Thursday, October 28, 2021

Molokomme to represent Botswana in Geneva

Good sources tell Sunday Standard that the outgoing Attorney General, Athalia Molokomme, will become the Permanent Representative of Botswana to the United Nations in Geneva. She will replace Bruce Palai who is being redeployed to Japan where the ambassadorial position fell vacant last week with Jacob Nkate ending his tour of duty. While Molokomme’s redeployment to the diplomatic service has been confirmed, it has always been unclear where she would be posted. She herself played her cards close to her chest in an interview with the Botswana Guardian last week, only stating that details about her next position will be released at the appropriate time. That time seems to be taking a long time coming but thankfully a source has let the cat out of the bag. It is unclear why the government would take weeks to release harmless information about a redeployment exercise that is already underway. A former law lecturer at the University of Botswana, Molokomme was the founding head of the Charter of the Gender Unit at Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community until May 2003 when she was appointed a judge of the High Court of Botswana. Two years later, then President Festus Mogae appointed her to the office that she will vacate at the end of this month as she heads to Switzerland. Molokomme was the first woman and fourth citizen Attorney General. The first was Moleleki Mokama, the second Ian Kirby and the third Phandu Skelemani. The United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) is the second-largest of the four major office sites of the UN, second only to the UN headquarters in New York City. The building it is located in (the Palais des Nations) was constructed for the League of Nations between 1929 and 1938. UNOG hosts the offices for a number of programmes and funds such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Labour Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organisation, the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the World Meteorological Organisation. From what Sunday Standard learns, Nkate had the option of renewing his contract at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation but elected to come back home to throw his hat in the ring for the presidency of the Botswana Democratic Party.  

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