World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN: Search For Refugee Chief, Transparency Policy

Annan Launches Wide-Ranging Search For Refugee Chief In New Transparency Policy

A day after United Nations refugees chief Ruud Lubbers stood down amid controversy over alleged sexual impropriety, the world body today announced a far reaching search for a successor, contacting both governments and civil society groups as part of a new transparent approach to recruit the best people as agency heads.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is writing to Member States seeking names for a new High Commissioner for Refugees in addition to those emerging from his own consultations, and his Chef de Cabinet, Mark Malloch Brown, is sending a similar letter to major non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in refugee issues, spokesman Fred Eckhard told a news briefing in New York.

"In the letter, the Secretary-General says that he can only be sure of finding the best person for one of the most important jobs in the UN system if the best qualified candidates come forward and are judged against transparent selection criteria," Mr. Eckhard added.

In outlining some of the necessary criteria, Mr. Annan says he wants someone with a thorough knowledge of refugee issues and of unimpeachable personal and professional integrity.

He or she must have proven skills in the management of a complex organization and, of course, be an unflinching champion of the cause of refugees, not only by providing for their relief but also by firmly upholding the international principles which entitle them to protection, Mr. Eckhard said.

Mr. Lubbers yesterday handed over temporary leadership responsibilities for the agency to Deputy High Commissioner Wendy Chamberlin after Mr. Annan welcomed his resignation as being in the best interest of UNHCR, its staff and the refugees it serves.

Throughout the controversy, Mr. Lubbers vigorously denied the accusations, dismissing them as a campaign of slander. The charges came from a UNHCR staffer who said the 65-year-old former Dutch Prime Minister sexually harassed her during a meeting in December 2003. On Sunday, after Mr. Lubbers submitted his resignation, Mr. Annan said in a statement that while he had accepted legal advice that the original allegations could not be substantiated, "the continuing controversy has made the High Commissioner's position impossible."

The ninth head of the UNHCR since its establishment in 1951, Mr. Lubbers served since 1 January 2001, when he succeeded Sadako Ogata of Japan.

*The called upon the International Community to recognise*

the third anniversary of the Oslo-facilitated Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) and called upon the International Community to recognise the "prevalence of suffering of the Tamil people" and to address immediate measures to prevent "further neglect, deterioration, trauma and suffering under a callous state".

"During the three years of cease-fire, one could observe the failure of the political and military establishment of Sri Lanka to transform itself to a position of meeting the political aspirations of the Tamil people", the IFT release said.

"The refusal of the government to accommodate goodwill visits of foreign dignitaries to the Tsunami affected areas in the northeast, is a manifestation of the ill will and intent of the Sri Lankan state", said the IFT release adding that the Tamil people have not seen any substantial improvement in their war devasted life.

The federation said that the Tamil people have been denied their right to have a governing mechanism to initiate rehabilation, reconstruction and development programmes as promised. "They voted overwhelmingly for an interim administrative mechanism for rehabilitation and development activities at the April 2004 elections. But the Sri Lankan Government has refused to respect this mandate", it noted.

"The Sri Lankan establishment signed this CFA (feb.2002) due to pressure resulting from repeated failures in military operations and catastrophic devastation of the country’s economy. But, the absence of war for nearly three years has enabled the Sinhala forces to rebuild and look for alternatives other than peaceful means", it further noted.

"We call upon the international community to recognise the prevalence of suffering of the Tamil people and their desperation for normal life in their homeland and also the inability and unwillingness of the Government of Sri Lanka to meet the legitimate rights of the Tamil people", the IFT statement said. [TamilNet, February 22, 2005 ]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news