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.

29 August 2006

6 candidates for ITU SG. Good chances for a Tunisian?

6 candidates so far (9 October is the deadline for submission of candidatues) are registered for the post of Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union at the elections scheduled for November at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey.

The contenders - whose bios are already posted on the ITU's website (currently password protected) - are:


  • president of the German Federal Network Agency Matthias KURTH;
  • president of the Swiss Federal Communications Commission Marc Furrer;
  • current ITU DSG Roberto BLOIS MONTES DE SOUZA (Brazil);
  • chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Jordan Muna NIJEM (Jordan);
  • director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Hamadoun TOURE (Mali) and
  • Tunisian Minister of Communication Technologies Montasser OUAILI (Tunisia).

While a German on his website claims to be a "European" candidate (we believe, it means a single candidate from Europe rather than a candidate endorsed by the EU), Nijem, Toure and Ouaili indeed received the endorsement. Quite oddly, all the three contenders for one post were supported by the OIC (as long as their nations belong to the African group, we should probably soon expect the same decision by the AU).

However, namely a Tunisian - whose enormous campaign is being held in many capitals and UN offices - might be a frontrunner, not least due to the Tunisia's arrengements for the World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis last year. The man himself also seems to be supported by the web community (to see this, just put his name into the Google search...)

The ITU's information on the previous elections of its leadership is mostly dull, as in fact it concerns the re-election of SG (Yoshio Utsumi, single candidate) and DSG Roberto Blois (yes, the pupil wants to become a master), still it's worth checking out.

28 August 2006

[postfactum] New presidency of OIV

Almost two months ago, on 1 July, the International Organization of the Vine and Wine (OIV) obtained a new head for a three-year term.

Australian viticulturalist Peter HAYES was elected "unopposed" (presumably, meaning a single candidate) as President of the world's major intergovernmental body that sets technical standards for wine (see the candidate statement here).

The media marks Hayes' election as the introduction of the "New World perspective", referring to his statement in the new capacity: 'I think the Old World recognises that the world has changed radically since 1924 and that there needs to be a change. Maybe a New World perspective can assist with that'.

More on the subject: "OIV gets 'New World perspective' as Australian appointed top job" Decanter, July 6, 2006

IMSO Director: 9 nominations

With the approach of the 18th session of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) the race for the post of its Director is heating up.

The leading post of IMSO - a watchdog on Inmarsat's safety performance and delivery of its public service obligations - is to be vacated by Jerzy Vonau of Poland, first IMSO Director (1999).

Nine candidates - representing 7 states - have been reportedly nominated so far, among them head of IMO's Asia and Pacific section for technical cooperation Moin AHMED (Bangladesh) and U.S. Department of State's deputy coordinator for international communications and information policy Steven W. LETT (information on his official nomination can be found here).

A new head of the IMSO's low-budget and 3-staff secretariat is expected to face the major changes in the organization's activities, including the EU's proposed expansion of its mandate, i.e. "assume any other functions or duties related to mobile satellite services".