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Ban Switches From Woman to German Man as Police Adviser to Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 19 -- When the UN announced on the afternoon of April 18 that it was replacing as Herve Ladsous' Police Adviser in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations the Swedish Marie Orler with a Germany man, Stefan Feller, there was little time to put the switch in context.

  But it is noteworthy that just as Ban Ki-moon replaced a female Deputy Secretary General, Asha Rose Migiro, with a Swedish man, Jan Eliasson, now he has replaced a woman, not by coincidence Swedish, with another man.

   That Feller is German is not the main point -- but that he is European, like Ladsous the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping (and like Eliasson) is significant.

  Why has France been allowed to name the last four DPKO chiefs? Because it has a veto on the Security Council, including over selection and re-appointment of UN Secretaries General. And why does France have that veto power? Because it ostensibly was a victor in World War II.

  Now, over 70% of the UN's and DPKO's work is in Africa. What does it say that both the head of DPKO, Ladsous, and his top Police Adviser, Feller, are European?

  Inner City Press raised this issue when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon named out of work Italian politician Romano Prodi as his envoy to the Sahel in Africa. For that, there was push back from the UN Secretariat.

  (And on March 18, the UN Department of Public Information conducted a non-consensual raid on Inner City Press' office, rifled through papers and took photographs, which were leaked on March 21 to BuzzFeed right after that publication contacted Ban's spokesman for comment on the raid.)

  Perhaps not surprisingly, on the evening on April 18, UN DPI official Stephane Dujarric contacted Inner City Press “urgently” about its tweet -- yes, a 140 character message -- about Feller's appointment. Durjarric has previously criticized Inner CIty Press' tweet about Ban himself. This time, Dujarric demanded an explanation of the tweet. Well here it is:

  It reflects UN decay that Ban Ki-moon's top Peacekeeper and top Police Adviser are both European men, given the percentage of their work that is in Africa. It smacks, yes, of colonialism. And of the UN being lost, in top appointments, in the legacy of World War 2.

  And what of Ban's speeches about women in top positions in the UN? Here, an outgoing official, one of the UN's top women, is replaced by a man, just as Ban replaced Asha Rose Migiro with a man.

  (Orler, as Inner City Press reported, was at least responsive to questions, unlike Ladsous, who on camera refused questions about 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army, his partners, on November 27, December 7 and December 18.

  On February 1, Orler's office sent answers to questions Inner City Press asked Orler in her final briefing. And how will Feller be? The UN, including DPI and Dujarric, done nothing publicly or substantively about Ladsous' outrageous refusal to answer question.)

  But where is Asha Rose Migiro now? Ban named her his envoy on HIV / AIDS in Africa. And?

  Back on December 27, 2012, Inner City Press asked Ban's top three spokespeople about the process to replace Orler (and whether France or another European country would get the post). They responded:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 5:08 PM
Subject: Question
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

On the Police Adviser: DPKO advises that the post of Police Adviser is a rotational post that is filled by active-duty officers on secondment from national service, normally for a limited period. The current Police Adviser has been in service since 2009 and a note verbale has been circulated to seek nominations from member states to the post. The selection process is in progress.

  Then it still took more than three and a half months, and then was announced not in a noon briefing but in an afternoon e-mail. But Dujarric was there, with his hawk-eye on even the tweets of the media he acccredits to enter the UN. Or is it ALL media, he watches? We'll have more on this.

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