Jan Eliasson

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Person.png Jan Eliasson   SourcewatchRdf-icon.png
Lord Lea of Crondall.jpg
Lord Lea of Crondall presenting Jan Eliasson with a copy of Hammarskjöld Commission's September 2013 report
BornJan Kenneth Eliasson
1940-09-17
Gothenburg, Sweden
Alma materUniversity of Gothenburg
PartySocial Democratic

The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations is the deputy to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The office was created to handle many of the administrative responsibilities of the Secretary-General, help manage United Nations Secretariat operations, and ensure coherence of activities and programmes.[1][2] The post was formally established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the end of 1997.[3]

The post is currently held by Jan Eliasson of Sweden who was named as the next Deputy Secretary-General by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 2 March 2012. He was formally appointed to the post and assumed office on 1 July 2012.[4].

Probing the death of Sweden's UN diplomats

On 3 October 2013, Lord Lea of Crondall presented UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson with a copy of the Hammarskjöld Commission's report that was issued in The Hague in September 2013 and recommended reopening the UN Inquiry into the 1961 death of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld.[5]

On 29 April 2014, an e-petition was created and addressed to the UN Secretary-General:

"Take action to investigate the deaths of UN Officials Dag Hammarskjöld and Bernt Carlsson!"[6]

Syrian civil war

On 15 October 2015, Jan Eliasson said that the United Nations favoured local ceasefires in three or four areas in Syria and considered the escalation in the overall fighting could actually create a chance for political talks:

"Major powers, particularly Russia and the United States, need to speak to each other not only about their military activities in Syria but also about reviving a political process to end the conflict."

Syrian troops and their allies, backed by Russian jets that joined the fight this month, began an offensive against rebel positions north of the city of Homs on Thursday, expanding a week-long campaign of ground attacks. Various peace initiatives, backed by the United Nations and world powers, have failed to end the civil war, now in its fifth year. What began with anti-government protests has descended into an increasingly sectarian and regional conflict. But Eliasson said the recent surge in the fighting could remind the warring parties of what was at stake and end up pushing them to the negotiating table.

"I don't think the distance between the parties is insurmountable," Eliasson told a news conference in Geneva. "If there is political will now, I think paradoxically we could use a serious part of the risks involved with the present escalation as a good reason to now really also create a credible track on the political area."

The fighting in Syria has pulled in a lengthening list of combatants. Syrian government troops, Islamic State and an array of other rebel groups have been joined by a US-led coalition and various allies of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, among them Iranian troops, Tehran-backed militias and Russian jets. Eliasson said local ceasefires would help de-escalate the conflict - a development which could also help pave the way to talks on a transitional governing body in Syria.

"In the absence of stopping the fighting all over country, we should at least now, before the winter starts, try to de-escalate and reduce the level of violence," he said.

Eliasson said both he and the UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura were encouraging all sides to agree on local ceasefires. De Mistura left Geneva late on Monday for talks in Moscow and Washington, saying Russia and the United States urgently needed to reach an understanding to avert a military escalation that could effectively dismember the country.

"The stage we have reached now is to make sure that the military actions, if they continue, are for dealing with a terrorist threat. And by reducing that threat, increasing the possibilities to start the political process," Eliasson said.[7]

Responsibilities

Responsibilities generally delegated by the Secretary-General to the Deputy Secretary-General include:[8]

(a) To assist the Secretary-General in managing the operations of the Secretariat;
(b) To act for the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters in the absence of the Secretary-General and in other cases as may be decided by the Secretary-General;
(c) To support the Secretary-General in ensuring inter-sectoral and inter-institutional coherence of activities and programmes and to support the Secretary-General in elevating the profile and leadership of the United Nations in the economic and social spheres, including further efforts to strengthen the United Nations as a leading centre for development policy and development assistance;
(d) To represent the Secretary-General at conferences, official functions and ceremonial and other occasions as may be decided by the Secretary-General;
(e) To undertake such assignments as may be determined by the Secretary-General;

The Director in the Office of the Deputy Secretary-General is a sitting observer of the United Nations Development Group.[9]

History

Canadian Louise Fréchette was the first Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, holding the position from 1998 to 2005. She was appointed to the post by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and assumed her duties on March 2, 1998. In 2005, partly in response to criticism by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker for failed management of the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme, Fréchette announced her resignation. She remained at her post until March 31, 2006. On March 3, 2006 it was announced that Mark Malloch Brown from the United Kingdom would succeed Louise Fréchette as Deputy Secretary-General on April 1, 2006. Brown left his post concurrent with Kofi Annan's departure as UN Secretary-General on December 31, 2006.

17 September 1940|


References

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