John William Ashe

Last updated

John William Ashe
John William Ashe.jpg
President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
17 September 2013 16 September 2014
Preceded by Vuk Jeremić
Succeeded by Sam Kutesa
President of UNICEF
In office
2012
Preceded by Sanja Štiglic
Succeeded by Jarmo Viinanen
Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York of Antigua and Barbuda
In office
1995–2004
Personal details
Born(1954-08-20)20 August 1954
St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda
Died22 June 2016(2016-06-22) (aged 61)
Dobbs Ferry, New York, U.S.
NationalityAntiguan
ResidenceDobbs Ferry, New York, U.S.
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania MSE, PhD (Bioengineering)
Technical Univ. of Nova Scotia MSE (Electrical Engineering)
Saint Mary's University

John William Ashe (20 August 1954 – 22 June 2016) was an Antiguan diplomat and politician. He was the President of the United Nations General Assembly at its 68th session, which ran September 2013 to September 2014. [1] He was also President of the UNICEF Executive Board in 2012. He served as Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York of Antigua and Barbuda between 1995 and 2004.

Contents

Early life and education

Ashe was born in St. John's, Antigua. [2] His parents did not complete high school. His paternal grandfather gave his signature as an "X" and his mother, in turn, was a descendant of slave plantation owners in Barbados. Consequently, Ashe was the first in his family to attend university. [3] He was a graduate of St. Mary's University in Nova Scotia and the Technical University of Nova Scotia, [4] and in 1989 graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a PhD in Bioengineering. [5] [6] [7] [8]

Political career

From 1989 to 1995, he worked for his country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations as Scientific Attaché, Counsellor and Minister Counsellor. Between 1995 and 2004, he was Antigua and Barbuda's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He served as Chairman of the thirteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, which met at United Nations Headquarters on 11–22 April 2005.[ citation needed ]

In April 2009, he was elected chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), and was responsible for overseeing negotiations leading up to and including the final phase at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. [9] Towards the end of 2011, Ashe was the consensus candidate of all 33 GRULAC members states to be the president of the 68th session of the UNGA, [10] thus not necessitating an election, unlike his predecessor Vuk Jeremić who was challenged in an election to preside over the 67th session. [11]

Ashe led negotiations on budgetary and administrative matters within the conventions on biological diversity and desertification, the Basel Convention and the Montreal Protocol. He served on the Executive Boards of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). He was also his country’s ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and had ministerial responsibility for WTO and sustainable development matters.[ citation needed ]

According to Farrukh Khan, the Program Manager on Climate Finance at the UN Secretary General's Office, Ashe played a central role in the negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On 22 September 2014 Ashe launched the Global Sustainable Development Foundation to support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the SDGs. It was to "support the UN's mission and accelerate the achievement of the MDGs and SDGs".

Bribery charge in U.S. court

On 6 October 2015, Ashe was arrested and charged, [12] along with five others, in a criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, reflecting an expansion of a probe into the dealings of Macau real estate developer Ng Lap Seng. The complaint accused Ashe of using "his official position to obtain for Ng potentially lucrative investments in Antigua" as part of an alleged broader scheme to funnel more than $1 million in bribes from Chinese sources to facilitate business dealings, particularly in real estate. [13] [14] He died while awaiting trial. [15]

Death

Ashe was found dead at his home in Dobbs Ferry, New York on June 22, 2016. The Westchester County, New York medical examiner's office reported that Ashe died of injuries (specifically, traumatic asphyxia, and laryngeal fractures) suffered when a barbell he was lifting from a bench dropped on his neck. [16] [17]

Ashe was survived by his wife, Anilla Cherian and two children. [18] [19] [20]

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References

  1. "General Assembly opens its 68th session with long-term development a prime goal". United Nations News Centre (17 September). 2013. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  2. Aaron Morrison - Special to the Miami Herald (25 September 2013). "Antiguan Assembly head increases Caribbean prominence at U.N." bradenton.com. The Bradenton Herald . Retrieved 23 June 2016. Born in St. John’s to Arnold and Beryl Ashe, both deceased, John is one of seven siblings.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "WEDDINGS;Anilla Cherian and John Ashe". The New York Times . 2 June 1996. Retrieved 23 June 2016. He graduated from St. Mary's University in Nova Scotia and the Technical University of Nova Scotia, from which he received a master's degree in electrical engineering. He also holds master's and Ph.D. degrees in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
  5. "WEDDINGS;Anilla Cherian and John Ashe". The New York Times . 2 June 1996. Retrieved 23 June 2016. He graduated from St. Mary's University in Nova Scotia and the Technical University of Nova Scotia, from which he received a master's degree in electrical engineering. He also holds master's and Ph.D. degrees in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Aaron Morrison - Special to the Miami Herald (25 September 2013). "Antiguan Assembly head increases Caribbean prominence at U.N." bradenton.com. The Bradenton Herald . Retrieved 23 June 2016. ...after having earned a Ph.D. in bioengineering in 1989 from the University of Pennsylvania.
  7. UNIS (2005). "Press Releases: Biographical Note, John William Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda Fifth Committee Chairman [self-created biography in a UNIS press release on committee appointment]". United Nations Information Service (Vienna, 14 September). Retrieved 2015-10-06.[ better source needed ]
  8. "1st Implementation Cycle - Policy Session". Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  9. "Antigua and Barbuda's ambassador Dr John Ashe releases two key negotiating texts ahead of key climate change talks". Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
  10. "Antiguan endorsed as president of 2013 UN General Assembly". Caribbean360. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  11. "Vuk Jeremic is standing for the presidency of the UN General Assembly". The Economist. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  12. Former UN General Assembly President and Five Others Charged in $1.3 Million Bribery Scheme — FBI
  13. Santora, Marc; Weiseroct, Benjamin (6 October 2015). "Top United Nations Official Is Accused in Bribery Scheme". The New York Times . Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  14. Former UN General Assembly President and Five Others Charged In $1.3 Million Bribery Scheme, United States Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (October 6, 2015).
  15. Viser, Steven; Frehse, Rob (22 June 2016). "John Ashe, ex U.N. leader indicted last year, dies". CNN. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  16. Neumeister, Larry (June 23, 2016). "Coroner: Ex-UN official died when barbell fell on his neck". Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  17. Steven Visser & Rob Frehse, John Ashe, ex-U.N. leader indicted last year, dies, CNN (June 23, 2016).
  18. "John Ashe, Ex-U.N. General Assembly President in U.S. Bribery Case, Dies: Lawyer". Reuters. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  19. Sengupta, Somoni (22 June 2016). "John Ashe, Ex-Diplomat Accused in U.N. Corruption Case, Dies at 61". cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  20. "AP: Ex-UN official chief from Dobbs Ferry dies amid bribery case". lohud.com. The Journal News. Associated Press. 23 June 2016. Ashe died at his home in Dobbs Ferry, according to Sgt. Vincent Ingani, of the Dobbs Ferry Police Department.
Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Vuk Jeremić
President of the United Nations General Assembly
2013–2014
Succeeded by
Sam Kutesa