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Colombia's Osorio to Head ECOSOC, Cabral & Sangqu Leave, Hardeep Retires

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 29 -- When countries leave the UN Security Council after their two year terms, often they empty out their Missions in New York: staffing-down, it's called.

  But Colombia, which left the Council on December 31 along with India, Germany, Portugal and South Africa, may be the exception. Its Permanent Representative Nestor Osorio was elected on January 28 as the president for this year of the UN Economic and Social Council.

  Osorio had already told Inner City Press that he would be staying in New York. By contrast, Portugal is sending its Permanent Representative Cabral to become Ambassador to France, and won't be sending a replacement to New York until April.

  South Africa is sending its Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu to represent them at the African Union in Addis Ababa; political coordinator Zaheer Laher is headed back to South Africa. India's Hardeep Singh Puri is retiring next month, he's told Inner City Press.

  While Germany's Peter Wittig was seen last week rushing into a Security Council debate, this time as a non-member, it was telling that he had his Deputy Miguel Berger take the chair of the Fifth Committee, a post meant for Permanent Representatives.

  Of the Departed Five, Osorio is the one who got a high post at the UN in New York. Who woulda thunk it? Watch this site.

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