Former Labour party leader Ad Melkert, who has been second in command at the United Nations development arm UNDP since 2006, is to be the UN’s new special envoy to Iraq.
He had hoped to get the UNDP top job but his new role is ‘certainly as prestigious’, diplomatic sources told the Volkskrant.
Melkert’s diplomatic career has not been without controversy. In late 2007 America was angry at what it saw as Melkert’s failure to intervene in the abuse of UN funds in North Korea.
And earlier that year Melkert came under fire from conservative Americans because of his former role as chairman of the World Bank ethics committee. The bank president Paul Wolfowitz was forced to step down following a row over preferential treatment for his girlfriend.
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