31 August 2006

WFP: races for top job began

Following the current Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) James T. Morris' wish to step down, the process of submitting the names for the post is underway (see the announcement here). Morris' term expires on 4 April 2007.

In accordance with the UN "new policy" practice, the real contenders will be included into the short list and hold interviews with the "selection panel" (we assume, in this case it will definitely consist of DSG Mark Malloch Brown, UNDP Administrator Kemal Derviş and USG for Economic and Social Affairs José Antonio Ocampo, and most probably, UNSG's Chef de Cabinet Alicia Bárcena Ibarra. Of course, EOSG Director for Legal Affairs, Human Rights and Special Assignments Lamin Sise will function as panel secretary). The successful candidate will be appointed by the UNSG and FAO DG Jacques Diouf, in "consultation" with the WFP Executive Board.

As the nomination process is still on (deadline is 15 September), the names of the candidates should be announced no earlier than the late October.

It would be logical, however, to expect that at least two of the current Morris' deputies (D-EDs) will run for the job. In our view these are going to be Senior D-ED Jean-Jacques GRAISSE (Belgium), a long-time UN servant, and D-ED for Policy and External Affairs Sheila SISULU, former South Africa’s Ambassador to the US. It's also possible that the candidacy of the latter will be endorsed by the African Union while the former will not be even nominated by his own nation's government (it's not Belgium's first time, actually) ...

More on this to come.

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