site.

(c) UN Photo
Plumbly & Ban's DSG Migiro, Susan Malcorra not (yet?) shown

From the UN's January 13 noon briefing transcript:

Inner City Press: Derek Plumbly, former UK diplomat is, will be named the 1701 Special Coordinator for Lebanon. Is that, can you confirm that, and separately — and you made these two announcements today — some have said that Angela Kane of Department of Management is also in consideration for the position. I wanted to know, even if you won’t confirm that, does this five years, you know, in one post rule apply to her position at the Department of Management?

Deputy Spokesperson: I believe that the Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff and Martin at this table have both said that the five-year plan, the five-year stipulation applies. When we have something to announce we will announce it. Right now, we have these two announcements which I have made this morning, and that’s all we have to announce.

Footnote: The Plumbly announcement's timing may be explained by Ban Ki-moon being in Lebanon. On Friday at noon, Del Buey told Inner City Press he did not know if Terje Roed Larsen was going to the meeting with Ban. Later, Ban's office put out a transcript of Ban's press conference there, with this question and (non) answer:

Q: What do you think about nuclear power in Israel, doesn't it pose a threat to international security? What do you think about human rights in Bahrain? What do you think about democracy in Saudi Arabia?

SG: In democratic societies, it is only natural that there is diverse opinions, whether for or against anybody, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I accepted this sign of democracy, a very vibrant democratic society in Lebanon. I'm very much encouraged that I'm accorded full and whole-hearted, a very warm welcome by the Lebanese government. As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, whatever I'm saying and doing has been based on universal values and my own personal convictions, without reflecting any member state's or any party's position. This is what I can tell you very clearly, that I work as the Secretary-General based on my belief and based on universal values that I'm making this very clearly, I hope there should be no misunderstanding whatsoever. That is why I have been unanimously re-elected to continue my job as the Secretary-General in promoting peace and stability and development and also promoting human rights all throughout the world. I will continue to discharge my duty as Secretary-General.

  This seems to take evasion to an entirely new level. Inner City Press has already asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky if anyone beyond the UN will pay for Ban's travel, a basic form of disclosure. But there has still been no answer - watch this site.

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