Top UN Women Post From Rwanda, Tunisia, Malaysia, No Bachelet
Russell Lee, Exclusive
July 2 -- As UN Women, the world body's so-called Gender
Entity, was birthed Friday in the General Assembly, Inner City
learned for a well placed Mission about six of the eight candidates
for the Under-Secretary General position at the top of UN Women.
Rwandan foreign minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, UN gender advisor Rachel
by Gabon), a Malaysian official who heads up the gender work of the
Non Aligned Movement, officials from Tunisia and Norway and, Inner
City Press is told, Sri Lanka's Radhika Coomaraswamy.
assured for that reason a seat on the Executive Board, is said to
agree that the USG should come from the Global South. So the
Norwegian, it seems, has little chance.
UN's Ban and Bachelet, UN Women not shown
Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro
to name the candidates, since she had said the process would be open
and transparent. Eight countries, she said, have submitted names,
including one country naming another's national. She gave as an
example the United States nominating her. “Have they?” Inner City
Press asked. No, she said.
on the list is
Michelle Bachelet of Chile. Some say she wanted UNICEF and is
miffed. Others say she will only take it if offered: i.e., if it is
not a competitive process. We'll see. Watch this space.
* * *
Stalled on Posts, Palestine and Cuban Pride, Ban Waits
to Take Credit
25 -- The UN negotiations on the so called Gender
Entity continues Friday into the evening, with three issues
outstanding. Each was a UN classic. Syria was championing a special
mention for women under occupation: that is, Palestine.
with a paragraph suggesting that countries submit their
national programs for UN system review. And the donor countries and
the Group of 77 different on the distribution and number of posts,
that is, jobs. Follow the money.
posts. Inner City Press is informed that while many still hope that
former Chilean president Michele Bachelet would accept the Gender
Entity post, she had wanted UNICEF, which was given to American
Anthony Lake. Now the Gender post may go to a Rwandan minister.
Inner City Press asked the chair and staffer of the Economic and
Social Council if, in exchange for the new Under Secretary General
post, the underlying Assistant Secretary General posts would be
eliminated. No, two would remain, was the answer.
DSG Migiro and Hamidon Ali, Gender Entity and
day care closing not shown
Inner City Press asked:
this has been set by the President of the General
Assembly, something of a deadline to get a draft done. So I’m
wonder… I understand that the Secretary-General is going to the
G-20 and all, but what is the role of the Secretariat? Not just the
Secretary-General personally, but Migiro, you know, the [Deputy
Secretary-General Asha-Rose] Migiro...
that the Secretariat is going to say, you know, this is a
reform that we brought about, this gender entity. What, in this
critical time, what’s the role of the Secretariat in sort,
providing I guess, you know, leadership on this gender entity? There
are some outstanding issues, and I just wonder whether the
Secretariat is chiming in, in terms of how this entity will deal with
the developed world or countries in which there is not a presence on
the ground? And then, you may not think it’s related, but have you
found out whose decision it was to close the
UN day care center on
two days’ notice? The issue that arose yesterday? I see them as
related. Maybe you don’t.
starting with the big picture, gender empowerment,
gender equality, these are major priorities for the
Secretary-General, and for the United Nations as a whole. Indeed
gender empowerment is one of the key priorities of the
Secretary-General for this year, not least because he and the Deputy
Secretary-General have been pushing extremely hard for this new
gender entity to come onto being. And so, obviously, we’re
watching this very closely. We’re not just watching; I know the
Deputy Secretary-General in particular — this is something the
Secretary-General has asked her to focus on — he’s very much
involved in seeing how this passes through during the course of the
day and into next week.
would anticipate that the Deputy
Secretary-General would want to speak to the media once we have a
clearer picture of what happens. It is a major priority; it’s
something that the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General
have been pushing extremely hard because they believe that it’s
essential for us to be able to make progress on many other areas of
work, not least, development. And as for the micro-picture, which is
not to belittle it at all, because child care is extremely important,
I do not have an answer. We’ve asked for an answer but we do not
have an answer at the moment.
for that day care center closing answer -- and for the Gender Entity
denouement. Watch this site.
* * *
Day Care Center Raises Questions of Hypocrisy, Gender Entity End Game
25 -- As at the UN talks on the “Gender Entity”
resolution are convened today, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon heads
to the G-20 meeting to speak of the importance of women to the MDGs,
the hypocrisy of closing the UN day
care center on only two days notice to parents has not gone unnoticed.
week Inner City Press exclusively
reported on the June 18
closure, which working parents using the center were informed of
on June 16.
Inner City Press is
that the UN Department of Management run by Angela Kane has been asked
about decision, how it was taken and even if it
can be re-considered.
just too obvious. The Department of Management's Office for Human
Resources Management has as a stated goal “to support the
development and implementation of policies and programmes concerning
staff welfare and employee assistance..." and "(f) to
develop and implement policies on work/life issues to assist staff in
balancing professional and personal lives" (ST/SGB/2004/8).
Secretary-General's report on “Improvement of the status of women
in the United Nations system” (A/63/364), for example, identified
the existence of child care facilities as one of the most effective
means of facilitating work/life balance in the workplace, and notes
the small percentage of these facilities as a “notable gap” in
the United Nations.
gap was made a gapping hole by a unilateral decision by an out of
touch bureaucracy which didn't even purport to consult with those
Angela Kane claps while DSG Migiro holds the
scizzors, ASG Pollard on side
24, Inner City Press asked
Some staff members have raised concern that the UN day
care that they’ve run here for 38 years, at least that’s the
number that’s put on it, is now being discontinued on two days’
notice to the affected staff members. And they seem to think this is
inconsistent with everything that’s been said about work-life
balance and making it easier for women to work in the UN. What’s
the reasoning, particularly for the limited notice given to the staff
members using that day care center?
What I can say, I can’t really address the
question of notice. That’s something that we could seek further
guidance on. But what I can say is that it’s clearly linked to the
renovation that’s going on in this building and the lack of
appropriate space for children to be looked after.
These staff members have pointed to an unused, or
virtually unused space in [building] DC-1, and said that it seems
from the notice that was put on i-Seek that the only concern is that
they’d have to have licenses and somehow be up to New York City
standards if they held it off premises. Does this imply that for 38
years it was somehow sub-par? I guess they view there was no
dialogue given and there seems to be space. I’m just wondering, I
don’t know, you didn’t make a decision to close it, but I’m
for sure, that’s for sure.
did, actually? Who did make the decision?
writing some 22 hours after the question was posed Mr. Nesirky had
not named the decision making official, Inner City Press has been
that the Department of Management, run by Angela Kane and
overseeing “power broker” Michael Adlerstein's Capital Master
Plan, has been asked about decision, how it was taken and even if it
can be re-considered.
Ironically, at the same time as this reporting, Mr. Adlerstein and Ms.
Kane sent threatening messages to Inner City Press related to the
Capital Master Plan. So it goes at the UN. Watch