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Secretary-General Removes UN Special Adviser for Africa

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					Secretary-General Removes UN Special Adviser for Africa




New York, July 27, 2007 – On July 16, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that he
intended not to renew the mandate of the Special Adviser on Africa. The scope of the Office of
the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and
Small Island Developing States, would be expanded to encompass African issues, he said.


He also decided to place the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Liaison
Officer under the charge of the High Representative of the Secretary-General on Least
Developed Countries (Ambassador Cheikh Sidi Diarra). The UNCTAD deals with trade and other
economic issues dealing with all of the 130 developing nations.


As part of the reconfiguration of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon said he would delegate and assign the
work on the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) which has been
mainly completed by the Office of the Special Adviser to Africa (OSAA), to the Office of the High
Representative of Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Countries and Small Island
Developing (States). He recently appointed Ambassador Cheikh Sidi Diarra of Mali to the post.
Ban Ki-moon also stated “[in response to] all of these concerns raised by African countries, I am
going to appoint him (Ambassador Diarra) as a focal point at the United Nations Headquarters
dealing with African issues. I am going to concurrently appoint him as my Special Representative
to UNCTAD.”


Until the end of his contract the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa was headed by the Under-
Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa, Mr. Legwaila Joseph Legwaila. Ban did not
renew Legwaila’s contract when he took office as Secretary-General. Until now, it had been
unclear how he would fill the role of the Special Adviser.




Controversy over the removal of the position:


Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, the current chair of the G-77 and China signed a letter
stating their concern about Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s change to the structure of the
Secretariat. “The Group of 77 and China considers that these decisions seriously undermine the
role and authority of the General Assembly in approving and amending the Programme Budget
and the Biennial Programme Plan. We wish to emphasise that only the General Assembly can
modify or terminate its legislative mandates," Akram said. Vijaya Nambiar, the UN chief of staff
wrote a letter to the Advisory Committee and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) indicating that the
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Secretary General had made radical changes to the Secretariat in the 61 session of the GA
without formally consulting the G77.




In response to the letter from the “G-77 and China” (a group comprised of 132 developing
countries) expressing concern about his plans, Ban’s spokesperson said on July 18:

           "It is the intention of the Secretary-General to consult Member States, and the
            Secretariat has been in communication with the Advisory Committee on
            Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on this matter. The Secretary-
            General obviously respects the views of Member States, and decisions to be made in
            due course will take these fully into account.”
           The Spokeswoman said he would meet with individual members of the Group of 77
            and was consulting Member States.

           Ultimately, she said, in response to questions about how the Secretary-General’s
            proposals on posts concerning Africa would proceed, the matter would require a
            decision by the General Assembly.

           When asked about prior consultations between the Secretary-General and Member
            States, Montas said that the Secretary-General had held consultations beforehand
            on his intention to change the mandates concerning Africa.




When Member States questioned the merging and realignment of the positions the Secretariat
responded that it was in order to “maximize the use of budgetary resources”. The African
countries are upset with the Secretary-General’s decision to effectively integrating and
consolidating all three appointments. Nevertheless Ban said “the African challenge has the
highest priority in my agenda” and that he is planning to “strengthen, not weaken, the UN’s focus
on African issues.”

Update on Appointments of Senior Advisors and Executive Office

Choi Soon-hong of South Korea is the first person to serve as the Chief IT Officer. He will be
responsible for all substantive and operational needs on information and communication
technologies of the UN. The post was created in July 2006 by the General Assembly as part of its
reform package.

Source: http://www.unelections.org/?q=in-the-news

				
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