Friday, November 10, 2006

No ITU for us

The Jordanian delegation at the ITU meeting has withdrawn the nomination of Muna Nijem as our candidate for secretary general of the International Telecommunications Union. After the first round of voting, the candidate from Mali received 53 votes, Germany 45; Brazil 29; Switzerland 14; and Tunisia 9. Nijem received 5 votes. She blamed the lack of support from Arab and Islamic countries for Arab candidates. 19 Arab countries were eligible to vote, and 38 other Islamic countries.

So, the Arab candidates received 14 of the 19 Arab votes. There was more competition for the Islamic vote, as Mali is an Islamic state and a member of the Organization of Islamic Conferences. I wonder if anybody told our delegation this.

Who did Qatar vote for?


At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We shouldn't rely on the Arab/Islamic vote to get us anywhere. It's a very short sighted approach and a candidate, whether for Secretary General of ITU or the UN, should prove they are the best for the job based on their skills and experience, not which part of the world they are from.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Moi: My guess is that the mansaf they invited the delegates to didn't use local meat (la7em baladi), Salti ghee (semneh Balqawieh) or jameed Karaki. This should torpedo any candidacy.

Or isn't this how things work?

At 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that the 14 Arab votes were divided between Jordan (5) and Tunisia (9) while the Islamic countries did not vote for her since she does not wear a niqab and the cats in the ITU may attack her and she has to be protected as a valuable Islamic property by being kept " at her room, at her house" as the Mufti of Australia decalred.

At 2:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

El Mohem El Mosharakah. The fluent and master of idioms Mr Al Em3aidy had encouraged us Jordanians to give every thing a go including the worlds most senior diplomatic job.

At 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan's Campaign for ITU SecGen

Some of my personal comments are:
-Jordan's candidate, by assessment of neutral and objective entities, was the most qualified (see the ITU website)
-Jordan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked hard and had received "written commitments" from at least 30 countries to vote for Jordan (why were these commitments not honored??)
-the votes for Jordan and Tunisia were mostly Non-Arab!! Jordan MoFA alone received at least 11 Arab countries' commitments (where did these go??)
-the "Arab League" took a unanimous decision to support Jordan's candidate, what happened to that decision's implementation?
-OIC (Islamic countries) took a unanimous decision to support Jordan's candidacy (what happened here??) are such decisions meaningless? Why then do such organizations exist and take decisions?
-Islamic countries followed the Arabs' lead (my opinion), when they discovered there is no Arab unity, they voted elsewhere
-the ITU is not ready for a woman; regardless of how qualified!
-the ITU is not ready for people from "outside" the organization

In every election, one candidate wins, and the others lose; therefore it is never certain when a candidate runs. However, it is very important to assess how bad the loss is and why? Jordan's campaign was run extremely professionally and several "youth volunteers" were involved. It didn't take into consideration, however, possible sabotage from within!! And countries not honoring their written letters of commitment to MoFA??? There is a huge difference when some entities believe the candidate doesn't have many chances and spend all their efforts/contacts/official positions to prove their point of view and sabotage the campaign, rather than supporting the Jordan's campaign w/all their might. A huge amount of energy and resources were spent on undoing the damage and sabotage created by some, who by the nature of their governmental mandate had immediate access to ITU Officials, and to ICT ministers, and unfortunately that -ve element lasted till the last minute and (in my opinion) undid many of the commitments that were given to MoFA
-some Arab countries stated that they "paid back" Jordan's lack of support on other Arab issues, specifically that the representative to ITU (MoICT Consultant) who always makes it a point (in their opinion and words) not to abide by the Arabs' decisions.

The lesson here is that Jordan, and Jordanians, Government/Parliament/and Civil Societies, need to truthfully assess whether they can and will make a very serious effort to unite and support capable candidates, or not. This requires a true sense of citizenship! Otherwise, this sends a seriously dangerous message that any qualified Jordanian should never dream of running for any high-profile position.

