Viewing cable 04AMMAN9013
Title: UNRWA COMMISSIONER GENERAL SUCCESSION

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04AMMAN90132004-11-04 16:45:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Amman
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 009013 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/04/2014 
TAGS: PREL PREF JO
SUBJECT: UNRWA COMMISSIONER GENERAL SUCCESSION 
 
REF: TEL AVIV 5436 
 
Classified By: Acting DCM Christopher Henzel for Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D 
). 
 
¶1. (C)  SUMMARY: At the informal UNRWA Major Donors Meeting 
in Amman October 13-14, PRM A/S Dewey met with Commissioner 
General Peter Hansen to inform him that the United States 
does not support any extension of his tenure beyond his 
current term, which expires in February.  Hansen claimed he 
had the backing of some Arab states and was willing to stay 
&if asked.8  He appears to be banking on his relationship 
with SYG Annan and the inability of donors to find a 
qualified replacement.  A/S Dewey also met with big donors on 
the margins of the conference to express our desire to see 
Hansen replaced.  They agreed that Hansen should go, but 
noted that the EU would likely adopt a common position, which 
would be heavily determined by Denmark,s position (as Hansen 
is Danish).  Israel and the U.K. have possible candidates in 
mind to replace Hansen, while Japan has begun lobbying for 
its candidate.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. (C)  At a private breakfast meeting October 14 with 
Hansen, his deputy Karen Abu Zayd, and UNRWA Director of 
External Relations Andrew Whitley, A/S Dewey asked Hansen 
what his plans were.  (Note: PRM PDAS Rich Greene had 
informed Abu Zayd on multiple occasions over the past six 
months of the U.S. position that three terms in office is 
enough for Hansen and that we had solicited other donors to 
nominate qualified candidates to replace him.)  Hansen 
responded that he had just bought a new apartment in 
Copenhagen, but then added that certain Arab states had asked 
him to stay on in his job, and that he was willing to do so 
&if asked.8  He noted that he was not considering a fourth 
three-year term, but that one year was too short, because he 
would be a lame duck.  He seemed to have some indefinite 
period less than three years in mind. 
 
¶3. (C)  A/S Dewey replied that he was unaware of any 
groundswell of support for an extension, and that the U.S. 
opposed it.  He noted that USUN Ambassador Danforth had 
conveyed our position to SYG Annan.  He added that USG 
outrage over Hansen,s recent remark that Hamas members were 
on his staff would make it difficult for Hansen to remain in 
office even until his current term expires.  He relayed that 
a group of furious congressmen had requested that Secretary 
Powell press SYG Annan to replace Hansen immediately, or risk 
a cutoff of U.S. funding to the agency (USD 127 million in FY 
04). 
 
¶4. (C)  Abu Zayd dismissed the notion that the SYG would 
remove Hansen before his term was up.  Hansen inquired 
whether there were any candidates to replace him.  A/S Dewey 
said that the Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman wanted 
Hansen,s job and was being backed strongly by his 
government.  Hansen said he had not been aware of that fact. 
 
¶5. (C)  In a pull-aside with A/S Dewey later that day, Abu 
Zayd said that British citizen Ian Martin would make a good 
choice for a new ComGen.  A/S Dewey promised to follow up to 
learn about his interest and availability for the job. 
Martin was the UN SRSG for East Timor and Deputy SRSG in 
Ethiopia and Eritrea.  Subsequently, in an October 15 meeting 
with the Israeli MFA in Jerusalem (septel), the head of the 
international affairs division, Roni Yaar, suggested 
Norwegian Geir Pedersen (UN Department of Political Affairs, 
Director of Asia/Pacific Division) for the job.  Yaar had 
just met with Pedersen, a member of the UN team sent by SYG 
Annan to investigate a GOI allegation of misuse of UNRWA 
ambulances, and found him fair and reasonable.  Yaar also 
recommended Australian Chris Lamb, who works for IFRC. 
 
¶6. (C)  In bilateral meetings on the margin of the major 
donors meeting with Japan, Norway, Sweden, the U.K., Canada, 
the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the EC, A/S Dewey found 
universal agreement that Hansen had to go when his term ends 
in February.  Donors agreed with A/S Dewey that Hansen not 
only caused problems with his antagonistic relationship with 
Israel and public relations blunders, but also was a major 
impediment to implementing needed reforms to the agency, 
especially timely if donors are going to be forthcoming with 
massive new investment UNRWA wants over the next five years 
to fund new schools, health clinics, housing, and other 
infrastructure.  Donors were still scrambling to identify a 
suitable replacement for Hansen, with several noting that 
they had not put forth a candidate because their country 
already held at least one high level UN position and they 
could not expect to obtain another at the same time.  Japan 
continues to strongly back its candidate, despite A/S 
Dewey,s caution that neither we nor the Europeans believe he 
is qualified.  Japan knows that there is at present no other 
candidate who wants the job and is backed by his or her 
government, and appears to hope that its candidate will be 
the only alternative to Hansen.  Japan is the second largest 
donor to the UN but at present none of its nationals holds a 
high-level UN job. 
 
¶7. (U) PRM PDAS Richard Greene cleared this message. 
 
 
HALE