9 December, 2019

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Radhika Coomaraswamy Under Consideration For UN Women

Radhika Coomaraswamy‘s name is among the nominations for the Executive Director of UN Women.  Yesterday was the deadline for nominations for Executive Director of UN Women. The candidates will succeed the organization’s first head, Michele Bachelet, who resigned suddenly in March to return home and stand for election to Chile’s presidency. At least six candidates are rumored to be under consideration, according to the Global Memo. Global Memo which covers the processes and actors involved in the selection of high-level multilateral leadership named them as follows;

Radhika Coomaraswamy

Rebeca Grynspan is considered a strong contender and possibly the front runner for the post. Grynspan is the former Vice President of Costa Rica and currently serves as an Associate Administrator at UNDP. An elections official at the Costa Rican permanent mission in New York stated to Global Memo that the Latin American and Caribbean region is eager to keep the post.

Lakshmi Puri is the current Acting Executive Director, stepping in shortly after Bachelet’s resignation. A source with a leading U.S. human rights group however suggests that few women’s rights groups see her as preferred successor to Bachelet. In December, her husband, Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, wrapped up his presence on the UN Security Council as India’s 2-year term on the body concluded. What impact his influence will have his wife’s candidacy and the selection is of particular interest.

Radhika Coomaraswamy, the former special advisor to the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict, is looked upon more favorably by women’s groups, according to the same source. She had been under consideration in 2010. From Sri Lanka, she is currently a visiting scholar at New York University’s Center for Constitutional Transitions.

Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland, is also rumored to be a nominee. Like Coomaraswamy, she had also been nominated in 2010, but was not seriously considered as the Secretary General was reportedly seeking a woman from the Global South to head up the new agency initially.

Kim Campbell, the former and first female Prime Minister of Canada, confirmed she has been nominated by her government in mid-April after its leaked in Azerbaijani media reports. Ms. Campbell was the former board chair at the International Women’s Forum and the Council of Women World Leaders. She now sits on the board of the International Crisis Group.

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is currently the General Secretary of the World YWCA. She is a trained human rights lawyer from Zimbabwe with extensive experience in conflict resolution and mediation, including 20 years experience on issues of women and children’s human rights, with a special focus on crisis countries.

If the process unfolds as it did in 2010, the Secretary General’s senior appointment team will vet the nominees and present to Mr. Ban a short list of three candidates. Following interviews with each, Ban will make the final decision on whom he will appoint to take over the post. The 2010 vetting process and selection was wrapped up in 7 weeks, in part to have the first Executive Director in place before the General Assembly convened. Last month, John Hendra, Associate Executive Director at UN Women, noted that a new search could take up to three months.

But if this year’s process is less competitive, i.e. fewer than 25+ candidates as in 2010, we may see a nominee before the body’s Executive Board meets at the end of June or shortly thereafter.

Unlike in 2010, women’s groups have been very unengaged in regards to the transparency of the Secretary General’s selection or qualifications of any of the candidates. Women Thrive is not active on the race this year, nor is the GEAR campaign, which spearheaded efforts in ensuring the 2010 candidates were highly qualified for the post.

The only NGO known to be engaging in any meaningful way this year is theAssociation for Women in Development (AWID), which plans to interview each candidate. William Pace, Executive Director of WFM/IGP, stated that “it would be best if the SGs process were more transparent.”

As expected, the Secretary General’s office is officially tight-lipped on the candidates, refusing even to confirm the final number of nominees received.

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Latest comments

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    Like Dayan running after ambulances. :)

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    Radhika C. is guilty of using the UN office to promote the falsehoods spread with the Channel 4 video against Sri Lanka a member of the UN. She continues under the flag of the very country she chose to destroy by promoting the world’s most brutal terror group. Does she deserve further promotions. Absolutely not. But does the truth prevail. That too is a myth. These are tiger supporters making use of Sri Lanka and yet a part of the undercurrent.

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      I dont know where you got the idea that Radhika is a promoter of “the most brutal terror group”. She is a fantastic role model for all of us in Sri Lanka and one of the staunchest critics- with Neelan Tiruchelvam- of the LTTE. She is also one person who has consistently talked about the failure of the Tamil leadership to find a different path for the Tamils etc. I hope she does get the position. She will do great in it. All of you who lump her together with some mythical “UN system” should know better. Look up some of the stuff she has written. Congrats for the nomination Radhilka and I hope you get it.

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      Radhika is the type of representative we need. She is rational and educated and will never be guilty of being a mouthpiece for the Rajapakses’.

      The Tiger supporters we have to watch out for are already creeping back into the workforce after having run away when the war was lost.

      Check the mobile phone companies…that is where a lot of damage can be done !

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    My well wishes, Radhika. I hope you will be picked for the coveted position. I think many Sri Lankans share my wish.

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      Not me, daahling. Dont include me in your wishes.

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    Very unfortunate that such opportunists suspected by both rival sections for their supreme hypocrisy are neither here nor there
    Bensen

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    Radhika would make an excellent choice for the new UN Women Executive Director. Contrary to what some on this board may try to say she has and continues to carry out her current duities as a special representative of the UN Secretary General for Children in Armed Conflict in an impartial, objective and most professional matter.Srilanka should be proud of her. I personally consider her a true professional and a wonderful role model.

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      Her neighbors the Banda’s and associates were the cause of language policy,standardisation,and out with the sterling companies therefore there was civil war and children looking for food in the dust bins.

      Oh woman aren’t you gods second mistake!

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    Sri lankaenews Govt should support Radhika to get the post. If they fail to do so, it will be crime. Radhika deserves and capable of taking up the post.

    I wish you all the best.

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      Government would not do anything without a deal. After all, they all are in a trade.

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    what has this radhika actually achieved even for her own tamil children who were kidnapped and taken as child soldiers when she was responsible for it at UN level?

    all hum bug… nicely enjoying the [Edited out] life in geneva… and getting accolades for nothing… please dont call urself sri lankan..

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    Radhika would make an excellent choice with Rama Mani on board.

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      Why. What will they do together. Make hoppers?

      • 0
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        No; Ulundu Vadai

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    Whether she gets the coveted post or not, that she brought much distinction to all of Sri Lanka with her excellent work in the UN
    System over the years has never been in dispute. She is yet another Sri Lankan of whom all communities can be justly proud of.

    Senguttuvan

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      Not doubting anything, but as you say,if her work in the UN was so excellent, the UN would be the first to recognize this and there would be no dispute as to the UN giving her the coveted post outright.But it puzzles me to understand how YOU can be the best judge of her excellent work in the UN System over the years as being undisputed, unless you are really Monkey-Boon posting as Senguttuvan.

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