Cablegate: Argentina - U.S. Candidate for Iom Lobbies Goa Officials for Support


DE RUEHBU #0426/01 0951930
R 041930Z APR 08





E.O. 12958: N/A


C) 07 SECSTATE 93916

1. (SBU) Summary. Visiting Ambassador William Swing met with
Argentine Minister of Interior Florencio Anibal Randazzo and then
followed up with the MFA's Director General for Multilateral Affairs
Raul Ricardes on March 31 to discuss his candidacy for Director
General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Swing outlined his qualifications for the job and clarified that he
was the sole USG-backed candidate. He expressed appreciation for
the GOA's ongoing commitment to peacekeeping missions in the Congo
and Haiti as well as its efforts to fight trafficking in persons.
Both Randazzo and Ricardes indicated that the GOA had not yet
determined who it would support in the upcoming June elections.
Randazzo said he was impressed by Swing's credentials, and Ricardes
indicated that he thought Swing would be particularly helpful in
reducing waste in the UN system and in strengthening IOM's
coordination with other international organizations. Meetings were
positive overall, with Randazzo's official photographer taking
numerous photos at the top of the meeting. Press coverage of the
visit was uniformly positive. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On March 31, Ambassador Swing met with senior level
Argentine officials at the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in separate meetings on March 31
to discuss his candidacy for Director General of the International
Organization for Migration. For the meeting with Minister of
Interior Florencio Randazzo, Secretary of Interior Marcio Barbosa
Moreira, and Under Secretary of Interior Anibal Jose Pittelli, Swing
was accompanied by the Ambassador, Monique Ramgoolie (visiting PRM
Program Officer), and Poloff (notetaker). For the meeting with
Ambassador Raul Ricardes, MFA Director General of Multilateral
Affairs, Swing was accompanied by DCM Kelly, Ramgoolie, and Poloff.
Ricardes was accompanied by MFA officials from the North America,
Latin America, Consular Affairs, and International Organizations

Swing's Pitch...

3. (SBU) Swing began both meetings by explaining why he believed
the USG had nominated him for the position. Citing his years as the
UN Special Representative of Secretary General to the UN Mission in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he noted his experience in
managing complex multilateral field operations and coordinating with
multiple agencies the international responses to humanitarian
crises. He expressed the USG's appreciation for Argentine military
observers in the Congo, adding that they were very disciplined
troops with whom he worked in the UN's largest peacekeeping
operation ever.

4. (SBU) Swing also stated that his understanding of the UN system
and close relationships with top UN officials would help in
strengthening IOM's collaboration with that body. Regardless of the
future relationship between IOM and the UN system - i.e., whether or
not the IOM Council decides that IOM should join the UN - Swing
stated that he would respect the institutional integrity and
missions of IOM and the various UN agencies to avoid duplication of
efforts and possible turf battles between them. Finally, he
indicated that while some may view his lack of experience in
"headquarters" as a weakness, his vast experience "in the field"
should be viewed as a strength given IOM's highly decentralized

5. (SBU) Ambassador Swing also clarified that he is the only USG
candidate for IOM DG, stating that current IOM DG Brunson McKinley
is seeking a third term without USG backing. He explained that the
USG does not support McKinley's re-election because the USG and all
other IOM member states have adopted an IOM Constitutional amendment
to limit the DG to two terms, which the USG and 50 other IOM
countries subsequently have ratified. [Note: the amendment is not
yet in force as it awaits ratification by two thirds of IOM's 122
members.] In addition, he asserted that it is inappropriate for a
candidate to run without his or her government's backing, given that
IOM is an intergovernmental organization. He explained that
although the IOM DG can be of any nationality, traditionally the
position has been held by an American, as USG contributions make up
over 20 percent of IOM's budget. He also noted, that the United
States, like Argentina, is a country of immigrants, and that the
U.S. is the destination for approximately 20% of the world's migrant

6. (SBU) Ambassador Swing also noted the excellent work the GOA and
the regional IOM office in Argentina have been doing in raising

public awareness and training officials on the problem of human
trafficking. He informed Minister Randazzo that PRM provided
significant funding for trafficking initiatives and congratulated
the Argentine government for making efforts to combat TIP a
priority. He also noted that IOM-Argentina is the South American
Conference on Migration Secretariat and is organizing the conference
in Montevideo in 2008. He also stated that he was glad to see that
Argentina is hosting the Global Forum on Migration and Development
in 2010.

MOI Response

7. (SBU) Randazzo thanked Ambassador Swing for the meeting and
noted that Ambassador Wayne had discussed Swing's candidacy in a
meeting on March 26 (Ref A). He stated that he was impressed by the
Ambassador's wealth of experience. He indicated that the GOA had
not yet defined its position on the candidates, and that the MOI
would have to consult and coordinate with its counterparts at the
MFA before a decision is made. He thanked the Ambassador for
clarifying the USG's position on McKinley's candidacy. When
Randazzo asked about the other candidates, Swing indicated that the
Canadian candidate did not have support of the Canadian government,
and that the Italian candidate had his government's support but was
not actively campaigning. Randazzo concluded the meeting by wishing
Ambassador Swing, "Good luck. Well no - I wish you success because
you don't need good luck." Meeting atmospherics were positive, with
Randazzo's official photographer taking numerous photos at the top
of the meeting.

MFA Response

8. (SBU) At the top of the meeting with the MFA, Ambassador
Ricardes warmly greeted Ambassador Swing, with whom he had served
when both men were Ambassadors to Haiti. Swing expressed
appreciation for the GOA's ongoing commitment to peacekeeping
operations in Haiti, noting that Argentina has over 500 troops on
the ground. Swing then launched into his presentation. Afterwards,
Ricardes noted that the MFA worked closely with the MOI and the
Ministry of Social Development on migration issues. He explained
that while the MOI has the main responsibility for developing
national migration policy, the MFA plays the lead role in
coordinating the GOA's position in international fora. He agreed
with Ambassador Swing's observations on the GOA's on-going efforts
to fight human trafficking and expressed hope that the Argentine
Congress would soon reach consensus on anti-TIP legislation.

9. (SBU) Ricardes indicated that the GOA had not yet decided on a
candidate and requested a non-paper outlining Swing's priorities for
the organization. Swing replied that leadership was needed in
strengthening trust and relationships between member states,
partners, and staff. He stated his desire to make IOM more
member-focused by having open, transparent consultations with
members on important strategic decisions such as IOM's budget,
mission, and the future of the IOM-UN relationship. In particular,
he noted that IOM will need to define its role in relation to the
Global Forum on Migration and Development, which he noted would take
place in Argentina in 2010.

10. (SBU) Swing also stressed the importance of strengthening IOM
partnerships with an eye on collaborating -- not competing -- with
UN agencies. He indicated that the international community should
avoid duplication of effort and build on each agency's particular
strength in providing essential services to migrant populations.
Finally, he highlighted the need to strengthen the transparency and
accountability of IOM's management, financial, operational,
administrative, and personnel policies. Ricardes agreed that there
needed to be greater trust and communication between IOM, UN
agencies, and member-states. He indicated that he thought Swing
would be particularly useful in helping to reduce waste in the UN
system and in IOM's coordination with other international

11. (U) Press coverage of Ambassador Swing's visit was limited to
several regional articles about his meeting with the Minister and
Ambassador Wayne, but the coverage was uniformly positive.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC