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In OCHA Race, UAE Candidate Said to Fail to Get Asia Group Consensus

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Follow Up

UNITED NATIONS, January 31, more here, Video I here -- The week after Inner City Press reported on UK Prime Minister David Cameron's angry or "rude" call to the UN's Ban Ki-moon, and four weeks after Inner City Press exclusively reported on Cameron's second and third nominees to replace Valerie Amos, then on a United Arab Emirates candidate, Inner City Press can today report a snag for the UAE candidate.

   On January 14, Inner City Press was informed by sources of a minister from the United Arab Emirates, Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi, a member of the ruling family of Sharjah, put forward as a candidate by the UAE. The UAE has, it was noted,, the "Humanitarian City." And the UAE did give $1 million to OCHA's CERF last month.

  But the UAE sought, and has been unable to obtained, UN Asia Pacific Group consensus support for their candidate. This is a set-back.

The UK's second duo of candidates, after opposition to Andrew Lansley: Caroline Spelman and Stephen O'Brien. Are those who oppose and opposed Lansley being lobbied?

  Germany's candidate Martin Kobler, a close observer emphasizes to Inner City Press that Kobler was for a time the UN's first choice to be UN Special Coordinator on the Middle East, before after opposition by a Permanent Five Security Council member the position went to Robert Serry.

  Now Serry is to be replaced by Nickolay Mladenov, currently UN envoy in Iraq. The UK -- seeming to reflect a lack of confidence it will retain OCHA -- sought to name one of its national to replace Mladenov, but was shot down by Iraq. That process is now in its final stages.

  While Inner City Press exclusively published the Mladenov to Serry switch before midnight in New York on January 30, eleven hours later one of the board members of the UN Censorship Alliance put it out without any credit at all. That's UNCA - Inner City Press quit and co-founded the new Free UN Coalition for Access, after attempts at censorship and refusal of UNCA's board to issue even guidance about not stealing exclusives. Call it sleaze.

  Back on November 26, minutes after the UN announced the departure of Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs chief Baroness Valerie Amos, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq if the vacancy would be advertised for candidates from all countries, or if it is set aside for Amos' United Kingdom.

  On January 30 Inner City Press was reliable informed that UK Prime Minister David Cameron telephoned Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and said -- "rudely," according to denizens of the UN's 38th floor -- that despite the UK's submission of two additional names, below, Ban "must" pick Andrew Lansley.

  These sources say that Ban, as if to prove independence, will NOT choose Lansley but will keep the post UK, choosing on a progressive basis the female candidate, Caroline Spelman. Are those opposed to Lansley being lobbied for her?

  We'll have more on this.


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