28 Jan 2003

Dr. Chrispus Kiyonga, Chair of the Global Fund's Board, announced today, Tuesday, that he will not stand for re-election tomorrow.

Dr. Kiyonga, who also serves as Minister Without Portfolio in the Government of Uganda, sent a fax to the Board as it gathered for the meeting due to start tomorrow, saying "I will not offer myself for re-appointment as chairperson of the board." He gave no reason for the decision, though he did state that he was unable to be present for at least the opening day because of "a critical matter in my country that requires my presence."

The decision threw delegates into a certain degree of confusion as they conversed between pre-Board committee meetings.

The Fund's Board is made up of two groups of nine seats each. One group consists of seven donor countries plus two private sector organizations, and the other group consists of seven developing countries plus two NGO groups. Thus far, the Board has always made decisions by consensus; but if there is to be a vote, it must be passed by at least six votes from each of the two groups.

The bylaws state that whoever is elected chair this week must come from the first group (European Commission, France , Italy, Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA, McKinsey & Co., Gates Foundation), and the vice-chair must come from the second group (Brazil, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, North NGOs, South NGOs). Each person elected holds office for one year, with a possible re-election for a second year. Each seat must alternate between the two groups.

The current vice chair, Seiji Morimoto of Japan, is understood not to seek the role of Chair. No leading candidate for either position was apparent in discussions during a reception at the end of the day.

The Board meeting will occupy the next three days. Nominations for Chair have to be received by the middle of tomorrow. The actual vote is likely to be deferred to Thursday or even Friday.

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