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As Jordan Raid Iraq TV Station, What's UN Nominee Zeid's Position?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Fourth in a series

UNITED NATIONS, June 14 -- On June 4, Inner City Press reported that Prince Zeid of Jordan was vetted to replace Navi Pillay as UN High Commissioner on Human Rights. On June 6, the UN confirmed it - and on June 9, Jordanian authorities raided and suspended Al-Abasiya, an Iraqi opposition TV station based in Amman, arresting 14 journalists.

  So Jordan has violated articles 9, 16 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

  What is Jordan Prince Zeid's position? What will he say? What has he said?

   For many position, there is a confirmation process, in which a nominee is asked questions about real and hypothetical situation. This is a real situation, in Zeid's own home country. Shouldn't his view on it be known? The Free UN Coalition Access believes they should be.

Inner City Press has previously praised Zeid's work on sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers, and in questioning controversial Sri Lankan military figure Shavendra Silva being on Ban Ki-moon's Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations.

The UN's June 6 announcement came three hours after refusing to answer Inner City Press' questions about having dangled a job in front of a sitting Ambassador who voted on Secretariat requests. Video here of June 5 and June 6 questions; embedded below.

  Here is the UN's announcement:

The Secretary-General, following consultations with the Chairmen of the regional groups of Member States, today informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint H.R.H. Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein is currently Jordan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a post he held previously for six and a half years, from 2000 to 2007. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Jordan's Ambassador to the United States and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico. He also served as Jordan’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador, from 1996 to 2000.”


There were also as candidates two women from Pakistan, Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani, who was also a candidate against Pillay in 2008. Also in the running was Nobel prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta.  Inner City Press on May 9 asked the UN about Jose Ramos-Horta, moonlighting for while serving as UN enovy in Guinea Bissau.  The UN has yet to answer.

  Other names in circulation included Indonesia's Marzuki Darusman, who has worked on Sri Lanka and more recently North Korea.

  Current UN Human Rights official in New York Ivan Simonovic, now working on a new report on Ukraine including the Odessa killings by June 17, was star-crossed by geography: it's Asia's turn -- though Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq denied that on June 6, video soon.

   But it's supposed to be Eastern Europe's turn for the next Secretary General, and that is not stopping Helen Clark and others for campaigning for it...

Back on May 9, Inner City Press asked:

Inner City Press: I'd like to ask about Guinea-Bissau and then some press freedom questions... can you confirm that Jose Ramos Horta is leaving? It's said that he’s leaving to go work at UBrainTV based in Tokyo and quote, “he has been an adviser for UbrainTV for more than a year.” I wanted to know, is it permissible to be a full-time SRSG and also be an adviser to a for-profit company? Was this cleared by the ethics office?

Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq: I don’t have any information about any other business that Mr. Ramos Horta may or may not have, so I don’t have any comment on that. Certainly, he continues with his work right now though.

  Since that May 9 exchange there has been no information from the UN Spokesperson's office. Inner City Press held off on this report, out of respect for Ramos-Horta. But doesn't the UN have to answer? Watch this site.



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