Thorning-Schmidt snubbed for top UN posting

Christian Wenande
November 12th, 2015

This article is more than 8 years old.

Leadership of UN Refugee Agency goes instead to the Italian UN diplomat Filippo Grandi

Ban Ki-moon went with Filippo Grandi instead of Helle Thorning-Schmidt (photo: Magnus Fröderberg)

Denmark’s former prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, has missed out on the post as the new high commissioner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, revealed yesterday that the coveted position would instead go to the Italian UN diplomat Filippo Grandi.

Despite the news, the Danish government congratulated Grandi on his appointment. But Grandi’s posting was not considered ideal by the Danes.

“The government has actively backed Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s candidacy throughout the process and had preferred to see the posting be filled by a top politician, as it has been in recent years,” said the foreign minister, Kristian Jensen.

“So I am disappointed the secretary general chose a UN diplomat rather than a noteworthy politician. She was and is a good and competent candidate with a solid international network. And she has presented some good visions for UNHCR’s work.”

READ MORE: Helle Thorning-Schmidt closing in on top UN posting

Danish donors
Denmark remains one of UN’s largest donors, actively supporting the UN in helping the over 52 million refugees and internally-displaced people in the world.


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