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Cablegate: Italian Unece Candidate Believes Syg Ban May Act Quickly On

VZCZCXRO0540
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHGV #0913 3051654
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311654Z OCT 08
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7364
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2848
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHSUN/USUN ROME IT

UNCLAS GENEVA 000913

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR IO/T

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ECIN
SUBJECT: ITALIAN UNECE CANDIDATE BELIEVES SYG BAN MAY ACT QUICKLY ON
EXEC SEC POST

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

1. (U) Paolo Garonna, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic
Commission for Europe (UNECE), met with Charge October 31 to seek
USG support for his bid to be appointed by UN SYG Ban Ki-Moon as the
UNECE Executive Secretary. Marek Belka is departing as ExecSec to
work as an IMF Director in DC.

2. (U) Garonna listed three major points favoring his candidacy.
First, he noted his American ties, having studied as a Fullbright
scholar in Denver. Second, he painted himself as a reformer, having
eliminated some unneeded programs at UNECE that duplicated
macroeconomic analysis being performed at the IMF. Third, he noted
his experience at UNECE has developed his technical competence and
strengthened his dedication to a pan-European approach.

3. (SBU) Garonna noted that the USG had announced it supported his
candidacy last time the position was open, but unfortunately he got
that message only hours before hearing that Belka had gotten the
job. While he appreciated very much the USG support, he indicated
it would be better this time if the USG could decide who to support
before the decision is made. He added that Belka had told him that
SYG Ban had said he intended to make his decision quickly - 'within
the month' - which might mean October or November.

4. (SBU) Garonna added that the process has been somewhat opaque, as
he has only heard indirectly who might be the other candidates: the
Bulgarian current Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister; the
Romanian Foreign Minister; maybe the Macedonian former Foreign
Minister and outgoing UNGA President (even though he was recently
named by UNSYG as the special envoy for climate change); and a
Polish professor. He had not seen the press reports about a
Slovakian candidate, and knew of no other candidates. On the other
hand, Belka's appointment last time also had come out of the blue,
as not even the Polish Ambassador in Geneva appeared to have known
about it beforehand (and had thrown a dinner to support Garonna's
candidacy).

5. (SBU) The Charge said that the U.S. would like to see leadership
at the UNECE that would: continue and consolidate reform; help
stabilize and further integrate countries of Eastern Europe, the
Caucasus and Central Asia; and further strengthen trans-Atlantic
ties. He pleded to relay to Washington and USUN New York Garonn's
points, including his view that a decision miht be made by the SYG
soon.
STORELLA#

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