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For UNDP Top Post, UNICEF's Hilde Johnson, Kiwi Clark or Oil Man Akram

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Muse

UNITED NATIONS, February 10 -- The names mentioned in competition for the UN Development Program top job now include UNICEF's Number Two official, Hilde Johnson, along with UNDP's #2 Ad Melkert and New Zealand's Helen Clark, among others. The Norwegian press reports that the government in Oslo is deciding whether to "promote an American candidate" or whether "former Christian People's Party Minister Hilde Frafjord Johnson may be appropriate."

   Inner City Press asked UNICEF's spokesman for comment from agency deputy Hilde Johnson on this article, "does she oppose nomination to UNDP Administrator post by her government, would she accept nomination and the job if awarded it?  What is UNICEF's view?" Inner City Press also asked when the current head of UNICEF, Ann Veneman, will finally be available for a press conference at the UN.

   In response, UNICEF's spokesman merely stated, "the appointment of a UNDP Administrator is not a decision in which UNICEF or its senior management have a role, so we have no comment." But Hilde Johnson is "senior management" of UNICEF, and her country's press names her as a candidate. We'll have more on this. Inner City Press asked Ban's Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe if the short list of candidates for the top UNDP top will be made public, as it was under Kofi Annan. "No," Ms. Okabe said.

UNICEF's Hilde Johnson, UNDP short list not shown

  The New Zealand press is abuzz with the candidacy of former prime minister Helen Clark, saying the only blockage may be an American nomination for the post.  These articles miss, however, that there are developing world candidates for the post, not only from South Africa, but also Ban Ki-moon's current chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, and even former Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram, whose taken up a post with a Houston-based oil company. UNDP is involved in the mining sector, from Zimbabwe through Haiti to Niger. We've put in questions to UNDP and will report on responses soon.

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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

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