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At UN, Pillay's 2d Term Questioned by Western Diplomats, of Precedent & Ban

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 26 -- In the aftermath of last week's Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, questioning of a second term as High Commissioner for Navi Pillay has picked up steam, not (only) among the countries angry about the votes but among major Western countries.

  Inner City Press heard from non-government organizations that in Geneva a Western country's ambassador let known his country has "reservations about any High Commissioner having a second term or being able to point to a second term for Pillay as the precedent that confirms that every High Commissioner is entitled to two terms."

  Resolution 48/141 says that a High Commissioner is entitled to serve two terms, but to date no High Commissioner has served a second term.

  Pillay has seemingly been aware of big or veto-wielding countries' interests, notably by failing to attend a Nobel Peace Prize winner's ceremony and more recently by still not releasing any casualty count from the ethnic strife in Pibor, South Sudan, due not only to UN's alleged negligence in responding too slowing, including remaining without military helicopters from November until the events, but also due to major power -- Host Country -- support for the government in Juba.

  Click here for another Pibor story from earlier today.

  At the UN in New York on March 26, Inner City Press followed up and while hitting some resistance to go on the record, a Western diplomat told Inner City Press, "in all the senior jobs we think there should be a special process. I think we need to look if there are other candidates who might want to apply for that job. I don't know if she [Pillay] wants to run again, or if the S-G wants her to run again."

  One might wonder why such a process wasn't applied to Ban Ki-moon's getting a second term. Perhaps it's because for the UN Secretary General that HAS emerged an unfortunate precedent for two terms, at least to a regional group, so that when the Bill Clinton administration vetoed Boutros Boutros Ghali for a second term, Kofi Annan also from the African Group was the successor, then for ten years, given the African Group 15 years.

  If Ban had been removed this time, the Asia Group would have put up another S-G, probably for 10 years.

  Ban supported a second term at Supachai Panitchpakdi at UNCTAD, some said to fortify his own claim for a second term. Now that he has that in the bag, what will he and Western powers do about Pillay? Watch this site.

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

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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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