Mali, a small and w/o much resources, African country was able, w/the rest of the African countries to form a unified strategy, (and let's not forget the huge role China played in this and in the WHO position: Mali won ITU SecGen, and China ITU Deputy (both from within the ITU system; and China won WHO DG, because of all of the African votes). The Arabs, on the other hand, still insist on bickering and working against each other.

What Jordan's campaign achieved on the positive side; and it is a great positive message and achievement:
-Jordan got on the highest records of history; before the Campaign's efforts, Jordan was an almost unknown at the ITU.
-Jordan put forward the first woman candidate ever, in the 140 years of the ITU's life!
-I hope the Candidacy was able, even in a small way, to open the door to capable Arabs, especially women, to shoot for the stars and not get discouraged by the notion of not winning.

Those candidacies are not about persons; granted, the candidate if he/she wins benefits, but Jordan would have a "network" of Jordanians in key international positions who would and should help others reach their capabilities; especially the "younger generations" the leaders of the future. The true reformers in the world keep running in campaigns that they are sure they are not going to win, hoping for the day that they, or their faithful followers, will eventually make it! The world has several live examples of those already!

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Batir: As the comment by Muna shows, there seems to be a lot of politics and backstabbing involved, perhaps partially motivated by Nijem being a woman.

Anon: Jordanians certainly have a right to compete for such positions. We only hope that such efforts have reasonable chances of succeeding.

Muna (Nijem?): Thank you for your interesting and informative input. A couple of things caught my attention. The first is your pointg that there are "insiders" in the organization. This makes things complicated, as vested interests might be compromised if an outsider takes control. This smells of corruption (I am thinking about the International Olympic Committee members being bribed to award the next summer games to London). Certain parties are going to defend their interests.

How did Tunisia join the "Arab Concensus" and still field a candidate to compete with Jordan's candidate?

If there was sabotage from the Jordanian side, as you suggest, then it is not surprising that other countries renigged on their commitments. Why should their support of Jordan's candidate be stronger that that of Jordan's own government?

And finally, If Jordan has worked to sabotage other Arab issues at the ITU, then it is expected that they will get revenge one day. Unfortunately, the price was paid with this sad outcome.

At 1:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khallaf. Sarcasm aside, the remark about Mo Al Mo3aidy our sports presenter, I think what Muna pointed out is very dangerous indeed. First, other governments do not seam to take us seriously at all nor shall I say do not have much respect for us. One can only theorize about the contents of our lobbying officials’ emails or phone calls or even chats in person to their counterparts in other countries. Zabtillna el wadde3 and deer ballak 3ala el aneseh Muna or the likes of we really would like you to come and try the mud in the Dead Sea …etc. Second, there seam to be a growing hobby of Rade7 and Za3bara in the country amongst a good deal of our officials and columnists. I am afraid that our seeking those high caliber posts and the expected result of the world shunning a small, however proud, country away is a vehicle to provide our fix of Radeh and Za3bara.
I am proud to be Jordanian and of the people of Jordan but the verbal, influential elite are nobody’s saviors.

At 2:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, there is a prestigious post in the waiting for Jordan. The vice president, one of many, of the World Bank under the presidency of Mr. Paul Wolfwitz. Par excellence Marwan El Mouasher is CONTEMPLATING taking the post. It is thought that Mr Mouasher with his impeccable record as an enthusiast of liberalizing the economy in Jordan and his previous experiences as ambassador to the united states and our first ambassador to the state of Israel may play a role in deducting a large sum of our debt. Are we going to accept the World Bank conditions more readily now with our man as a vice president? Are we going to start giving the praise for Mr Wolfowitz for making the right decisions and employing our man and start to forget his previous ones? Are we going to frowned upon by other nations when start to feel the brunt of the vice president from Jordan? Will the officials of Rwanda be telling each others: This new vice president from Jordan, although handsome and soft spoken, he is harsh with implementing corrective economic measures we should play it safe and tell him all he need to know from the beginning. Those Jordanians are GA6EE3EH EL 3ADEH


At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

khalaf, i can't find your email so drop me a line as soon as you can. thanks


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