UN Secretary-General Current Affairs - 2019
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Guatemala unilaterally terminate the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) agreement
The Foreign Minister of Guatemala Sandra Jovel had notified the UN secretary-general of the Government’s decision to terminate the agreement which established the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The International Commission had mandate till 3rd September this year.
Guatemala is a Central American Country bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south.
Why the termination?
The President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales terminating the agreement had reasoned that the CICIG has put at risk the nation’s security, public order, governance, respect for human rights and above all the sovereignty of the state of Guatemala.
But the speculation was that the decision of termination was taken by the President because the commission was investigating Guatemala’s business and political elite, including Morales and his family.
Termination Suspended by the Court
But the Guatemala constitutional court had suspended the president’s decision to unilaterally terminate the government’s pact with the United Nations. The UN has made it clear that the commission would continue with the mandate respecting the rule of law in Guatemala and the decision of the Constitutional Court.
International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)
The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) was set up as an international body to examine and investigate the serious crime in Guatemala.
The commission was established in response to a request for assistance from the Government of Guatemala to investigate illegal security groups and clandestine security organizations in Guatemala and criminal groups believed to have infiltrated state institutions, fostering impunity and undermining democratic gains in Guatemala since the end of the country’s armed conflict in the 1990s.
The commission was set by UN in conjunction with the Guatemalan Government had successfully highlighted corruption cases involving hundreds of politicians, bureaucrats and business people.
Former United Nations General Secretary and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan passed away in Bern, Switzerland. He was 80. He had served as seventh Secretary-General of UN for two terms reigning from 1997 till 2006. He was first black African to become Secretary-General of UN and also the first to be elected from UN staff itself.
About Kofi Annan
He was born on 8 April 1938 in Kumasi, Gold Coast (now Ghana). After completing his education, he had joined UN in 1962 as Budget officer for World Health Organization (WHO) in 1962. He went on to work in various capacities at UN, which included serving as Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping from 1992 to 96. Later he had served as UN Secretary-General for two terms reigning from 1997 till 2006 (He was succeeded by South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-moon in 2007).
As the Secretary-General, he had reformed the UN bureaucracy. He was passionate advocate of human rights and had played major role in the formation of two new intergovernmental bodies in 2005 within UN: Peacebuilding Commission and Human Rights Council. He also had played pivotal role in creation of Global Fund to fight AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis during his term at UN.
In 1999, he had launched UN Global Compact initiative, which is now world’s largest effort to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR). He was also founder and chairman of Kofi Annan Foundation and chairman of ‘The Elders’, an international organisation founded by Nelson Mandela. He was co-recipient of 2001 Nobel peace prize along with the United Nations. In September 2016, he was appointed to lead UN commission to investigate Rohingya crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine province.
Kofi Annan’s famous quotes
- “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.”
- “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”
- “More countries have understood that women’s equality is a prerequisite for development.”