19 February 2007

Common African candidate for top ITTO post

Some interesting news comes from Addis Ababa where the African Union recently held its eighth summit.

First, there's a decision of the AU Assembly to "approve and invite" the members' support of the candidature of Libya – no name so far – for the presidency of the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2009 (actually, I prefer not to cover this kind of elections, as it's just about regional groups' endorsed turn for a seat, still it's good to know). Since it's only an "invitation to support", not a "decision to endorse", I assume the door is being kept open for other candidates. We'll see.

And second, in view of the forthcoming elections of a new Executive Director of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) – an UN-sponsored Yokohama-headquartered forum for consultation on tropical timber – the AU Executive Council has endorsed the candidature of Emmanuel Ze Meka (Cameroon), currently ITTO Deputy Director for reforestation and forest regeneration as a common African candidate for this post.

The ITTO No.1 post (see the vacancy announcement here), in terms of salary equaling to the post of UN ASG, is to be vacated by Manoel Sobral Filho of Brazil.

The Brazilian was elected by consensus in December 1999, after 5-days consultations of the Council (all 59 ITTO members). Other candidates for the position were Ram Prasad of India, Claude René Heimo of Switzerland and Don Dayapala Wijewardana of New Zealand.

As for this year's elections, Ze Meka is currently the only candidate.

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