July 13 - Issue 20 - Ban Makes Two Senior Appointments, Six Remain Vacant

New York, July 13, 2007 - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently announced the appointment of two senior officials in the Secretariat.

 

On 2 July, Ban appointed Sergio de Queiroz Duarte of Brazil as the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, a new position that carries the rank of Under-Secretary-General. The post was created as part of Ban's proposed restructuring of the Secretariat, approved by the General Assembly on March 15, 2007.

 

On 6 July, Ban announced the appointment of Mali's ambassador to the United Nations, Chieck Sidi Diarra, as the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). Ban had not renewed the contract of Mr. Diarra's predecessor when he took office as Secretary-General.

 

High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

 

  • Sergio de Queiroz Duarte has held various appointments as part of the Brazilian Foreign Service, including positions related to disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation. He was Brazil's Ambassador-at-Large for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation from 2003-2004, and his most recent disarmament-related post was as President of the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York. He represented Brazil at sessions of the General Assembly's First Committee and the UN Disarmament Commission. Duarte served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for one year and represented Brazil on the IAEA Board for several terms. Duarte has held diplomatic posts to Austria, Canada, China and elsewhere.
  • Duarte is the first person to hold the position of High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, as the General Assembly recently approved plans to replace the Department of Disarmament Affairs with an Office for Disarmament Affairs. Whereas the Department was headed by an Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Nobuaki Tanaka of Japan, the Office will be headed by a High Representative who reports directly to the Secretary-General. Despite this structural change, the post still carries the rank of Under-Secretary-General.
  • The High Representative will be responsible for all activities of the Office as well as administration. This includes representing the Office to the Secretariat, Member States, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, academia, media, and at meetings of the Senior Management Group, senior advisors' meetings, and the Executive Committee on Peace and Security and the Policy Committee. The High Representative will be responsible for four core areas:

1. Policy development and support in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation;

2. Advocacy for disarmament and non-proliferation with Member States and civil society;

3. Promotion and support of multilateral efforts on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;

4. Promotion and support of disarmament efforts in the field of conventional disarmament, particularly major weapons system, small arms and light weapons and landmines

  • The General Assembly decision to support the establishment of an Office for Disarmament Affairs with a High Representative at the rank of Under-Secretary-General at its head was a compromise. Ban's original reform proposal envisioned merging the DDA with the Department of Political Affairs, while the Non-aligned Movement argued that combining Disarmament with Political Affairs would further weaken the standing of nuclear disarmament on the UN's agenda. Ban has said that this restructuring gives disarmament affairs a higher profile; others view it as a way to reduce the UN's efforts for disarmament in nuclear weapons countries, which powerful UN Member States oppose.

 

High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (LDC), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

 

  • Cheik Sidi Diarra currently serves as Mali's ambassador to the United Nations in New York, a position he has held since 2003. He will replace Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh as the new High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDSs.
  • Diarra has experience in international relations, law and development. He was involved in the national reconciliations in Mali, served as the lead negotiator for African Union-level efforts for African integration and development, and co-chaired two sets of reform-related informal consultations in the UN General Assembly (on strengthening ECOSOC, and on follow-up to the development commitments of the 2005 World Summit), and was elected Chair of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs). His biography from the UN is available here.
  • The UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001. Key functions of the UN-OHRLLS include:
    • Facilitating the implementation of the Programme of Action for the LDCs and other initiatives for LLDCs and SIDS, including by mobilizing international support and resources;
    • Providing coordinated support to ECOSOC and GA in assessing progress; and
    • Advocating in favor of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states with civil society, media, academia and foundations.
  • A list of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States are available here.
  • Diarra is expected to take office in early August, according to the Department of Public Information.

 

On July 10, Ban extended the mandate of Peter Sutherland, of Ireland, to continue in his capacity as the SG's Special Representative for Migration until 2008. The Special Representative serves as the primary link between the UN system and the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which is a deliberative process open to all UN Member States that examines how migration can contribute to development goals. Sutherland has held the post since January 2006.

 

Remaining Senior Vacancies

 

With these two appointments Ban now has the following senior posts to fill:

 

  • Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (Based in New York)
    • The contract of Mr. Legwaila Joseph Legwaila has expired and a replacement has not yet been named.
  • Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (Afghanistan)
    • United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
  • Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Operations and Rule of Law (Liberia)
  • Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo'
    • United Nations Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC)
  • Executive-Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
    • Ban did not renew the contract of Ms. Mervat Tallawy, which has not yet expired.
  • Executive-Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
    • Ban did not renew the contract of Mr. Hak-su Kim, which has not yet expired.

 

For the official list of all current Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys of the Secretary-General, click here.