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On PBC, Burundi Visit Feb 15-19, UN-Straight Answers from UN Spox

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 3 -- When the UN Peacebuilding Commission met on February 3, the chair of the Burundi PBC Configuration, Swiss Ambassador Jurg Lauber said he will visit Bujumbura and the region / Addis Ababa from February 15-19.

   Lauber did not mention the backing-down on the proposed MAPROBU peacekeeping mission by the African Union, complete with silence from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after Ban's (or France's) head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous undercut the peacekeeping proposal in a memo Inner City Press published online here.

  In the PBC meeting, Brazil's Ambassador Patriota suggested that the chair position on country configurations, particularly in Africa, should be rotated. The same might be said for the position of “penholder” in the UN Security Council, for example France continuing to “hold the pen” on Burundi.

 Two days ago, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Francois Delattre about the decision not to sending the MAPROBU peacekeepers. I'll have to get back to you, Delattle said: and hasn't.

  The new Chair of the PBC is Kenya's Ambassador Macharia Kamau, of whom Inner City Press on January 27 asked the UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric to merely confirm he's been nominated to head UNEP. From the UN transcript:

Inner City Press: Kenya has said that they've nominated their current perm rep here, Ambassador Kamau, to head UNEP.  And I wanted to know about this process, they say that the President of Kenya has submitted to Ban Ki-moon his name to replace Achim Steiner in June.  Is this going to be a process with, like, a short list?  Has a letter gone out to Member States seeking…?

Spokesman Dujarric:  It's a question… I'll find out.  I think most different funds and programmes have different procedures on how to appoint the head.  Some of them involve the General Assembly; some don't.

   Two day later, Dujarric's office sent Inner City Press a response did that not answer the question asked:

“Regarding your question on UNEP at the noon briefing earlier this week, a Note Verbale seeking nominations from Member States was issued on 24 November 2015 with a closing date of 11 January 2016. A web announcement seeking applications from the general public was also posted on Secretary-General's Senior Level Vacancies web page on 24 November 2015. The Secretary-General will follow the established process for the selection and appointment of senior managers as outlined in his report to the General Assembly on 30 January 2012 (A/66/380/Add.1).”

  But no answer on the actual questions asked, about Kenya's nomination, just as Dujarric's Deputy Farhan Haq would not factually answer Inner City Press' question whether Dujarric's Office has lent out the UN Press Briefing Room to a fundee of indicted businessman Ng Lap Seng (it has: UNCA). We'll have more on all this.


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