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With Pillay 2d Term In Doubt, Simonovic Lurks, Activists Wonder on Jilani

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 10 -- As UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay's first and maybe only term comes to an end, now names of possible replacements have begun to circulate.

  Back on March 26, Inner City Press first covered this, quoting a self-described Western diplomat that "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."

  Now a name is circulating, someone that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and apparently the Americans are comfortable with, unlike many human rights activists: Ivan Simonovic.

  When he was named as Pillay's New York based deputy, Simonovic's previous service to Franjo Tudman was raised, click here for Inner City Press' story. Since he's had the post, he's been less than accessible, soft on Sudan and the victors in Cote d'Ivoire and somewhat "joyless" as one reporter called him, adding that Simonovic is "not in any way associated with criticism of Israel."

  And could that be the point?

  Actual human rights activist suggest other names, like while not necessarily realistic, Hina Jilani, who has been a UN representative on Human Rights Defenders.

They note a series of "old names" in the mixed, ranging from Sergio Pinheiro the lead speaker on the panel on Syria, Juan Mendez and even Francis Deng, who wrote his own books while on UN time as the expert in the prevention of genocide. 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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