Saturday, July 24, 2010

At UN, As Ban Ki-moon Switches from S. African to Canadian As New OIOS Chief, Post-Ahlenius Rebellion Spreads, Sources Say

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 23 -- Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, reeling from the damning exit memo of the outgoing head of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, may now get himself in more troubling in naming a replacement.

Earlier this year, Inner City Press reported that the new head of OIOS was slated to be an auditor from South Africa. This would conform to many member states' understanding that developed and developing countries would alternate atop the OIOS: Karl Paschke of Germany, then Dileep Nair of Singapore, then Inga Britt Ahlenius of Sweden. The next was slated to be from South Africa.

But diplomatic sources tell Inner City Press that on July 23, after facing questions for a week about his interactions with OIOS, Ban told regional groupings that instead of the South Africa, he would be appointing a Canadian.

This has triggered outrage among developing countries. It comes against the backdrop of ad hoc meetings to “revitalize the General Assembly” which are discussing requiring Ban Ki-moon to come before the GA to seek his second term, and not only the Security Council.

UN's Ban and auditors 2008, Canadian and Dag under Fire not shown

Specifically, under the heading “Selection of the Secretary General,” the draft “takes note of the views expressed at the Ad Hoc Working Group at the 64th session and bearing in mind the provisions of Article 97 of the Charter, emphasizes the need for the process of selection of the Secretary General to be inclusive of all Member States and to be made more transparent.. including through presentation of candidates for the position of the Secretary General in an informal plenary of the General Assembly.”

Interestingly, the marked up draft of this pending paragraph reads as follows:

10. Affirms its commitment to continuing its consideration of the revitalization of the General Assembly's role in the selection and appointment of the Secretary General, including through (encouraging (Algeria / NAM: delete and add 'the') Russian Federation: retain) presentation of candidates for the position of Secretary General in an informal plenary of the General Assembly before the Security Council considers the matter (Russian Federation); Russian Federation: bracket entire para.”

10 Alt. Also encourages formal presentation of candidatures for the position of the Secretary General in a manner than allows sufficient time for interaction with member states, and requests candidates to present their views to all Member States of the General Assembly (Belgium / EU, US & Russia) (Algeria / NAM supports Islamic Republic of Iran proposal of retaining as OP 10 bis).”

In the Security Council, placating or giving patronage to the five Permanent Members would be enough to gain the second term. But if the GA and regional grouping get involved, Ban's snubs like that of Africa for the deputy post in the UN Development Program, and the devaluation of the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, could come back to haunt Ban. Watch this site.

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