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Bachelet Will Leave UN, Return to Chile for Reason Personal - Political?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 15, updated -- Michele Bachelet announced she will leave the UN and return to Chile for “personal reasons,” widely viewed as political reasons.

  The announcement came past 8 pm on Friday, after the adoption of a compromise outcome document at the Commission on the Status of Women. Libya spoke against the gay rights language, the US said it wasn't strong enough. But then Bachelet dropped her news. And Inner City Press tweeted it.

  Bachelet has headed UN Women. She had been viewed, without much basis given the UN's sytem of regional rotation and near automatic two terms for Secretaries General, as a possible replacement for Ban Ki-moon.

  She was higher profile that Ban's other officials, which include as chief of UN Peacekeeping a French former spokesman, Herve Ladsous, who was rejected by Ban's predecessor for the same post that Ban let him have. France dumped Ladsous on the UN as a last minute replacement for Jerome Bonnafont, without even an interview.

  By contrast Bachelet was a former (and perhaps future) head of state. Inner City Press spoke with her not infrequently; she quickly developed knowledge of the UN system including the unions. In this she can be contrasted with Ban Ki-moon, who answered Inner City Press' question about opposition to him budget cuts and mobility proposal by called opponents “selfish” then standing behind it.

  This extends to departments under Ban, interfacing with or casting a pall over the freedom of the press. We'll have more on this. Watch this site.

Update of March 16: after publication of the above, a valued reader wrote in with predictions, which we find interesting while noting that Lakhshi Puri's husband Hardeep Singh Puri has already left as Indian Permanent Representative, see video here. To be continued.

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