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Cablegate: French Jiu and Fao Candidates

VZCZCXRO7336
PP RUEHRN
DE RUEHFR #1425 2951541
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221541Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7398
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 7299
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 3120
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1214
RUEHRC/DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0015
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1753

UNCLAS PARIS 001425

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR IO/MPR BHACKETT
USUN/MR FOR ECHEN, CNORMAN, AND BRASHKOW

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC PREL PGOV EAGR UNGA UNGA FR
SUBJECT: FRENCH JIU AND FAO CANDIDATES

REF: STATE 105347 (NOTAL)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: France believes their candidate to the United
Nations' Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), Gerard Biraud, is well
qualified; he is the JIU's current President. France also hopes the
United States will support its candidate for the Independent
President of the FAO Council, Luc Guyau even though that election is
contested by a U.K. candidate. Guyau is President of France's
Chambers of Agriculture and is a member of France's Economic and
Social Council, but, in Post's opinion, has a record of promoting
protectionist measures and whose management credentials deserve
scrutiny. END SUMMARY.

JOINT INSPECTION UNIT
---------------------
2. (SBU) On October 21, MFA Deputy Director for International
Organizations, Emmanuel Cocher, asserted that France's candidate to
the United Nations' Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), Gerard Biraud, is
well-qualified based on the criteria requested in reftel demarche.
Cocher noted that Biraud is, in fact, seeking reelection to the JIU,
and was elected by the other members to serve as the current
President of the organization. He noted that Biraud is a former MFA
official and is "well and favorably known."

3. (SBU) France has been actively lobbying for Biraud and Cocher
believes the Department has already been demarched by the French
Embassy in Washington. Cocher explained that for most countries
(though not the U.S.) French ambassadors were instructed to lobby at
the Minister level. Cocher provided Poloff with copies of the note
verbal and CV for Biraud that are being shared in capitals. [Note:
Post will forward these documents to IO and USUN via e-mail. End
note.] When asked why Spain and Turkey were contesting the JIU
seat, Cocher speculated that sometimes governments need to put
forward individuals for internal political reasons, but that France
is pushing for better European coordination on IO candidates. At
this time, Post has no further information on Biraud's
qualifications or suitability to continue serving on the JUI.

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) COUNCIL
--------------------------------------------- --
4. (SBU) Cocher took advantage of Poloff's visit to request U.S.
support for the French candidate for the Independent President of
the FAO Council, Luc Guyau, who is President of France's formal
farmers' lobby, "the Permanent Assembly of the Chambers of
Agriculture" (an organization roughly similar to the chambers of
commerce, but for the agriculture and food sectors only), a member
of France's Economic and Social Council, and a former Chairman of
the influential National Federation of Farmers' Unions (FNSEA) from
1992 to 2001. Cocher described Guyau as somebody who understands
farming, but is also well versed in international agriculture policy
issues.

5. (SBU) France has already been active in lobbying support for
Guyau, and Cocher estimates that 40 countries have indicated their
support, but the race could be close with the U.K.'s current Council
member, Victor Heard, also running (as is a candidate from the
Gambia). Cocher admitted that it is not ideal to have French and
U.K. candidates competing for the same seat and explained that Heard
confirmed his candidacy at the last minute, well after France put
forward Guyau's name, leaving little time for bilateral consultation
or coordination. If they have not yet done so, we expect France
will contact the Department formally requesting support for Guyau
for this election, the vote for which Cocher believes will be in
late November.

6. (SBU) Regarding Guyau's candidacy, our FAS office notes that
during his recent bilateral visit to Washington, French Agricultural
Minister Bruno Le Maire also lobbied for Guyau's bid with USDA
Secretary Vilsack. Luc Guyau has repeatedly opposed U.S. policies
on agricultural trade liberalization in favor of regional
agricultural policies that would allow importing countries to
establish trade barriers in order to protect their own agriculture
producers. On management and leadership issues, we note that Luc
Guyau, as well as other top members of FNSEA, was indicted in early
2000 for improper use of public money, but the court overturned the
subsequent conviction in 2008 and cleared them for the lack of
evidence. Our FAS also notes that Guyau's position at the top of
the Chambers of Agriculture has often been criticized as the
organizational and managerial reforms he had advocated before
becoming President have not been realized. Mr. Guyau does not speak
English.

RIVKIN

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