International brief ~ South Korea nominates its foreign minister to head UN

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, South Korea has nominated its Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon [official profile] as a candidate for the office of the UN Secretary-General [official website]. The office, currently held by Kofi Annan [official profile] is up for election in the second half of 2006 and its holder is determined by a majority vote of the General Assembly [official website] based on a recommendation from the Security Council [official website], which means that any of the permanent members may use their veto on any proposed candidate. Other possible candidates from Asia include Thai Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and Jayantha Dhanapla from Sri Lanka, a former UN under secretary-general for disarmament. According to the continental rotation scheme, the next SG is due to come from Asia, but France has declared that it will only support candidates who speak French - the former language of international diplomacy. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton has also challenged the regional rotation plan [NYT report], saying that the secretary-general should be selected based on merit alone. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the United Nations [JURIST news archive]. Read the South Korean government's press release. South Korea's Chosun Ilbo has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • Over 150 protesters were arrested in the Zimbabwean capital city of Harare as a group of 500 women and students met to express their displeasure with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] and the current situation in the south African nation. The rally was broken up just 15 minutes into the event when Harare police arrived with whips and guns to chase away protesters, arresting 159 individuals who are currently being detained but have yet to be charged. Protest organizers said they were attempting to convey to Mugabe that his continual blaming of the West for the economic collapse of Zimbabwe since he took control of the once-model economy did little to put food onto starving families' tables or fix the nation's over-600 percent inflation. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has more.

  • The Ugandan government has joined two petitioners before the nation's Constitutional Court [official website] in seeking to have opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye [BBC profile] declared an invalid candidate in next week's upcoming presidential elections. The Ugandan attorney general joined the two petitioners, members of the national military, in arguing that the Ugandan Electoral Commission (UEC) [official website] acted improperly in approving Besigye's nomination [UEC press release] while he was still being held in jail on "serious criminal charges." Originally aimed at having Besigye's name removed from the ballot, the petition now aims to have Besigye's candidacy declared void ab initio. If the constitutional court grants the petition and Besigye wins the upcoming elections, he would be an invalid successor to the office unless the Ugandan Supreme Court overturned the lower court decision. The constitutional court is not expected to issue a ruling until early next week. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Uganda [JURIST news archive]. The Ugandan Monitor Online has local coverage.

  • Eleven experts from the United Nations [official website] arrived in Tanzania Monday to conduct an investigation [press release] into the country's compliance with Security Council Resolution 1373 [PDF text] and to determine what help the nation needs to better that compliance. Resolution 1373 created the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee [official website] and set out requirements for all UN members to follow regarding the fight against international terrorism. Central to these requirements was the signing and ratification of the 12 major anti-terrorism international covenants and the implementation of those covenants into domestic law. The UN News Centre has more.

 

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