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Michael Moller - can he stay in Geneva?

Politics // Sept. 1, 2014

UN staff and watchers are waiting with some trepidation as to who will be running the UN in Geneva after October. Michael Moller, from Denmark, is currently the acting head of UNOG - but his term expires next month.

WRS Michael Moller - can he stay in Geneva?

Moller is proving to be a highly popular Director General at the UN. Staff are very appreciative of his engagement with the organization and especially the fact he is making great efforts to connect the UN better with the rest of Geneva. He  made it known he firmly believes Geneva is the best place for the UN to be - despite the downsides of being in a very expensive city. He fully backs the 10 year programme to renovate the UN buildings in Geneva.

But, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, recently appointed another Danish national to a top UN job in Geneva. Christian Friis Bach is the new head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe - the thinking is that it would be impossible to have 2 Danish nationals in such high profile jobs at the same time. So Michael Moller will have to move on.

But not so fast. Moller's popularity and the respect he has from many quarters is pushing people to come up with an alternative. One idea is to keep Moller at the top job in Geneva - but on a temporary, but longer term, basis.

Mark Butcher spoke to political scientist – and friend of Michael Moller, Daniel Warner – for his thoughts on how this may play out – and started by asking if he thought there’s a lot of pressure to keep Moller as the head of UNOG..

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