Turtle Bay

The UN gets tough with Qaddafi: fires his daughter from post as UN Goodwill Ambassador

With Col. Moammar Qaddafi allegedly unleashing a campaign of mass killing against his people, the United Nations has decided it might be best to put a little distance between itself and the Libyan leader. At today’s noon briefing, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon‘s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said that the U.N. Development Program has "terminated" Qaddafi’s ...

With Col. Moammar Qaddafi allegedly unleashing a campaign of mass killing against his people, the United Nations has decided it might be best to put a little distance between itself and the Libyan leader.

At today’s noon briefing, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon‘s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said that the U.N. Development Program has "terminated" Qaddafi’s daughter’s position as a National Goodwill Ambassador for Libya. Ayesha Gaddafi had been extended the honor, which comes without pay, in July 2009. Her mission was to "address the issues of HIV/AIDS and violence against women in Libya, both sensitive topics in the country," Nesirky said.

Nesirky did not explain what Ms. Qaddafi had done to be stripped of her title, but referred reporters to article 30 of the U.N. Guidelines for the Designation of Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace. A review of a copy of the guidelines showed that there were, in fact, only 28 articles.*[See note below.] But the final guideline, titled termination, describes the U.N. procedure for dumping unwanted UN goodwill ambassadors.

"The designation of a Goodwill Ambassador or Messenger of Peace shall be terminated if, in the view of the Head of the relevant UN Office, Fund or Program, the designee is unable or unwilling to carry out the role envisaged in the terms of reference, if the Goodwill Ambassador or Messenger of Peace engages in any activity incompatible with his/her status or with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, or if the termination is in the interest of the Organization."

In any event, it doesn’t seem like it was such a great job to begin with. "UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors do not get paid, they volunteer their time, and they do not hold U.N. Laissez-Passer travel documents," Nesirky assured.

[Note: In yesterday’s blog post, I poked a bit of fun at the U.N. spokesman for allegedly citing the wrong article in the UN guidelines for goodwill ambassadors that was used as a basis for ending Qaddafi’s daughters affiliation with the UN. But the last laugh is on me. The guidelines had been updated, and there are in fact 30 articles in it. Turtle Bay regrets the error.]

Also, a h/t to Inner City Press for having solicited the U.N. statement on Ayesha Gaddafi. 

Follow me on Twitter @columlynch

Colum Lynch is a senior staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @columlynch

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