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For UNICEF, Guterres Confirms Picking US Fore, ICP Asked of 1/2 Block Drive

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive series

UNITED NATIONS, December 22 -- At the UN Children's Fund UNICEF on the evening of December 18, Inner City Press both learned both that outgoing Executive Director Anthony Lake is having his farewell party on December 19 and finalized its reporting on who have been the candidates to replace Lake, and who UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has selected as the winner, over the objection of some of his Under Secretaries General: Henrietta Fore. This was confirmed on December 22. As her name circulated in recent months, some pointed with concern to her presence on the boards of directors of ExxonMobil and General Mills, and compared her with other short listed candidates. Inner City Press now, prior to the public announcement of Guterres' selection if not process, exclusively reports on these candidates: former Mozambique Health Minister Francisco Songane, UN official Flavia Bustreo, and Canadian (Ontario) minister Eric Hoskins. On December 22 the UN announced, "Following consultations with the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Henrietta H. Fore of the United States as the Fund’s new Executive Director. She will succeed Anthony Lake, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the Organization. Mr. Lake brought a renewed focus on equity throughout UNICEF’s programmes and services for children. In achieving results for every child, his leadership has strengthened UNICEF’s reputation and credibility as an organization, and as a valued, expert partner for governments, civil society groups and businesses around the world, working together to achieve results for children. Ms. Fore has worked to champion economic development, education and health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief for the most vulnerable in the international and developing world in a public service, private sector and non-profit leadership career that spans more than four decades.  She was the first woman to be appointed as the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Director of United States Foreign Assistance in the U.S. Department of State. She held these positions from 2006 to 2009. From 1989 to 1993, she was the Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise of USAID.  Ms. Fore was also Under Secretary of State for Management, the Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Department of State (2005-2007) and the 37th Director of the United States Mint in the U.S. Department of Treasury (2001-2005). In addition, she served on the Board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.    Ms. Fore currently chairs the Board and is the Chief Executive Officer of Holsman International, a manufacturing and investment company.  She has also served on the boards for six domestic and international public corporations. " Why not name these corporations, Exxon Mobil? On December 19, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric to confirm or deny, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  I went to cover that event at UNICEF yesterday, and I think that Anthony Lake is having his farewell today.  Many people have been waiting for this announcement of the new head of UNICEF.  Can you confirm that it is, in fact, Henrietta Fore and that there was a shortlist of four, including a former health minister of Mozambique?  And I'm asking you, I guess, in the spirit of kind of transparency, like, did he recruit names from countries other than the United States?  And what's the status of naming a new head? Spokesman:  I'm waiting for an announcement, hopefully, any day now.  As you know, I'm not able to confirm it, because, frankly, I don't know who was on the short list, and I definitely do not know who is going to be named. Inner City Press: Is there a process… my understanding is that he's… he's decided to… does he have to check formally with a board…? Spokesman:  It's done in consultation with the Executive Board of UNICEF. Inner City Press:  Okay.  And this is… you may not like this one, but I just want to ask it because I want to understand it better.  In going to cover the event yesterday, on my way over there, I noticed, you know, two cars in front of the building.  And, when I got there, I saw the Secretary-General drive up in the two cars, and it seems like it's only half a block away.  Maybe he was going somewhere else, but I just want to be clear… given all the statements from here about climate change and various things, what's the explanation of two cars to go half a block? Spokesman:  I don't know if he went half a block.  I'm not aware of all the Secretary-General's movements and will not speak on security issues." It has, it was pointed out to Inner City Press at UNICEF's December 18 event, which Guterres was driven in two cars one block from just across First Avenue to attend, been an American job. But, more than one UNICEF insider asked, this American? Guterres spoke including taking a swipe at media gaining market share with ideas he disagrees with (unlike Robert Fico of Slovakia, whom he met earlier in the day) and left, quickly followed by his unresponsive Under Secretary General for Global Communications Alison Smale, who has yet to explain why Inner City Press for its reporting is still restricted after 22 months, its long time office sitting empty after being assigned to no-show Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom.

While Guterres rushed past Smale, sources tell Inner City Press that among those chiming in to Guterres about the UNICEF raise were Virginia Gamba and Mark Lowcock. We'll have more on this.


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