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UN Budget Panel Chair Won by Mexico Over UK "Spy," Moon Ties Gabon for Vice

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 19, updated -- In the UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, a new chairperson was elected on November 21: Carlos Ruiz Massieu of Mexico.

  He won 9-7 over the UK's Robert Moon. Ever classy, the UK Mission tweeted its congratulations. Later a UK spokesman added, "The UK always supports those we believe to be the best candidates for the job. We have a rigorous selection process for selecting all UK candidates."

   After that first vote, Moon ran for Vice Chair, tying 7-7 with the member from Gabon.

  As Inner City Press reported on November 19, multiple sources have exclusively detailed to it how UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant was calling his counterparts of the native countries of other ACABQ members, lobbying for this Moon, has been on ACABQ since January 2011.

  It's said that such lobbying for ACABQ is standard practice. There is a question of principle here: if it is argued that ACABQ members and chairpersons do not represent their countries, how much lobbying by their country to get the position is appropriate?

  Since vice chairs like Carlos Ruiz Massieu often move up to chair, Moon's seven votes in the first round show efficacy of Lyall Grant's and the UK's lobbying. But the second round tie?

  The UK notes, Moon was  on the "GA's Fifth Committee from 1999 to 2003; and then moved to the ACABQ, leaving at the end of 2004. He has been a member of the Committee on Contributions since 2005."

   Opponents of Richard Moon becoming chair - and they do exist -- have made much of a website listing the UK's overseas spies which lists a "Richard John Moon: dob 1959; 85 Jakarta, 93 Rome, 99 New" York. These do line up with Moon's c.v. on the UK Mission web site.

  In fairness even if true there is a lot of back and forth between diplomatic and intelligence service: witness not only Sir John Sawers but many other switches, in both directions, in the Permanent Five members of the Security Council and beyond.

  And we now note, in terms of the "spy" list's credibility or lack thereof, the UK Mission spokesperson until November 2010 is listed: "2004 Kabul, 2007 Ankara. 5. Cross, Harriett Victoria Saltonstall."

  Regardless, some have told Inner City Press they find the UK's lobbying inappropriate, either because ACABQ members are supposed to serve in their personal capacities only -- yeah, right -- or because a Permanent Five member of the Security Council should also chair the ACABQ.

  Of course, the American Susan McLurg previously chaired the ACABQ. But perhaps pushback at the P5 is only growing, as reflected by the recent passage of the resolution requiring Ban Ki-moon to be more transparent on how the P5's Special Political Missions are decided on and funded.

  On the other hand, there was a competing and devious theory that the Secretariat, represented by chef de cabinet Susana Malcorra of Argentina, reached out to Kelapile to see if he would use his position to support Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's "mobility" proposal.

  Once rebuffed, the theory goes, Malcorra "got GRULAC," the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, to support Kelapile's ouster, assuming that the vice chair, Carlos Ruiz Massieu of Mexico, an expert on issues ranging from Darfur to the Capital Master Plan, would assume the top stop and be more amenable.

    This theory has been directly denied, as well as any pre-existing support of Ban's mobility proposal, which we will be following. Watch this site.

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