In UN, Job Search by Kouchner and Prodi, Replacement
for Eliasson Sought, Alberdi Fall-Out
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at
the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, April 18 -- This week's Security
Council meeting was on Africa, but European scuttlebutt on the margins
it out. Among the French, word is that Bernard
Kouchner is gunning for the post
Louise Arbour is leaving, High Commissioner for Human Rights. Whatever
competition for the spotlight between Kouchner and his boss Sarkozy,
made it clear he is no fan of Sarko's chief of staff. The feeling, it's
is more than mutual.
foreign minister Romano Prodi came, and Wednesday outside the Security
Council came over to the assembled Italian
press. They asked about his plans, after Berlusconi's win. Prodi showed
feigned outrage: you call me over to ask that? Well, yes. A joke now
circulating in UN Headquarters is that the post of Special Advisor on
which Ban Ki-moon merged with small island states, might be brought
life not for an African, but for Prodi.
Even in Africa itself, the job news involves
Europeans. The UN's
highlights of a noon briefing which did not take place on Friday
"the United Nations and African Union
Special Envoys for Darfur, Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim, were in
Sudan over the past two days to meet with representatives of the
movements. Yesterday in North Darfur, they met with members of the
Wahid movement. Today, they were in a rebel-controlled area in West
met with the leader of Justice and Equality Movement, Dr. Khalil
better hurry up -- Jan Eliasson's contract, it's said, expires
in June. Grumbling has begun
about the lack of progress
made towards the appointment of a joint chief mediator who, as it now
would replace the two special envoys. Reportedly a short list has
submitted to the UN's 38th floor and a debate is ongoing about
approach from that list. The last candidate that everyone agreed on
his name. Eliasson is pushing for the joint chief mediator to be
before June. For now the plan is for Eliasson to continue to play
sort of "high-level political role" at strategic moments after the
joint chief mediator assumes his position. Say it
ain't so, Prodi...
Pre-job search, Prodi and Kouchner, center left
for now, in further fall-out for Ban's and UNDP's selection of Spain's
Alberdi over the widely-favored Gita Sen of India as the D-2 chief of
more detailed account has emerged, in which in August UNDP advertised
Over 150 applications were received and six candidates were
of that process, Spain was opening lobbying for the post in November
it was reported that Spain's Vice
President Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega reaffirmed the government's
desire for a Spaniard to be appointed as Director of the UN Development
Fund for Women
("le reitero el deseo del Gobierno
de que sea una espanola la que presida el Fondo de Desarrollo de las
Unidas para la Mujer").
President and Mr. Ban also at that time unveiled a plaque for a UN
center in Valencia for which still not General Assembly approval has
been given, click here
for Inner City Press' article, here for
the photo and caption of November 17, 2007.
Also in November UNDP convened a
senior interview panel to assess each candidate after which Dr. Sen was
recommended for the job. Despite this, in January and February,
pressure from the Government of Spain continued and surprisingly for a
post, the Secretary-General himself reportedly interviewed four
hired a consultant to conduct reference checks.
Immediately after the Spanish elections the
Secretariat decided to appoint
the Spanish candidate; UNDP was lined up to make the announcement that
contrary to the outcome of UNDPs selection process.
same time, NGOs note that the Secretary-General has been quoted in
"Unfortunately, the UN has
been criticized for not being transparent and not being effective.
Since I won
my mandate as Secretary General I have undertaken to change first of
working culture in the UN to make all our step more professional, more
and more accountable."
see -- watch this site.
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Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
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