Sunday, January 24, 2010

UNAMA Still Needs a New SRSG (updated)

You'll remember that last week, Swedish diplomat Staffan di Misturahad been offered Kai Eide's job as Special Representative of the Secretary General for UNAMA. On his new blog, Turtle Bay, Colum Lynch reports that the diplomat has declined, citing personal reason.

Lynch adds:
U.N. diplomats said that the U.N. has reopened its consideration of a short list of potential candidates, including Jean-Marie Guehénno, the former U.N. peacekeeping chief, Knut Vollebaek, Norway's foreign minister, and Atonio Gutteres of Portugal, the head of the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Jan Koubis, the director of the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe, is also under consideration.
Now Guehénno, rumors say, is also being considered as a possible replacement for Alan Doss who the same rumors say will be resigning from his post as SRSG for the UN in DRC in March. I have to say, I'm not sure where I would rather have the former peacekeeping chief serve, it's a tough call.

Getting back to Eide however, obviously, not having a replacement before the January 28 London Conference is not going to make things easier. Despite endorsing the decision, UNAMA also needs some leadership if it's going to support the 4 month delayed parliamentary elections. A question, with Eide resigning and UNAMA slated to play "an enhanced coordination role," who do you think would be a good pick for the job?

And one more thing, given NATO's decision to appoint a new "top civilian" to lead the enhanced civilian efforts there, who are good candidates for that position (beyond the UK Ambassador to Afghanistan who is mentioned at the top of the story) and what should cooperation/coordination mechanisms with the UN look like?

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